Carluccio's CEO has said the company is doing "everything we can" to "determine a way forward" as all the company's workers face drastic cuts to their pay in March.
The group's restaurant teams were told they would receive 50% of their March wages in a communication shared on social media. CEO Mark Jones said he knew the announcement would "be a terrible shock to all of you" and confirmed the executive board would be taking even larger cuts and that he would receive no pay for the month.
He added: "I'm so sorry that we have had to take these actions and I deeply regret the impact this is having on you all."
Jones said the board was working with the casual dining brand's owners, the Jagtiani Foundation, to find a way forward that will allow teams to be paid 80% of their wages through the government's relief scheme announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak last week going forward.
The note added that the fall in revenue experienced and need to mothball sites in line with prime minister Boris Johnson's instructions had "exhausted the company's cash resources".
Jones told The Caterer: "The entire restaurant sector is facing unprecedented challenges and Carluccio's is no exception. These are difficult and very challenging times for we are doing absolutely everything we can and the Carluccio's board is in constant talks with its stakeholders to determine a way forward."
Carluccio's employees have said they had understood they would receive all of the wages owed to them in March until their payslips arrived ahead of Friday's payment being made, with an explanation coming later.
One Carluccio's employee told The Caterer: "They have not really thought about the people who work for them. We are vital and they need us to provide the service and we were a bit of an after thought."
Carluccio's underwent a CVA in May 2018, with the brand later announcing a £10m funding injection from shareholder Landmark Group to roll out changes in menus, design and operation across the remaining 74-site UK portfolio. The turnaround plan had been reaping rewards, with refurbished sites receiving a "strong and positive" response, as well as improving customer sentiment scores.