clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Italian Restaurant Chain Carluccio’s Will Stay Alive by Making Itself Less Italian

While Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group collapse reportedly leaves HSBC bank £37 million out of pocket

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Carluccio’s Italian restaurant chain will change up its menu to stay afloat after the collapse of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group Carluccio’s/Facebook

Carluccio’s will become less Italian to keep itself afloat

In the wake of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group collapsing, the U.K.’s casual dining chains have their guard up. Carluccio’s — which closed a third of its restaurants last year — is expanding the ‘Fresca’ refurbishment programme designed to keep the restaurant group alive: it was two weeks from folding at one point in 2018. That programme includes a more “refined” menu, tightening up service, and, most strikingly, a gentle but conspicuous swerve away from the fierce devotion to Italian cuisine that won it respect in the early years. Steak, non-Italian fish dishes, and French wines are all set to appear on the menu.

This is the dilemma of the casual dining chain in a nutshell: with independent restaurants serving higher quality, better value iterations of the dishes those chains once introduced at large, the only options are to go toe-to-toe, or to change things up. Going toe-to-toe hasn’t worked for anyone just yet, so it’s a bold but seemingly sensible move from Carluccio’s to compromise what made it so attractive in the name of keeping afloat. [Big Hospitality]

And in other news...

Levan

12-16 Blenheim Grove, , England SE15 4QL 020 7732 2256 Visit Website

The French House

49 Dean Street, , England W1D 5BG 020 7437 2477 Visit Website

Nutshell

30 Saint Martin's Lane, , England WC2N 4ER 020 3409 7926 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world