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Restaurant Critic Jay Rayner Slams Jamie Oliver Over Unpaid Suppliers

The closure of the Barbecoa steakhouses has left £6.7 million of unpaid bills

Jamie Oliver And Victoria Government Announce Partnership To Tackle Obesity Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Public records have revealed that following the collapse of Jamie Oliver’s steak restaurant company Barby Limited (under which the Barbecoa brand operated) last month, £6.7 million was owed to creditors of the company.

Oliver has since created a new company, One New Change Limited, “a wholly owned subsidiary of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group,” which has purchased the original, flagship restaurant site near St Paul’s in the City. (The restaurant did not close and continues to trade as normal.) Today, restaurant critic Jay Rayner was among a number of commentators, including writer Kate Hawkins, to call out the celebrity chef regarding unpaid suppliers. Rayner called it “outrageous,” asking Oliver if he would “make sure every single one of [his] suppliers is paid?”

Because Barby Limited entered administration, even the suppliers associated with the St Paul’s site face no assurances over whether they will be paid the monies owed to them. The administrator’s proposal said that the sale to One New Change Limited “minimised the company’s liabilities as far as possible, preserved employment for a large proportion of the company’s staff and ensured that the administrators have achieved a better result for the company’s creditor’s as a whole...”

As well as £3.7 million which is owed to HSBC, the bank, a further £3 million relating to unsecured creditors is outstanding. (Unsecured creditors typically have no recourse to company assets or other collateral to offset unpaid sums.)

Among them are:

  • Westminster City Council (relating to the Piccadilly site) — owed £493,382
  • Two payments to the property developer Land Security Nova (relating to a third Barbecoa site that never opened in the Nova development in Victoria) — owed separately, £481,924 and £275,857
  • Tekene (restaurant designer and fitters) — owed £65,048
  • Daily Fish Supplies — owed £34,699
  • Natoora, London-based vegetable and fruit importer and distributor — owed £34,613
  • The restaurant reservations platform provider, OpenTable — owed £24,729
  • Wine supplier Berry Bros. & Rudd — owed £17,638
  • Wine supplier, Armit — owed £13,878

When contacted by Eater, a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver said: “We are continuing to work with the majority of suppliers in Barbecoa St Paul’s and have agreed mutually consensual terms with them.”