It was announced today celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire has gone into administration, leaving more than 1,300 jobs at risk.
All but three of Jamie Oliver's UK restaurants, which include Barbecoa, Fifteen London and Jamie's Italian, are set to close after executives at KPMG advisory firm were appointed as administrators earlier today. Jamie's Italian International Limited, which is a restaurant franchise business, will continue to trade as normal, meaning that Jamie's Italian in Dundrum Town Centre will remain open. Jamie Oliver Limited, Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited and Fifteen Cornwall, plus the chef's three outlets at Gatwick airport will also remain open.
More than 61 overseas outlets, including 25 overseas Jamie’s Italians as well as Fifteen in Cornwall, all of which are run by franchisees, are unaffected by the administration.
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Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire was born in 2002 when the young Naked Chef open Fifteen in London to help unemployed youth. He was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts at Fifteen before he used his popularity to put pressure on the UK government to tackle childhood obesity through school lunches and the implementation of a sugar tax.
Speaking about the closures on Twitter, Jamie said that he was saddened by the closures.
"I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years."
I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 21, 2019
The closures come hot on the heels of a massive range of high street changes that have occurred in the UK over the past year. The casual dining market across the pond has encountered serious competition from takeaway giants like Deliveroo and Just Eat, which has resulted in chains like Carluccio's, Byron Burger and Gourmet Burger Kitchen close a number of outlets.
The administration comes after profits at Jamie's Italian dipped massively last year, resulting in the closure of 12 restaurants and redundancy of 600 staff. The chain was in such dire straits at this time that it was only saved from bankruptcy by an injection of £13 million at the eleventh hour by Jamie himself.
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