The Jamie’s Italian restaurant in York has closed after the group collapsed into adminstration.
The St Helen’s Square branch is one of 22 closed by administrators KPMG.
Founder of the business, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he is “devastated” by the loss of the business, which makes around 1,000 staff members redundant.
The business, which includes Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen, confirmed the closure of all its sites excluding its two Jamie’s Italian restaurants and Jamie’s Diner at Gatwick Airport.
Mr Oliver offered £4 million to support a last-minute search for funds, but with “no investment forthcoming” and in light of difficult trading conditions, the firm appointed the administrators.
Support for staff
Mr Oliver took to Twitter to express his sadness, saying he was “devastated” and thanking those who “put their hearts and souls into this business over the years”.
In an official statement, the chef added:
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.
Understandably staff reacted like this to the news:
Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Unfortunately, with insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed.
“Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.”
All restaurant salaries will be paid up to the date of the administrator’s appointment, KPMG added.
Rise and fall
The menu featured pasta, pizza and flatbreads, and was popular with families.
But it has faced a lot of competition in recent years – not least from Carluccio’s, which opened across St Helen’s Square in 2016.
That chain was launched by Antonio Carluccio – Jamie Oliver’s mentor. He began his career as a pastry chef at Antonio’s Neal Street restaurant in London, gaining his first experience of cooking Italian.
Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire