Jamie Oliver’s flagship London Italian restaurant has been cleared out by bailiffs, after his restaurant empire went into administration.
Last week, 22 of Jamie’s 25 restaurants shut down as the celebrity chef enlisted KPMG to begin the insolvency process.
And today, his flagship Jamie’s Italian near Piccadilly Circus was gutted, just days after it was shut.
Bailiffs were pictured loading wooden chairs, tables and even an orange Aperol Spritz scooter into two large vans.
Kitchen equipment including meat slicers and chopping boards were also carried out by bailiffs in Central London.
Inside the restaurant, everything but the light fixtures were being removed, with cardboard boxes lining the walls.
A sign was affixed to the restaurant window reading: ‘This restaurant is now closed. Will Wright and Mark Orton of KPMG LLP were appointed Joint Adminstrators to the following companies on Tuesday 21 May 2019: Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Limited, Jamie’s Italian Holdings Limited, Jamie’s Italian Limited, Fifteen Restaurant Limited, One New Change Limited.’
Following the collapse of the Jamie Oliver restaurant group, 1,000 jobs have been lost, while another 300 in Jamie’s Gatwick eateries – which currently remain open – are at risk.
Jamie, 43, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
This came after dad-of-five Jamie shut down 12 of his Jamie’s Italian restaurants and made 600 staff redundant in an effort to save his restaurant chain.
In an interview last August with the Financial Times, Jamie explained he put £7.5 million of his own savings into the business to save it from ruin when it was hours from bankruptcy.
He said: ‘We had simply run out of cash…and we hadn’t expected it. ‘That is just not normal, in any business. You have quarterly meetings. You do board meetings. People supposed to manage that stuff should manage that stuff.
‘I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to s*** that day or the next day. It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that.’
Jamie also acquired a £37 million loan from HSBC, and admitted he didn’t know how the chain came so close to collapse.
The Naked Chef – who is renovating a £6 million mansion in Essex – sent a personal email to the 1,000 staff losing their jobs, assuring them they would be paid what they were owed and calling them ‘the best in the business’.
In the wake of the news, Frankie And Benny’s offered interviews to all those affected by the shutdown.
The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group includes 22 Jamie’s Italian outlets, Fifteen and Barbecoa, and a Jamie’s Diner at Gatwick.
Fifteen in Cornwall, plus 61 overseas outlets, will not be affected as they are run by franchises.
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