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What’s Next For Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant Business?

The TV chef aims to save the hospitality arm of his empire by moving into retail and office spaces in partnership with Aramark

Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The TV chef, author and crisis-plagued restaurateur, Jamie Oliver and the company CEO have revealed the business’ medium- and long-term plans. In partnership with Aramark — “a global leader in food and facilities” in hospitals, universities, school districts, stadiums and other businesses — Oliver has announced a new 10 year partnership which will see the two companies work together on “an exclusive basis to enhance food concepts and delivery across workplaces” in a diverse range of non-high street locations across northern Europe, including in the UK.

Aramark, which is described as having a “strong food services presence in the business, education, healthcare, manufacturing and defence sectors throughout the United Kingdom” appears to be a route elected for its relative security, given the recent turmoil Oliver’s restaurant business has endured, where he was forced to close a third of his Jamie’s Italian restaurant and place his two London steakhouses into administration.

The two companies have also announced, ambitiously, that they will “work together to positively impact the way food services are delivered” — “encouraging a nutritional revolution across the UK and Ireland by focusing on innovative culinary developments, exceptional staff training and enhancing client wellbeing and productivity through nutrition and food.”

Oliver’s company, which describes itself as a “firm favourite” among millennials, says that the new partnership will “help the brand expand its presence further with dining concepts in Aramark managed retail and office environments” — and therefore among a new, potentially older demographic.

Frank Gleeson, Aramark’s president in northern Europe said: “We are passionate about the health and well-being of those we serve every day so it was a natural fit for us to partner with Jamie Oliver.

“Together, we have an opportunity to create innovative culinary experiences that will revolutionise productivity and health in workplaces throughout Northern Europe. We serve hundreds of thousands of people in workplaces, schools and colleges every day.”

While Jon Knight, CEO of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group said: “Our partnership with Aramark gives us an opportunity to expand our presence geographically in Northern Europe including the United Kingdom and Ireland where we already operate.

“Aramark’s mission of enriching and nourishing lives resonated with us, reflecting our own values. We have seen how that mission is given life throughout the company every day and in particular how Aramark extends this beyond providing a consistently high quality food offering but in introducing wellbeing programmes in client sites.

“We look forward to working with Aramark and exploring opportunities to establish fully branded retail restaurants in multi-tenanted office and retail environments managed by Aramark.”

On the surface of it, an eminently sensible first step to recovery.