Sunday 22 September 2019

Hundreds of jobs at risk as Jamie Oliver closes 12 restaurants

The closures are part of a CVA, which will allow the Jamie’s Italian chain to exit unprofitable stores.

Jamie’s Italian – stock
Jamie’s Italian – stock

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Jamie Oliver is to close 12 of his restaurants, putting more than 200 jobs at risk, after a restructuring plan put forward by the celebrity chef was pushed through by creditors.

The closures are part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which will allow the Jamie’s Italian chain to secure rent reductions on the remaining estate as well as exit unprofitable stores.

Staff are currently going through a consultation period, although the company will attempt to place some of those affected in other parts of Mr Oliver’s restaurant empire.

Jamie’s now has 25 restaurants in the UK and 28 overseas.

Only last year, Mr Oliver blamed a combination of rising Brexit cost pressures and tough trading when he shuttered six restaurants.

Jamie’s Italian – stock

As well as staff costs and lower footfall, the group has been stung by the collapse in the pound, which has ramped up the cost of buying ingredients from Italy.

A total of 95% of creditors, including landlords, voted in favour of the deal on Friday.

The company said in a statement: “We are pleased to have received the overwhelming support from our creditors for our proposal to reshape Jamie’s Italian restaurants.

“We have a strong brand and are focused on continuing to deliver the levels of service, taste and the experience our loyal customers deserve.

“We are working hard to ensure that our estate is fit for the current trading environment and we feel confident that this newly shaped business will provide strong opportunities for growth and profitability.”

Mr Oliver’s chain is the latest in a long line of high street firms to hit the skids, with Byron and Prezzo also undergoing painful restructurings that will see store closures and job losses.

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