Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire is calling in administrators following a collapse that puts more than 1,000 jobs at risk.
The company, which includes 23 Jamie’s Italian outlets, plus the Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants in London and Jamie’s Diner at Gatwick airport, has appointed KPMG as the administrator.
Jamie Oliver’s statement
Oliver said, “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade. 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.
“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. Photo: shutterstock
The celebrity chef’s restaurant empire started in 2002 with the opening of Fifteen in London.
However in recent months Oliver decided to sell the businesses amid tough competition from other casual dining brands, including Byron Burger and Carluccio’s, prompting a search for a buyer.
Empire has faced slump in recent years
Last year, sales at Jamie’s Italian dipped by around 11 per cent to £101 million, and 12 restaurants were closed at the expense of 600 jobs.
Oliver saved his chain from bankruptcy last year by injecting £13 million in cash to keep the business afloat. Not all of the restaurants associated with Jamie Oliver’s name will be affected.
More than 25 overseas Jamie’s Italians, and Fifteen in Cornwall, all of which are run by franchisees, are unaffected by the administration.
Last year’s slump dragged Oliver’s whole business portfolio - which also includes TV, publishing and cooking equipment - into a loss of around £20 million.
Although his media business, which includes the TV shows and cook books, continues to thrive according to accounts, Oliver shut the last of his shop chain Recipease in 2015, and his magazine ceased publication in 2017.