Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 21st May 2019
Administrators have been called in to manage the affairs of the restaurant chain operation headed up by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Eatery brands associated with the Jamie Oliver Group include Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen, with the businesses having operated outlets in various locations across the country.
A total of 25 restaurants are affected by the administration, with 23 of those being Jamie’s Italian outlets.
Representatives of KPMG have been appointed as administrators to handle the insolvency proceedings that will now unfold in relation to the Jamie Oliver Group’s restaurant chains.
In excess of 1,000 jobs are understood to be at risk as a result of the collapse of the associated business, which only narrowly avoided administration in 2017 but was able to restructure and stay afloat.
Trading conditions within the restaurant industry, particularly what’s known as the casual dining sector, have been consistently challenging in recent years across the UK.
Other chains in the sector to have entered administration recently include Gaucho, Ed’s Easy Diner and the Handmade Burger Co.
Meanwhile, other well-known high street restaurant chains including Gourmet Kitchen Burger, Byron Burger and Prezzo have all been forced into closing outlets and entering Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) as a result of persistent financial difficulties.
Jamie Oliver has issued a statement saying that he is “deeply saddened” by the situation and by his company’s collapse.
“I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected. I would 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 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, best in class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”
Mr Oliver’s restaurants business posted losses worth around £20 million in 2017 and accumulated debts worth in the region of £75 million around the same time.
A dozen Jamie’s Italian outlets were closed in the early weeks of 2018 but the business was unable to turn around its finances over the course of the rest of the year and into 2019.