Administrators weigh in on Jamie Oliver's Restaurant Group collapse
Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire has collapsed, with almost all his restaurants now in administration.
The administration covers Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Ltd.'s subsidiaries Jamie’s Italian Limited, Jamie’s Italian Holdings Limited, One New Change Limited and Fifteen Restaurant Limited.
The UK Group employs approximately 1,300 staff across 25 restaurants, including 22 under the Jamie’s Italian brand, in addition to Jamie Oliver’s Diner at Gatwick Airport, Barbecoa and Fifteen London.
All but three of the Group’s 25 eateries have closed. Only two Jamie’s Italian restaurants and one Jamie Oliver’s Diner, all at Gatwick Airport, will continue to trade in the short term while the joint administrators explore options for the site.
These closures will result in approximately 1,000 redundancies. Jamie Oliver Holdings has made arrangements to ensure all restaurant staff salaries will be paid up to the date of the administrators’ appointment.
Last year, five branches of the Australian arm of Jamie's Italian were sold off and another placed into administration. The remaining overseas branches of Jamie's Italian, Jamie's Pizzeria and Jamie's Deli, are not affected.
Fifteen Cornwall, a training restaurant for disadvantaged young people that operates as a franchise, is also unaffected by the administration.
The Group had recently undertaken a process to secure additional investment into the business and, since the beginning of this year, Jamie Oliver has made available additional funds of £4m (AU$7.4m) to support the fundraising.
However, with no suitable investment forthcoming and in light of the very difficult current trading environment, the directors resolved to appoint administrators.
Will Wright and Mark Orton from KPMG’s restructuring practice were appointed joint administrators to the Group on May 21.
Wright attributed a changing dining market for the appointment.
“The current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector is as tough as I’ve ever seen.
"The directors at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group have worked tirelessly to stabilise the business against a backdrop of rising costs and brittle consumer confidence.
"However, after a sales process which sought to bring new investment into the business proved unsuccessful, the team took the incredibly difficult decision to appoint administrators."
He said site closures had already commenced.
“Unfortunately, with insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed," Wright confirmed.
"Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.”