- British chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver has filed for bankruptcy protection for his UK restaurant chain.
- Two restaurants and a diner at Gatwick Airport will remain open while administrators investigate.
- The bankruptcy follows the collapse of Oliver's Australian restaurant business in 2018.
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has taken to Twitter to confirm that his UK business is entering administration and express regret at the outcome.
I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 21, 2019
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that escalating rent and competitive pressure were behind the decision, which will affect the Jamie's Italian, Barbacoa and Jamie Oliver's Diner chains. Two restaurants and a diner at London's Gatwick Airport will remain open, administrators have said.
Big four accounting firm KPMG will run the administration. The Sydney Morning Herald report suggests that as many as 1,000 employees will be affected by the insolvency.
Jamie Oliver's Australian business closed in 2018 but a number of restaurants bearing his name in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide were handed a lifeline by the Queensland-based hospitality outfit Hallmark Group.
Fellow celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tweeted his sympathies at the announcement of the UK closure.
"You and your amazingly talented team have achieved so much, boosting healthy eating and higher farm animal welfare standards," he said. "All those you’ve trained will go on to make a difference."
So sorry to hear this Jamie. You and your amazingly talented team have achieved so much, boosting healthy eating and higher farm animal welfare standards. All those you’ve trained will go on to make a difference.
— Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (@HughFW) May 21, 2019