CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver’s Australian eatery journey seems to be to be all however over with the collapse of his restaurant chain.
The Australian arm of Jamie’s Italian has been positioned in voluntary administration.
On Monday, the Canberra department did not open following the weekend’s commerce. An indication on the door saying the closure learn, with attribute chirpiness, “Big Love Mr O xxx”. Oliver is just not in the nation.
The chain’s 5 additional branches have been bought by the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group. The firm stated they may stay open beneath the brand new house owners.
The Jamie’s Italian eating places in Australia have rubbed some clients up the flawed method for refusing to take bookings, forcing some wannabe diners to queue for as much as three hours for a desk. Many selected to not.
The firm’s Australian arm stated bookings can now be made.
The chain’s collapse comes throughout a torrid time for the chef’s business pursuits with scores of his eating places closing in his native Britain as purse strings tighten in the face of Brexit and elevated staffing prices.
$130M IN DEBT
In January, Oliver’s firm introduced it might shut virtually half the UK branches of his Jamie’s Italian chain, with the lack of 450 jobs, after racking up money owed of $130 million. Unpaid employees wages accounted for $four million of that debt, reportedThe Sun .
His firm additionally introduced it will wind up his complete Barbecoa steakhouse chain, only a yr after seven Jamie’s Italian branches have been additionally shuttered together with a Jamie Oliver branded pizza enterprise.
In addition, Recipease, his cooking faculty and excessive finish grocery chain, closed its doorways.
The 42-year-old has reportedly pumped hundreds of thousands of kilos of his personal money into his eating places to maintain them afloat.
Two years in the past, Oliver purchased his Australian eating places outright and positioned them into a brand new firm after hospitality agency Keystone Group, which had operated the eateries, went beneath.
However, that firm — which operates branches in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Parramatta — has now additionally collapsed into administration.
Voluntary directors are appointed when a enterprise is near insolvency and they’re tasked to both save, sell-off or wind down the corporate.
In a press release, a spokesman for Jamie Oliver Group stated after a interval of “in-house management” the group would now associate with Brisbane-based Hallmark Group.
Hallmark is understood for working Irish theme pub Finn McCool’s, situated on Brisbane’s celebration strip of Fortitude Valley.
“The team brings a huge amount of experience and passion for our brand, from collaborating with the key suppliers to our food philosophy, and we look forward to working with them as they develop the Jamie’s Italian restaurant offering across Australia,” the spokesman stated.
Hallmark stated removed from closing the remaining eating places, they might be on the lookout for new websites.
A consultant for the group stated: “We’ll be working closely with Jamie and the UK team, staff and local suppliers to keep driving the business forward and delivering exceptional experiences across the country,” reported The Courier-Mail.
‘BIG LOVE, MR O XXX’
However, all of it comes too late for the Canberra restaurant. An indication posted on the door of the department on Monday, in the CBD’s Canberra Centre, learn: “Dear Canberra, It is with nice unhappiness that Jamie’s Italian Canberra has needed to shut its doorways indefinitely.
“We thanks for your whole help during the last four.5 years. From all of the employees at Jamie’s Canberra we bid you a fond farewell,” reported Fairfax.
It was signed “Big Love Mr O xxx”.
By Tuesday, there was not any point out of the Canberra outlet on the Jamie’s Italian web site.
In Australia, Oliver has a profitable partnership with Woolworths supermarkets that makes use of the chef as a model ambassador and inventory a variety of “Created with Jamie” recent residence model meals.
He can also be behind the Ministry of Food cooking faculties in Geelong and Ipswich, though a faculty in western Sydney has closed.
Critics have stated his eating places, which are extra informal eating than posh nosh, had disillusioned clients, notably in the UK which is overrun by chain eating places.
“While I’m sure people don’t expect that Jamie will actually be cooking their food when they eat in a Jamie’s Italian, his association with the brand is very strong and this can lead to disappointment if they feel they haven’t had the best experience,” Stefan Chomka, editor of the UK’s Big Hospitality journal, informed The Sun final month.
“When Jamie’s Italian opened … it felt prefer it was providing one thing new.
“However, the corporate, by its personal admission, did develop into a bit too complacent over the previous few years and did not sustain with recent competitors, with its rivals providing an analogous expertise however at decrease costs.”
Eating out has suffered with Brits holding onto, slightly than spending, their disposable revenue. A raise to minimal wages has additionally been blamed by some restaurant chains for a decline in income that has led them to shut underperforming websites.
Oliver’s private fortune has fallen because the golden days of his restaurant empire fades. But don’t really feel too sorry for the chef; his books and private appearances are nonetheless in excessive demand and he has a nest egg of reportedly near $300 million to fall again on ought to he determine to hold up the apron.