Restaurant chain Carluccio’s has drafted in advisers to look at pushing the company into administration, affecting around 2,000 workers.
FRP Advisory confirmed it had been appointed by Carluccio’s with all options open, although with all sites shut due to coronavirus 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.”
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 confirmed he would not receive pay for the month as it sought to preserve cash.
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.”
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 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.