Why Jamie Oliver needs to sell 28,000 bowls of spaghetti to cover the rent at his new Sydney restaurant

Food guru Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant at leased premises in the Sydney CBD serves $12.50 plates of spaghetti bolognaise (entree size).

It’s dishing up to excited diners at the newly opened premises – on the ground floor and mezzanine level at 107 Pitt Street.

Landlord BlackRock Property Trust is getting $350,000 plus GST annually as the base rent. The fixed rate in annual rent reviews is 4%. There’s a 10-year option kicking in in 2021.

Pacific Restaurant Group director Adam Heathcote signed the lease.

It’s the latest of high-profile restaurant openings, including David Chang’s Momofuku Seiobo, which has an online booking service, Stefano Manfredi’s Balla, Teage Ezard’s Black by Ezard and Chase Kojima’s Sokyo – all at the Star casino location. There’s also been the Westfield shopping centre tenants including Alessandro Pavoni’s Spiedo, David Tsirekas’s Xanthi and Justin North’s new Becasse.

Despite the big new openings restaurants have been closing their doors faster than new ones opening, according to industry head John Hart from Restaurant and Catering.

“There is quite a lot of consolidation going on,” Hart told SMH reporter Kelsey Munro.

Noting a strong shift towards corporate ownership and away from independents, Hart says “unless you’ve got economy of scale behind a number of businesses, you really can’t make a buck”.

Jamie’s Italian is owned by a listed company, the Pacific Restaurant Group, which also owns the Chophouse and three Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouse restaurants.

With more than 20 restaurants across the world Jamie’s Italian is a global franchise.

According to CBRE agents James McNeill and Leif Olson, the arrival of the English restaurateur enhances the city’s array of international eateries.

In its recent report on the NSW retail market, CBRE notes that the café, restaurant and takeaway subsector had achieved annual sales growth of 5.8% for the year to June 2011.

Commenting on his Sydney eatery on his website, Oliver says Australia has always been close to his heart since he first visited around a decade ago.

“I get a lot of wonderful tweets and emails from Australians who have eaten at Jamie’s Italians in the UK, so now to have a Jamie’s Italian open in Sydney is really special for me,” he says.

This article first appeared on Property Observer.


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