British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s company will close 25 restaurants, resulting in 1,000 job losses, leaving some staff “in tears”. All restaurant staff salaries would be paid up until Tuesday, according to the administrator.
Oliver, 43, said he was “deeply saddened” by the outcome and thanked his company’s staff and suppliers for putting “their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade”, as he credited his chains with transforming high street dining.
“I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected,” he said. “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…”
Mr. Oliver tweeted, “I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration.”
Notices have appeared in the windows of the 22 branches which have already closed. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay is unaffected. The international restaurants trading as Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s Pizzeria and Jamie’s Deli will also continue to trade as normal.
“The group had recently undertaken a process to secure additional investment into the business and, since the beginning of this year, Jamie Oliver has made available additional funds of £4m to support the fundraising,” said the administrators in a statement.
“However, with no suitable investment forthcoming and in light of the very difficult current trading environment, the directors resolved to appoint administrators.”
Will Wright, a partner at KPMG and the joint administrator, said “ The directors at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group have worked tirelessly to stabilize the business against a backdrop of rising costs and brittle consumer confidence”.
“However, after a sales process which sought to bring new investment into the business proved unsuccessful, the team took the incredibly difficult decision to appoint administrators.”
“Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need,” he said.