Would Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire have survived if it had offered 'posh' food?

The  Staff Canteen

Last weekend Jamie Oliver vented his frustration at the collapse of his restaurant empire to You Magazine. He said that the past four years have been the hardest of his life, "mainly because I thought I could save my restaurant group."

The chef claims he attempted everything to save his restaurant empire before it went into administration in May, namely putting £4 million of his own money into it - and not taking a salary for himself. 

"Even when I put it into administration, I still made sure all my staff were paid personally by me." 

The once adored Naked Chef's latest justification for the restaurant chain's collapse was that he had been aiming for mid-market diners - and that had he opened restaurants for the wealthy, they may still be open today. 

"If I’d have spent 13 years opening posh restaurants, I could assure you they’d all be open today," he said. 

"Britain has always been very good at nourishing the rich. My obsession – just because I knew it was my audience – was mid-market dining. It was so badly represented." 

Unsurprisingly, Twitter users were quick to rebuke the chef's claims; with allegations including that the restaurant's food was overpriced and of low quality, that the chef relied on his name and reputation to found an empire and that he expanded at too fast a rate. 

We'd like to hear it from you chefs - do you think there is some truth in Jamie's claims? Are high-end restaurants more likely to be successful than mid-market ones?

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th August 2019

Would Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire have survived if it had offered 'posh' food?