Jamie Oliver's UK restaurant chains are headed for insolvency

Jamie Oliver (File, AFP)
Jamie Oliver (File, AFP)

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain moved to begin insolvency procedures, leaving 1 300 jobs at risk after failing to turn around its performance.

The UK celebrity chef’s company filed notice in the High Court for administration. The proceedings involve 25 Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa steakhouse and Fifteen eateries in the UK but not the international division.

Oliver has tried to revive his restaurant business for the past few years amid a tough consumer market, intense competition and rising costs. Last year the chef, who has built up a large television following, completed a company voluntary arrangement of his Jamie’s Italian brand. Such a procedure allows a business to cut shops and slash rents, but that was not enough.

“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,” Oliver said in a statement.

Oliver’s restaurants are the latest victims of a shakeout that’s spread to Britain’s casual-dining business after hitting the likes of Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s and Ruby Tuesday in the US. UK chains such as Byron Hamburgers, Gaucho, Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Strada have all restructured over the past few years.

News of the impending administration was first reported by Sky News.

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