Carluccio’s has formally entered administration.

Geoff Rowley and Phil Reynolds, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP, have been appointed Joint Administrators of the 71-strong Italian restaurant and deli group.

Its Ireland operation and its franchise business in the Middle East are unaffected by the administration.

In a statement, the company said the directors made the decision to place the Company into administration after a “sustained period of challenging trading conditions, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the broader issues currently facing the UK’s retail and hospitality sector. This meant the Company faced significant cashflow pressures and as a result was ultimately unable to meet its financial obligations as they were due.”

The Joint Administrators are now “urgently addressing all options for the future of Carluccio’s, which includes exploring the opportunity to mothball the business utilising government support, as well as speaking to interested parties regarding the sale of all or parts of the business. The Joint Administrators note that the primary purpose of this and any administration is the rescue of the company.”

FRP also confirmed the business will access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough the majority of the Company’s 2,000 employees whilst they assess all available options.

“We are operating in unprecedented times and the issues currently facing the hospitality sector following the onset of COVID-19 are well documented,” said Geoff Rowley, Joint Administrator and Partner at FRP.

“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.

“As this fast-moving situation progresses we will remain in regular communication with all employees and key stakeholders and will provide a further update in due course.”