Town’s restaurant staff face uncertain future as chain collapses into administration

Carluccio's at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds selling off its food supplies as restauran

Carluccio's at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds selling off its food supplies as restaurants were ordered to shut because of the coronavirus crisis Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS - Credit: Archant

Staff at Carluccio’s restaurant in Bury St Edmunds are among 2,000 of its employees nationwide facing an uncertain future after the chain collapsed into administration.

Carluccio's at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds selling off its food supplies as restauran

Carluccio's at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds selling off its food supplies as restaurants were ordered to shut because of the coronavirus crisis Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS - Credit: Archant

The business – founded by celebrated chef Antonio Carluccio in 1991 – had faced “a sustained period of challenging trading conditions, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and the broader issues currently facing the UK’s retail and hospitality sector”, adminstrators said.

Advisory firm FRP, which is overseeing the administration of the business, which has 71 UK restaurants, said it faced “significant cashflow pressures” on the back of the coronavirus lockdown and was unable to meet its financial obligations.

MORE – Petrol prices tumble across Suffolk after row between oil producersAdministrators are now speaking to interested parties about the sale of all or parts of the business.

They also plan to furlough the majority of the company’s 2,000 employees while assessing all available options.

Carluccio's at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds selling off its food supplies as restauran

Carluccio's at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds selling off its food supplies as restaurants were ordered to shut because of the coronavirus crisis Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS - Credit: Archant

Last week, chain staff saw their wages for the past month slashed in half as part of cost-cutting measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.


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Chief executive Mark Jones said he would waive a month’s pay in a bid to preserve cash.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “We are operating in unprecedented times and the issues currently facing the hospitality sector following the onset of Covid-19 are well documented.

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“In the absence of being able to continue to trade Carluccio’s, in the short term, we are urgently focused on the options available to preserve the future of the business and protect its employees.

“We welcome the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and look forward to working with HMRC to access the support it provides for companies in administration and their employees.

“As this fast-moving situation progresses we will remain in regular communication with all employees and key stakeholders, and will provide a further update in due course.”

The business’s Ireland operation and its franchise business in the Middle East are unaffected by the administration, it said.

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