Jamie Oliver has announced that his restaurant chain has been put into administration, putting more than 1000 people out of a job.
“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,” wrote the celebrity chef in a statement.
All but three of the 25 UK restaurants left in Jamie’s Italian Limited are officially closed and in hands of administrators KPMG.
The administration doesn’t affect more than 61 overseas outlets run by franchisees.
Here is Jamie Oliver talking to Sunday Night about his financial troubles last year. Post continues after video.
The father-of-five said: “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”.
“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,” he added.
Will Wright, partner at KPMG told The Mirror: “The current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector is as tough as I’ve ever seen”.
Staff were taken by surprise by the announcement, one employee told the Manchester Evening News: “At 10 o’clock we had two accountants from KMPG show up and they handed us a notice to say that the business has ceased trading as of now”.
“We didn’t know – nobody was aware of it. There were about 15 of us. It’s a bit of a shock to the system to everyone. Some people have been here since day one, so over 10 years.”
Jamie Oliver’s sharp rise to stardom
We first saw Oliver in 1999 when the BBC debuted his TV show The Naked Chef, and since then he’s been a permanent fixture on our screens and in our kitchens.
The 43-year-old went on to star in several cooking shows including Jamie’s Kitchen and Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, and is now broadcast worldwide across 220 channels.
Oliver has 20 books printed in 36 languages worldwide, of which he has sold more than 40 million copies of. In fact, after JK Rowling he is Britain’s second biggest selling author.