It is thought that staff across Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian restaurant group could learn of site closures as early as this week. In a story published by The Sun this weekend, it is reported that up to 12 sites across the UK may cease trading imminently. Of them, two are in London — on Denman Street, in Soho (referred to as the “Piccadilly” branch) and Kingston, south London.
It follows the story from last week, confirmed by a Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group spokesperson, that the company was “restructuring” so as to “ensure the business is in good shape for the future.”
Should 12 sites close, it would be a dramatic streamlining of the company, reducing the 36-site portfolio by 33 per cent. However, given recent loss-making of this division of the TV chef and author’s company, and the internal restructuring which took place last year, it is not wholly surprising.
Jamie’s Italian is not the only mid-market, casual dining chain which appears to be suffering from a downturn in the market. Already this year, it has been reported that the burger chain Byron could close up to 20 restaurants, while Italian chain Strada announced the closure of 11 sites a fortnight ago because of “disappointing trading and rising costs.”