Carluccio’s to go into administration after 20 years with 2,000 jobs at risk

Top Italian chain Carluccio's is entering administration after being hit by the coronavirus.

They are expected to appoint administrators soon after being a fixture on British high streets for 20 years, Sky News reports.

Carluccio's is reportedly lining up FRP Advisory, one of the UK's biggest corporate restructuring specialists, to take the lead on an insolvency process that will put more than 2,000 jobs on the line.

It will be difficult for the business to find a buyer without an insolvency process as it has had to close its 73 UK restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic and is not currently generating revenue.

Staff were told earlier this week they would only receive half their usual pay for the month of March due to a rapid decline in sales.

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Before all restaurants were closed due to lockdown restrictions, Carluccio's CEO Mark Jones announced the chain would be supporting NHS staff by offering them a 50% discount on food and drink, both in store and via takeaway.

"We are all being hit hard by the current crisis, and our thoughts go out to the incredible NHS staff who are on the frontline, working day and night to save lives and help the vulnerable," he said at the time.

"There is no end date for this crisis and, as such, we will be offering all NHS workers a 50% discount for the foreseeable future. We hope that this small gesture can bring a little comfort to our unsung heroes."

Mr Jones also backed calls for the government to step in and help the food and retail industry, saying Carluccio's was "days away from large-scale closures" on March 17.

"We understand the role we have to play in public health, so I won't question the government's advice on that," he told the BBC.

"But to do that to an industry without any fiscal support whatsoever condemns us to death, effectively."

Carluccio's, which was founded in 1999 by the late chef Antonio Carluccio, has seen its worst decline in business at its London premises.

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