Administrators tasked with overseeing the break-up of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire have described the current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector as the toughest they’ve ever seen.
All but three of the 25 Jamie’s Italian branches operating in the UK were shut yesterday after a recent bid to secure additional investment failed.
Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “The current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector is as tough as I’ve ever seen. The directors at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group have worked tirelessly to stabilise the business against a backdrop of rising costs and brittle consumer confidence. However, after a sales process which sought to bring new investment into the business proved unsuccessful, the team took the incredibly difficult decision to appoint administrators.”
Mr Wright added: “Unfortunately, with insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed. Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.”
It also emerged yesterday that Jamie Oliver himself had made funds of £4m available to support its fundraising since the start of the year, but with no suitable investment forthcoming it was left with no choice to place the business in administration.
Both Jamie’s Italian restaurants and Jamie Oliver’s Diner at Gatwick Airport will continue to trade in the short term while the joint administrators explore options for the site.
The group employed approximately 1,300 staff across 25 restaurants across the UK, including 22 under the Jamie’s Italian brand, in addition to Jamie Oliver’s Diner at Gatwick Airport, Barbecoa and Fifteen London.
Administrators said that 1,000 staff had been made redundant following their appointment.
The international restaurants trading as Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s Pizzeria and Jamie’s Deli will continue to trade as normal and are not affected by the administration of the UK restaurant business.