Published: Tue, May 21, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant chain collapses

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant chain collapses

I appreciate how hard this is for everyone affected.

British celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver today said that his restaurant group employing 1,300 staff had collapsed.

"The board of Jamie's Italian Limited has appointed Will Wright and Mark Orton of KPMG to put its United Kingdom -based restaurant business into administration", a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver Group told CTVNews.ca.

"I really, really enjoy serving people, but it's a unusual time at the moment, and all the casual dining and high street restaurants are in decline".

Fifteen Cornwall is fine, as it's a franchise.

Oliver wrote on Twitter, "I'm devastated that our much-loved United Kingdom restaurants have gone into administration".

Jamie Oliver's Australian restaurant group went into administration last year, less than a year after Oliver relaunched the restaurants after buying them back from another company.

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He says he started it "with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining" with higher quality ingredients, animal welfare standards, better service and good value.

Oliver's media business, which includes his cookery books and TV shows, continues to thrive, according to accounts published a year ago, but his licensing business, of which he owns more than half in partnership with other investors and includes cooking equipment and homewares, has also seen profits fall. "And we did exactly that".

"Restaurants are not being helped by the current economic uncertainty, although those businesses like Jamie Oliver's that dashed for expansion in recent years seem particularly precarious".

He has also campaigned for healthier eating, including in school meals.

The insolvency of Jamie's Italian and its related brands comes amid a torrid time for high street casual dining chains.

This controversial plan allows struggling business to restruture debts and shut stores in a desperate bid to stay afloat.

According to The Guardian, the latest news comes after the Jamie's Italian sales took a dive by almost 11 per cent past year to £101 million (around $172 millionCAD). Rising food prices, increasing rents and competition took a toll.

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