Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Jamie Oliver's Letter To Staff As Restaurant Chain Falls Into Administration
21 May 2019, 12:14 | Updated: 21 May 2019, 16:04
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has told staff he is “devastated” at the decision to put his restaurant business into administration.
The Jamie's Italian chain has appointed administrators, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk.
Upmarket Fifteen and Barbecoa have also been placed into administration.
In a heartfelt letter to staff, seen by LBC, Jamie said he had invested his own money into the business, which launched in 2008.
"I’m devastated to tell you that we have put our much-loved UK restaurants into administration,” he said.
"I have personally invested everything I possibly could to try and turn things around, but we have not been able to pull through this time.
"I would like to personally thank all of the UK restaurant staff, many of whom have put their hearts and souls into this business for a decade. I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected," he said.
He added: "Our food standards have always set us apart from our competitors. All our ingredients have been the best possible quality and produced in a traceable and sustainable way.
"Our commitment to animal welfare, provenance and nutrition never wavered, even to the end.
"We stood up for what we all believe in: that customers deserve better, fairer, clearer more ethical delicious food with more nutritious options."
In a statement from KPMG, administrators said the restaurant group had recently undertaken a process to secure additional investment, including Mr Oliver himself making £4m available.
The appointment does not affect Mr Oliver's other companies, including his media and licensing deals, and the international branch of his business is also unaffected.
Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is not involved.
KPMG spokesperson Will Wright said: “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," he said.
The appointment does not affect Jamie’s other companies, including his media and licensing deals, and the international branch of his business is also unaffected. Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is not involved.
Mid-market restaurant chains have suffered in recent years due higher rents, rising food costs, and stiff competition from food delivery apps which allow consumers to order food to their homes.