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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 21st May 2019 - Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurants crash into administration
Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurants crash into administration: Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group has called in administrators only two years after narrowly averting a collapse, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk. Oliver’s 23-strong Jamie’s Italian chain and his other venues have lined up KPMG to handle an insolvency process. The administration process would encompass Oliver’s remaining Barbecoa sites as well as Fifteen London, the site he launched after he was catapulted to fame through his Naked Chef television programme. A spokeswoman for the Jamie Oliver Group said: “The board of Jamie’s Italian has appointed Will Wright and Mark Orton, of KPMG, to put its UK-based restaurant business into administration. Jamie Oliver Holdings, which operates Jamie Oliver and Jamie Oliver Licensing as well as the international restaurant franchise business, Jamie’s Italian International, will continue to trade as normal. Fifteen Cornwall, which operates under a franchise, is also unaffected.” Oliver said: “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all 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.” The insolvency process is likely to leave HSBC, the company’s principal bank lender, nursing a multimillion-pound loss. KPMG is likely to lead a search for a new owner, which will come after Oliver’s business launched a restructuring process in 2017 to shed a number of loss-making sites. Latest accounts at Companies House show sales at Jamie’s Italian dropped almost 11% in 2017 to £101m, and the chain was saved from administration by a £13m last-minute injection of cash from its owner, part of almost £17m of new funding provided to keep the restaurants afloat. In March this year, The Sunday Times reported Oliver had appointed AlixPartners as he attempted to sell a majority stake in Jamie’s Italian.

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