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Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he is “saddened” after his restaurant group went into administration, putting up to 1,300 jobs at risk.
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The group, which includes the Jamie’s Italian chain, Barbecoa and Fifteen, has appointed KPMG as administrators.
In total, 25 restaurants are affected by the move, 23 of which are from the Jamie’s Italian chain.
Mr Oliver said: “I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.”
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay, which operates under a franchise, is unaffected, as are overseas branches of Jamie’s Italian.
Mr Oliver added: “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.
Restaurant closures had not been officially announced on Tuesday afternoon, but notices in the windows of some branches said they had already closed.
The Unite union said the development was a “devastating blow for the chain’s hardworking and loyal workforce”.
“Restaurants are not being helped by the current economic uncertainty, although those businesses like Jamie Oliver’s that dashed for expansion in recent years seem particularly precarious. As ever, it is the workers at the restaurant and in the supply chain who bear the heavy cost of boardroom decisions.”
The union also asked for assurances assurances that staff will be “protected and paid all the money they’re owed, including wages, holiday and redundancy”.
“Faced with higher rent, rising food prices and increased competition, restaurants need a point of difference – it’s no coincidence that smaller brands with the freedom and flexibility to keep things fresh are currently the ones performing well.”
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