Jamie Oliver’s Australian restaurant group has collapsed into voluntary administration, weeks after it was revealed the celebrity chef’s British hospitality company is $126 million in debt.
BDO partners Andrew Sallway, Andrew Fielding and James White were appointed administrators of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group (Australia) Pty Ltd on Monday.
The company operated six Jamie’s Italian branded restaurants across Australia, after Oliver purchased the brand back from collapsed former operator Keystone Hospitality Group in November 2016.
In light of the administration, the Canberra Jamie’s Italian site was shut immediately yesterday, Business Insider reports. The remaining sites in Sydney, Parramatta, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide have been purchased by Hallmark Group, the publication reports.
In February, it emerged that Oliver’s UK hospitality operation was facing significant debt challenges, owing around $126 million to a range of parties, including $3.9 million to staff and close to $73 million to suppliers.
The business entered a company voluntary arrangement that allowed some UK Jamie’s Italian restaurants to continue to trade, but there were other casualties, including the flagship operation of Oliver’s steak restaurant concept, Barbecoa.
In March, the chief executive of the UK business said the company had struggled because it had “rested on its laurels” as more quick service retail businesses entered the British market.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group said the brand was “pleased to be partnering with Hallmark” to keep the five Australian restaurants running, reports Business Insider.
“The team brings a huge amount of experience and passion for our brand, from collaborating with the key suppliers to our food philosophy,” the spokesperson said.