The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group has this afternoon issued a statement suggesting that the predicted site closures across the portfolio will happen this year. It comes after a number of restaurants in the group closed last year, the TV chef’s print magazine was shut down and a significant amount of personnel change took place within the company.
The statement reads:
“The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group can confirm it is exploring plans to restructure its Jamie’s Italian restaurant estate in the UK, to ensure the business is in good shape for the future. As part of this review, we are in conversation with our stakeholders, but no final decisions or proposals have been made at this stage.
“The review does not affect Jamie’s Italian international franchises managed through Jamie’s Italian International. The Jamie Oliver Media Group and the Jamie Oliver Licensing Group, which are both managed and run separately, are also unaffected.”
Last year Jamie Oliver Holdings (the highly profitable company responsible for the chef’s TV and book deals) merged with Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, in what appeared to be a bid to bolster the fortunes of the latter. Jon Knight replaced Simon Blagden, who led the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group since it was founded in 2008, as head of the restaurant division of the business in October. It came after the group posted a £9.9m loss for the last financial year.
Although the statement talks only about the Jamie’s Italian brand (the group’s biggest with 36 sites across the UK), Eater London understands that the meat-focused Barbecoa site on Piccadilly is also likely to be considered a priority within the restructuring plans.