Top television chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain’s financial collapse
BBC Scotland is reporting that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he is “saddened” after his restaurant group went into administration, putting up to 1,300 jobs at risk.
The group, which includes the Jamie’s Italian chain, Barbecoa and Fifteen, has appointed KPMG as administrators.
In total, 25 restaurants are affected by the move, 23 of which are from the Jamie’s Italian chain.
Mr Oliver said: “I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.”
“I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.”
He added: “We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK High Street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”
Jamie Oliver Holdings, which operates Jamie Oliver Limited and Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited, as well as the international restaurant franchise business, Jamie’s Italian International Limited, will continue to trade as normal.
Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is also unaffected.
Mr Oliver is known for his Naked Chef books and TV shows, broadcast in dozens of countries, after first being shown in the UK 20 years ago.
He has also campaigned for healthier eating, including in school meals.
His chain is the latest victim of a tough trading environment on the UK High Street.
Mr Oliver’s business has faced difficulties over the past two years, with a number of Jamie’s Italian and Barbecoa restaurants shutting.
In 2017, he closed the last of his Union Jacks restaurants and also shut his magazine Jamie, which had been running for almost 10 years.
In December of that year the chef also put £3 million of his own money into his restaurant businesses.
Simon Mydlowski, a partner at law firm Gordons and an expert in the hospitality industry, said Jamie’s had failed to keep up with changing trends.
“To be successful in this sector you have to be constantly evolving – from the menus and the drinks choice, to the way you engage with customers.”
“Faced with higher rent, rising food prices and increased competition, restaurants need a point of difference – it’s no coincidence that smaller brands with the freedom and flexibility to keep things fresh are currently the ones performing well.”