More than 1,000 jobs at risk as Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire collapses

Brenda Watkins
May 21, 2019

"The current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector is as tough as I've ever seen", said Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.

The business was left without enough cash to trade while in administration, meaning that all but three of its 25 eateries have closed.

"I appreciate how hard this is for everyone affected", he said.

There is one Jamie's Italian restaurant in Ireland, located in Dundrum Town Centre - but the United Kingdom company has said that the firm's global restaurant franchise business will continue to trade as normal.

Mr Oliver's restaurant empire has taken a few knocks over the past two years.

It's been a real pleasure serving you'.

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.

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Jamie's Italian has appointed KPMG as administrators, the company confirmed today, and as many as 1,300 jobs are expected to be affected by the insolvency process. Overseas branches of Jamie's Italian, Jamie's Pizzeria and Jamie's Deli, are not affected, nor is Fifteen Cornwall, which operates as a franchise. "And we did exactly that".

Oliver rose to fame on the back of his popular TV show "The Naked Chef", which hit screens 20 years ago when he was just 23.

His recruitment of youngsters for Fifteen won him an honor from Queen Elizabeth in 2003, and he used his reputation to put pressure on politicians to combat growing child obesity problems by campaigning for healthier school meals.

The announcement follows a number of other restaurant chain closures including Carluccio's, Prezzo, Giraffe and Ed's Easy Diner.

According to The Guardian, the latest news comes after the Jamie's Italian sales took a dive by almost 11 per cent previous year to £101 million (around $172 millionCAD).

"Faced with higher rent, rising food prices and increased competition, restaurants need a point of difference - it's no coincidence that smaller brands with the freedom and flexibility to keep things fresh are now the ones performing well".

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