Administrators KPMG have been lined up to deal with the process, a spokesperson for the Jamie Oliver Group confirmed in a statement today. Reports today suggested staff turned up at at least two Jamie’s Italian branches to be told the restaurant is no longer trading. The company is also in charge of Barbecoa sites and Fifteen Cornwall. As many as 1,300 jobs are feared to be at risk following the development.
A spokesperson for the Jamie Oliver Group said: “The board of Jamie’s Italian Limited has appointed Will Wright and Mark Orton of KPMG to put its UK-based restaurant business into administration.
“Jamie Oliver Holdings, which operates Jamie Oliver Limited and Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited, as well as the international restaurant franchise business, Jamie’s Italian International Limited, will continue to trade as normal.
“Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is also unaffected.”
Jamie Oliver responded: “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade.
“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.”
Mr Oliver previously shut six of his restaurants as part of cost-cutting measures, blaming Brexit for tough market conditions.
Outlets in Aberdeen, Cheltenham, Exeter, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate and Richmond were closed in 2017.
There are currently 70 Jamie’s Italians worldwide, of these 42 are in the UK.
Simon Mydlowski, partner at law firm Gordons and an expert in the hospitality industry, said: “The high street restaurant sector is changing at an incredible pace.
“It seems Jamie’s is the latest brand that was not able to keep up.
“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.
“A number of suppliers will have been caught unawares here, perhaps showing a little too much trust in the Jamie Oliver name, but this is not the first big restaurant chain to have suffered and it won’t be the last.
“Faced with higher rent, rising food prices and increased competition, restaurants need a point of difference – it’s no coincidence that smaller brands with the freedom and flexibility to keep things fresh are currently the ones performing well.”
Matthew Thomson, Chief Executive of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay and the Cornwall Food Foundation, said: “We are really sorry to have heard today that the Jamie Oliver restaurants are going into administration.
“Fifteen Cornwall operates independently of the Jamie Oliver restaurant group as a charitable social enterprise under licence to Jamie Oliver and therefore is not affected by the changes in the restaurant group.
“Fifteen Cornwall is very much open for business, continuing the legacy started by Jamie at Fifteen, serving amazing Cornish food, mentoring young people and investing in our team.
“We are currently recruiting chefs and front of house to join our team, ready for a busy summer.”
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