Carluccio’s and BrightHouse fall into administration putting over 4,000 jobs on the line

Restaurant chain Carluccio’s and rent-to-own operator BrightHouse collapsed into administration on Monday, collectively putting 4,400 jobs at risk as businesses continue to fall victim to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The dining chain, which was founded by Antonio Carluccio in 1991, confirmed it has hired advisory firm FRP to oversee its administration.

The move casts a shadow over the future of its 71 UK restaurants - all currently shut due to coronavirus - and its 2,000 employees.

Early last week, staff from the chain saw their wages for the past month halved as part of cost cutting measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

FRP said they were looking at ways of protecting the future of the business and those who work for the company.

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.

“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."

Italian chef Antonio Carluccio founded the restaurant chain in 1999. Credit: PA

BrightHouse, which employees around 2,400 people, had moved all their businesses to remote working in response to the coronavirus outbreak before administrators were appointed.

All 240 stores were already closed.

The company have appointed Grant Thornton to keep running the business, and collecting money from customers, but there will be no new rent-to-own sales.

Customers will still get their appliances looked after by the company, until their contracts run out, at which point the business will wind up.

Administrators for BrightHouse said they “will continue to trade the businesses in line with Government guidance as to remote working or, where essential services are being carried out, only in circumstances where we can provide for employee and customer safety".

The administrators said: “The logistics and engineering business of CTL will continue to assist in dealing with those customers who have claims for essential home item repairs and will continue deliveries of smaller items to customers’ doorsteps, to ensure where possible, customers’ products remain in working order.”

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