Insider Business Jamie Oliver's UK restaurants fall victim to high street woes

Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurants fall victim to high street woes

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain went into administration on Tuesday, threatening around 1,300 jobs in the latest blow for Britain’s high street.

Oliver, 43, a well-known figure in Britain and beyond for his popular TV shows and top-selling cookery books, founded his Jamie’s Italian brand of high street restaurants in 2008.

“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,” he said.

About 1,300 jobs across 25 branches will be put at risk by the administration, a form of protection from creditors. The Jamie Oliver Group said it had appointed KPMG as administrators.

Barbecoa, a steakhouse and Jamie Oliver’s Diner are also hit by the administration, which includes the London branch of Fifteen – Oliver’s first restaurant which he founded in 2002, a social enterprise designed to train young unemployed people.

Alin Ciocan, 28, was preparing to start his shift at London Victoria’s branch of Jamie’s Italian when he heard that the branch would not be opening and he had lost his job.

“I didn’t believe it at first,” he said, adding he was unsure if he would stay in the sector.

“I really, really enjoy serving people, but it’s a strange time at the moment, and all the casual dining and high street restaurants are in decline.”

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

In March, Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) said it planned to close more than a third of its Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner outlets, while Carluccio’s, Prezzo, Strada and Gourmet Burger Kitchen closed branches in 2018.

Changing customer habits have seen a rise in appetite for takeaway apps such as Just Eat and Deliveroo and favouring faster food service over high-street staples such as Jamie’s.

There were almost 5 million fewer trips to full service restaurants in the 12 weeks to March 24, compared with a year earlier, data from Kantar showed. Sales in such restaurants declined by 6% in the year to March 24.

Oliver, who started cooking at the age of eight at his parents’ pub in Essex, northeast of London, was discovered by BBC television while working as a chef in London’s River Cafe in the late 1990s.

His “Naked Chef” show, which was broadcast in dozens of countries, made him a household name at the age of 21.

His recruitment of youngsters for Fifteen won him an honour from Queen Elizabeth in 2003, and he used his reputation to put pressure on politicians to combat growing child obesity problems by campaigning for healthier school meals.

Fifteen Cornwall, operated under a franchise, is unaffected, as is Jamie Oliver’s international restaurant franchise business.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Pandemic at highly critical phase in Cyprus, new appeal launched-12 cases today

  Twelve new cases of covid-19 were announced today out of three thousand 147 tests, taking confirmed infections to 1,755. The break down of new patients...

Animal abuse legislation to get tougher, with a 10 thousand fine for a first offence

  MPs are working through a tougher bill against animal abusers, including raising fines as a deterrent, just a couple of weeks following a horrendous...

No spectators at tomorrow’s Independence Day Parade

  Tomorrow's Independence Day military parade will be held without spectators due to Covid pandemic restrictions, with just officials and foreign dignitaries attending. The parade, on...

Spain in solidarity with Cyprus over Turkish violations

  Spain expressed its solidarity with Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, with foreign minister Arantha Gonzales Layia noting her country's opposition to any unilateral action,...

Services not covered by GeSY and offered under it to incur fines

The Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) reminds all health care providers as well as General Healthcare System (GeSY) beneficiaries that the system does not cover...

Taste

Sheftalies

Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...