Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire on verge of collapse

Friday, 24 May, 2019

Signs were in the window of a Jamie's Italian in Paradise St, Liverpool, yesterday as the restaurant chain founded by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, appointed administrators.

It has been reported by RTÉ that Oliver's Dublin restaurant, which is located in Dundrum Shopping Centre, is unaffected by this news.

"I would like to personally thank all of the United Kingdom restaurant staff, many of whom have put their hearts and souls into this business for a decade", Mr Oliver wrote. "I appreciate how hard this is for everyone affected.

It's been a real pleasure serving you". Only his three outlets at Gatwick airport, which include the last Jamie's Diner, will remain in operation as administrators seek a buyer.

In a statement, the administrators blamed "very difficult" trading conditions for the collapse, and said the administration was required despite a significant investment of £4 million ($7.3 million) from Oliver earlier this year, the BBC reports.

"Unfortunately, with insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed", joint administrator Will Wright, a partner in KPMG, said in a statement.

Oliver, 43, is the latest victim of the brutal competition in Britain's casual dining market, which is seeing a continuing decline in the number of chain restaurants amid consumer worries over Brexit.

The group employs around 1,300 staff across 25 restaurants.

That chain was launched by Antonio Carluccio - Jamie Oliver's mentor.

A "Jamie's Italian" restaurant, near London Bridge. For the year ending 24 March 2019, full-service restaurants experienced a 6% decline in sales, while nearly five million fewer trips were made to such sites in the 12 weeks to 24 March 2019, in comparison to the same period last year.

In 2016 Oliver told Stuff that opening a restaurant in New Zealand was one of his "first priorities" and he was in the process of buying his chain from the failed Australian franchise holder.

There are Jamie's Italian restaurants located in London, Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guildford, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and York.