JAMIE Oliver’s flagship London restaurant was today cleared out by bailiffs one week after his business collapsed.
Some 1,300 jobs were put at risk when the celebrity chef’s chain crumbled after it racked up debts of £71.5million.
This morning bailiffs were seen removing tables and chairs from the restaurant near Piccadilly Circus in London’s West End.
Everything was emptied from inside the building – including his cook books – and loaded into a van parked outside.
Pictures taken this morning show the men inside the eatery quickly removing every piece of furniture and kitchen equipment.
SACKED "BY EMAIL"
Staff members working for the chain claim they were sacked by conference call just 30 minutes before the announcement that Jamie's Italian Limited had appointed KPMG as administrators.
One member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: "Email is a pretty cold way to sack your staff.
"It was only half-an-hour before it was all over the news. I'm really angry because Jamie won't be the one looking for a job and struggling to pay his bills, it'll be poor saps like us who worked for him.
"He and his management team got greedy. They believed their own hype and thought they'd make billions without investing in the business.
Jamie, 43, said he was “deeply saddened by the outcome” and thanked the staff and customers who supported and enjoyed the restaurant.
Email is a pretty cold way to sack your staff.
He had pumped £13million of his own money into the family Jamie’s Italian chain – but is still worth £100million thanks to a lucrative TV career.
His net worth was once listed as £240million in 2014 but he has lost millions in his restaurant empire.
Accounts for the chains are not available but it is well known he has pumped millions of his own money into the restaurants and in 2018, it lost £71.5million.
In 2017, Jamie's Italian lost almost £20million and was forced to close several of its branches.
But Oliver gave it a £12.7million cash boost last year as it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy with £71.5million worth of debt and 600 jobs lost.
Around 1,300 are now at risk and 22 restaurants have immediately closed.
Just three restaurants will now stay open in the short term – two Jamie's Italian restaurants and Jamie Oliver's Diner all based at Gatwick Airport.
In a statement, Oliver said he and staff had "put our hearts and souls into the business" and described the administration as a 'difficult time for everyone'.
He said: "I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade. I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.
"I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.
"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."
22 of his 25 restaurants shut immediately
ALL but three restaurants based at Gatwick will close.
Jamie's Italian closures:
- London (Islington)
- London (Covent Garden)
- London (London Bridge)
- London (Piccadilly)
- London (Victoria)
- London (Westfield White City)
- London (Westfield Stratford)
- Barbecoa (One New Change shopping centre, London)
- Fifteen (Hoxton, London)
Source: Read Full Article