CVA on the menu for Carluccio’s

Carluccio's in Brindleyplace, Birmingham

The casual dining crunch has hit again as the Italian restaurant chain founded by Antonio Carluccio, the chef who died last year, is set to become the next casual dining operator to be restructured through a company voluntary arrangement.

The Times understands that Carluccio’s has hired KPMG to advise on a CVA to enable the chain to shed or secure a rent reduction on about a third of its 103 UK restaurants.

The news comes shortly after Neil Wickers, the chief executive, stepped down after three years, replaced by Mark Jones who was chief executive of Goals Soccer Centres and before that led Pizza Hut’s UK business.

Carluccio’s, backed by by Dubai-based Landmark Group, will become the latest casual dining chain to use the insolvency procedure as it battles higher costs and increased competition.

It follows a string of closures across the UK’s casual dining sector.

High street chains Byron burger, Jamie’s Italian and Prezzo have all embarked on CVAs since the start of the year, allowing them to close loss-making stores and secure rent discounts.