Life after CVA: Carluccio's extends Fresca transformation plan

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Carluccio's extends Fresca restaurant transformation plan

Related tags: Casual dining, Restaurant, Italian cuisine

Carluccio’s is to roll out its £10m Fresca refurbishment programme to at least five further restaurants following a trial in London.

The chain has been using its Richmond site as a test-bed​ for the introduction of a more ‘formal’ service style and a move away from a rigidly Italian menu to include steaks, fish and French wines.

Now it is investing £500,000 on revamping its restaurants at Heathrow Terminal 5 and Bluewater shopping centre using the Fresca model.

Carluccio’s CEO Mark Jones hailed the move as an “important milestone” for the brand and says it is part of a “clear plan to re-assert and build on our credentials as the UK’s leading Italian restaurant group”.

It comes after Carluccio’s closed 35 restaurants, close to a third of its estate, under a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) last year.

Jones told The Casual Dining Show in March that the group would have folded within two weeks​ had it not entered a CVA, and blamed its demise on opening “too many marginal sites” without updating the brand.

Last year was a turning point for several Italian casual dining chains, with Jamie's Italian and Prezzo also using CVA's to shutter sites​. The fall of Jamie's Italian in to administration​ this week may be a sign of deeper issues within the brand, but is also cause to keep a close eye on last year's CVA survivors.

Related topics: Business

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