Thursday 20 June 2019

Oliver 'devastated' as restaurant chain collapses and 1,000 jobs lost

Distraught: Jamie Oliver took to Twitter to express his sadness. Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
Distraught: Jamie Oliver took to Twitter to express his sadness. Photo: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Jamie Oliver is "devastated" after his restaurant chains collapsed into administration, making around 1,000 staff members redundant.

Administrator KPMG has closed 22 of the celebrity chef's 25 restaurants, after investment could not be secured to keep them trading.

The business, which includes Jamie's Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen, confirmed the closure of all its sites in the UK.

Jamie's Italian in Dundrum Town Centre will not be affected by the news.

Gerry Fitzpatrick, who operates Jamie's Dundrum under a franchise arrangement, said it is "business as usual" for the restaurant.

"Jamie's Dundrum is a very healthy, profitable business, we are completely independent of the UK," he said.

Meanwhile, Oliver took to Twitter to express his sadness, saying he was "devastated" and thanking those who "put their hearts and souls into this business over the years".

"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 offered £4m (€4.5m) to support a last-minute search for funds, but with "no investment forthcoming" and in light of difficult trading conditions, the firm appointed the administrators.

Around 1,300 people are estimated to work for the UK business in total. Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said the immediate priority was to work with employees who have been made redundant.

Irish Independent

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