Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian has appointed administrators, putting as many as 1,300 jobs at risk.
The TV chef said: “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.
“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’s restaurant group was forced to close 12 of its 37 Jamie’s Italian restaurants last year amid the casual dining crunch.
His steak joint Barbecoa closed its Piccadilly site in February as part of a pre-pack administration.
I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 21, 2019
Jamie Oliver is going to take a lot of stick for this. He shouldn’t. He tried to create something new. He employed people who were down on their luck. If it’s now failed, we should celebrate more than 10 years of doing something brave and good. https://t.co/pO2YVPvmwm— Nick Boles MP (@NickBoles) May 21, 2019
The company also handed over control of five Jamie’s Italian sites in Australia when the chain went into voluntary administration last April and was sold to Brisbane-based group Hallmark. One other site was closed.
Oliver himself put £13 million of his own money into the business when it ran into trouble last year.