Jamie Oliver restaurant woes as United Kingdom chain prepares for insolvency

Jamie Oliver

The celebrity chef is appointing KPMG as administrators to handle the insolvency process of his Jamie's Italian and Barbecoa restaurants, leaving up to 1,300 jobs at risk.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the restaurant 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".

"I would like to personally thank all of the United Kingdom restaurant staff, many of whom have put their hearts and souls into this business for a decade", Mr Oliver wrote.

Oliver founded his Jamie's Italian brand of high street restaurant in 2008.

He said "I appreciate how hard this is for everyone affected". "And we did exactly that".

"Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is also unaffected".

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The move comes after the restaurant group closed 12 of its 37 Jamie's Italian branches at the beginning of a year ago and shuttered six in 2017.

Oliver has tried to revive his restaurant business for the past few years amid a tough consumer market, intense competition and rising costs.

Jamie's Italian was eventually saved in 2018 thanks to the cash injection and an insolvancy procedure called a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

Overseas, five branches of the Australian arm of Jamie's Italian was sold off past year, while another was put into administration.

Despite the troubles, which forced Mr Oliver to pump £13 million of his own money into his Italian chain, he told Press Association earlier this year that casual dining was primed for a comeback.

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