Jamie Oliver's UK restaurant chain collapses into insolvency

Andrew Cummings
May 21, 2019

Jamie Oliver has said he's "deeply saddened" after his restaurant chain has collapsed into administration.

The move will put as many as 1 300 jobs at risk and deal a blow to the television chef whose inimitable style and entrepreneurial zeal has earned him a vast fortune during the last 20 years. I appreciate how hard this is for everyone affected.

Oliver's group has officially fallen into administration-the process whereby a troubled company calls in outside expertise to try and minimise job losses.

The firm said Tuesday that it had gone into administration, a form of bankruptcy protection, and appointed KPMG to oversee the process.

Oliver's restaurant chain is the latest victim of a brutal trading environment on Britain's high streets.

Fifteen Cornwall, operated under a franchise, is unaffected, as is Jamie Oliver's worldwide restaurant franchise business.

Oliver said Jamie's Italian was launched in 2008 "with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining" with higher quality ingredients, animal welfare standards, better service and good value.

Mr Oliver's business has faced difficulties over the past two years, with a number of Jamie's Italian and Barbecoa restaurants shutting. "And we did exactly that".

The group had been seeking buyers in recent months after Oliver chose to sell up amid heavy competition in the casual dining market that has already seen chains such as Carluccio's, Byron Burger and Gourmet Burger Kitchen close outlets. For the year ending 24 March 2019, full-service restaurants experienced a 6% decline in sales, while nearly five million fewer trips were made to such sites in the 12 weeks to 24 March 2019, in comparison to the same period last year.

KPMG declined to comment.

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