1,000 jobs lost as Jamie Oliver restaurant chain goes into administration
22 of 25 Jamie Oliver-owned restaurants have closed, after the celebrity chef’s restaurant chain went into administration today, resulting in approximately 1,000 job losses.
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.
KPMG have been appointed administrators to Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Limited and said that despite Jamie Oliver himself making an extra £4m available, “no suitable investment [was] forthcoming and in light of the very difficult current trading environment, the directors resolved to appoint administrators.”
Speaking as the news broke, Jamie Oliver told the BBC,: “”I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.”
“I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.”
“We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK High Street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that,” he added.
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.”
“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,” he added.
Jamie Oliver Holdings has made arrangements to ensure all restaurant staff salaries will be paid up to the date of the administrators appointment.
However, Hannah Swindle, a lawyer from Gowling WLG said that the outlook was bleak for all of the chain’s employees. “Jamie Oliver’s restaurants is yet another high profile insolvency which will have a major impact on its 1,300 employees who face job losses with little legal protection. The taxpayer underwrites some redundancy and wage payments to employees from the National Insurance Fund but these are capped and limited. If a buyer can be found, the business could still be saved but even then there are likely to be redundancies where restaurant closures are made. In the worst case, most employees will lose their employment if a buyer cannot be found quickly and the business is wound down with the assets being sold piecemeal,” she said.