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Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire on the verge of collapse, leaving over 1,000 jobs at risk

Oliver had closed six of his Italian branches last year and blamed Brexit, trading conditions, rising food and staffing costs, and a weakening pound as reasons for the shut down
UPDATED MAY 21, 2019

The future of Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire is looking bleak with the celebrity chef's restaurant group facing collapse while putting over 1,000 jobs at risk. Jamie's Italian chain has got KPMG to handle an administration process which will be announced later. 

Oliver shared, "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. 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." 

Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire has collapsed (Getty Images)

"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," Oliver continued. 

It emerged last year that Oliver's restaurant empire owed its staff around £2.2million and was also in debt of £71.5million. In February last year, the company had announced that 12 out of 37 restaurants shut down. At the time, Oliver had blamed Brexit for the closure of six of his Italian branches. He blamed trading conditions, rising food and staffing costs, and a weakening pound. 

A spokesperson for Jamie Oliver shared, "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."

A report cited that according to Spear’s, Jamie has a net worth of $304million (£240million), which is thanks to his successful cookbooks, television shows, and restaurant group.

As reported by the Mirror, restaurant consultant Hugh Richard Wright shared, "In the case of Jamie's Italian and similar groups of this size such as Strada and Byron, I think it's also attributable to consumers abandoning the 'middle market' having realized they can get better quality food from (say) their local Italian or burger joint at the same price or less."

"This I think is a problem afflicting a lot of mid-market chains: the food isn't (usually) terrible, but nor is it good enough to justify the prices charged. Discerning consumers would rather pay more to dine at top restaurants, or, if they just want convenience and cheapness, opt for fast food. It's why so many chefs will tell you that the Big Mac is the best burger; it might not be as good quality meat or bread as say one of the 'better burger' chains, but it is satisfying, filling, consistent – and £2.99."