Jamie Oliver: Restaurant chain collapses into insolvency, risking 1,300 jobs

Jamie’s Italian

They include restaurants in the Jamie's Italian chain, as will the more upmarket Fifteen, and steak house Barbecoa.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant group in the United Kingdom has gone into administration, putting up to 1300 jobs at risk, the BBC is reporting.

Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire has gone into administration, with all but three of the group's restaurants closing with immediate effect.

"However, with no suitable investment forthcoming and in light of the very hard current trading environment, the directors resolved to appoint administrators". 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.

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

"Jamie Oliver Holdings, which operates Jamie Oliver Limited and Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited, as well as the worldwide restaurant franchise business, Jamie's Italian global Limited, will continue to trade as normal".

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. "And we did exactly that".

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The Unite union said the development was a "devastating blow for the chain's hardworking and loyal workforce".

He used his reputation to put pressure on politicians to combat growing child obesity problems by campaigning for healthier school meals.

Oliver's chain is the latest victim of a brutal trading environment on Britain's high streets.

The chef himself previously blamed Brexit which he said was among the number to factors which caused a "perfect storm" for the company, as well as rental costs, local government rates and the increase in the minimum wage.

The business empire slumped to a loss of almost £20m last year, dragged down by a grim year at the restaurant chain.

"The world's changed in the restaurant industry in the last year-and-a-half", he said.

"To be successful in this sector you have to be constantly evolving - from the menus and the drinks choice, to the way you engage with customers". Rising food prices, increasing rents and competition took a toll.

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