Published: Sat, May 25, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Over £300k sought for leasehold of Jamie Oliver's Cambridge restaurant

Over £300k sought for leasehold of Jamie Oliver's Cambridge restaurant

Administrator KPMG has closed 22 of the celebrity chef's 25 restaurants, after investment could not be secured to keep them trading.

According to a CNN Business report, Oliver, who is also an ardent anti-junk food campaigner, declared on May 23 that he is placing his restaurant business under bankruptcy protection, with KPMG having been appointed as the administrator of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Last year, it shuttered 12 of its 37 sites in Britain, while five branches of the Australian arm of Jamie's Italian were sold off and another put into administration. Figures published last month by consulting firm Kantar found that full service restaurants saw sales decline by 6% in the year to March 2019, as customers favoured experiential outlets and lower-cost venues.

And a spokesperson for restaurant chain Prezzo told Recruiter their thoughts were with the affected workers and invited them to apply for vacancies with the company.

Jamie Harvie-Austin, director at Christie & Co, said: "Christie & Co is delighted to have been appointed by KPMG to assist in the disposal of these restaurants, as this provides a rare opportunity for restaurant operators to acquire extremely well-located premises in city centre locations".

"We have roles across the country, so if anyone is concerned about their situation, we'd encourage them to get in touch with our recruitment team by visiting our website".

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Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said the immediate priority was to work with employees who have been made redundant.

Only Oliver's three sites at Gatwick Airport continue to trade in administration, as these are understood to be particularly profitable.

Jamie 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".

Other chains run by celebrity chefs have also struggled in recent years.

Following the shock closure of Jamie's Italian it was revealed the George Street restaurant had an annual business tax bill of £280,500. That same year, Guy Fieri closed Guy's American Kitchen and Bar in New York's Times Square and Daniel Boulud closed DBGB Kitchen and Bar in NY, saying it didn't get enough business during the week.

"I appreciate how hard this is for everyone affected".

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