Jamie’s Italian describes closure of 12 branches as “crucial” to ensuring chain continues to trade

Twelve branches of Jamie’s Italian are set to close following a review of the business undertaken by the firm’s management.

The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group confirmed in a statement that it will shut sites in Bath, Bristol, Bluewater, Kent, Chelmsford, Essex, Harrogate, Kingston-upon-Thames, Milton Keynes, Reading, St Albans, Hertfordshire and two in London in Greenwich and Threadneedle Street, as well as Jamie’s Diner Piccadilly.

The cull takes the number of Jamie’s Italians that have closed in the past year to 18, leaving it with a portfolio of 25 restaurants in the UK.

Last year, bosses at the firm admitted that Brexit had put a squeeze on margins and revealed its kitchens needed to be serving an average of 3,000 covers every week for its restaurants to be sustainable.

Details of the latest restructuring emerged last week, with the company hinting that closures would take place “to ensure the business is in good shape for the future”.

In November, Jamie’s Italian accepted a short-term loan from its parent company to support it through the tough trading environment and assist with capital expenditure costs.

Jon Knight, CEO of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, said the company hoped to find roles elsewhere in the business for as many staff as it can.

“This was a not an easy decision but it’s a crucial step to ensure our strong and much-loved brand can continue to serve our loyal customers.

“We will look to redeploy as many staff as possible within the wider Restaurant Group. All staff impacted will be paid fully and all our obligations to them fulfilled. We’re incredibly grateful to the dedication and hard work of every single member of staff.”

The 25 restaurants unaffected by the restructuring will continue to trade as normal.

Other parts of the Jamie Oliver empire, including Jamie’s Italian International franchises, The Jamie Oliver Media Group and the Jamie Oliver Licensing Group, remain unaffected by the move.

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