In a letter sent to employees yesterday, which was passed to BigHospitality, CEO Mark Jones said he understood the news would come as a “terrible shock”.
He wrote: “The rapid decline in sales and then the closure of our restaurants has exhausted the company’s cash resources, and we have been struggling to make the payroll payment this month.”
Staff will receive 50% of the March wages they are due following an injection of cash from Carluccio’s owner, the Dubai-based Jagtiani Foundation.
The executive team has taken an even larger pay cut, and Jones will not take any salary in March.
Holiday pay and tronc and service charge payments have also been reduced to 50% of the total.
The team is now looking to furlough staff and access the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will pay 80% of employee’s salaries for the next three months.
Jones says this course could give Carluccio's a “fighting chance” to survive long-term.
In a statement, Jones said: “The entire restaurant sector is facing unprecedented challenges and Carluccio’s is no exception. These are difficult and very challenging times for our team, but we are doing absolutely everything we can and the Carluccio’s board is in constant talks with its stakeholders to determine a way forward."
The company has struggled in recent years and closed 30 restaurants using a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in 2018, after a fall in profits.
In 2019 it received a £10m cash injection from shareholder Landmark, which is run by the Jagtiani family, to refurbish its estate, and in December the chain said it was seeking franchise partners for expansion.