Carluccio’s faces collapse amid the coronavirus crisis (Picture: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

Carluccio’s is on the brink of collapse, after warning that stores closed because of the coronavirus crisis may not reopen.

The Italian restaurant chain has called in advisers to look
at pushing the company into administration, putting 2,000 jobs at risk.

FRP Advisory confirmed it had been appointed by Carluccio’s
with all options open, although with sites shut due to Covid-19 a collapse is
most likely, it is understood.

A spokesman for the advisers said: ‘FRP is working with the directors of Carluccio’s to consider all options for the company in the current climate.’

Mark Jones, CEO of Carluccio's restaurants poses for a photo at Carluccio's Garrick Street in London, Britain, February 27, 2020. Picture taken February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Mark Jones, CEO of Carluccio’s restaurants, told staff earlier this week their pay for the past month will be slashed in half as part of cost-cutting measures (Picture: Reuters)

Earlier this week, staff from the chain saw their wages for
the past month slashed in half as part of cost cutting measures to mitigate the
impact of the pandemic.

Chief executive Mark Jones also confirmed he would not be paid for the month as the company sought to preserve cash.

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In a note to staff he said: ‘I realise this is going to be a
terrible shock to all of you.

‘The rapid decline in sales and then the closure of our
restaurants exhausted the company’s cash resources, and we have been struggling
to make the payroll payment this month.’

Dave Turnbull, Unite national officer for the hospitality
sector, said: ‘If Carluccio’s does enter administration Unite will ensure that
our members receive their unpaid wages, redundancy, notice and holiday pay.

‘Unite will also be looking at making a protective award on behalf of our members for a failure to consult.’

More: Coronavirus

The restaurant chain was founded by Italian chef Antonio
Carluccio in 1999, growing into a familiar brand on UK high streets.

Carluccio’s is owned by Dubai-based Landmark Group, which bought the business for £90 million in 2010.

The company closed 34 restaurants in 2018 (Picture: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

The company closed 34 of its restaurants in 2018 as it
underwent a Company’s Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal in a bid
to secure its future.

Plans for the administration were first reported by Sky News
and next steps will require a ‘notice to appoint administrations’ to be filed
with the courts.

The decision comes as Chiquito owner The Restaurant Group put 61 of its restaurants into administration. Around 20 will re-open after the lockdown.

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Source: Metro