Jamie Oliver to recoup £2.4 million from collapse of UK restaurant business

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Jamie Oliver is set to recoup £2.4 million from collapse of his UK restaurant business, having invested £15 million of his own money into it when it went into administration in 2019

All but three of his 25 Jamie's Italian restaurants closed when administrators came in in May 2019, resulting in the loss of almost 1,000 jobs - for which the celebrity chef is said to have ploughed into his own pocket, to cover redundancy costs.

The business owed its creditors around £83.3 million at the time of the restaurant closures. In 2020, administrators filed a notice of intention to move the business from administration to dissolution, and KPMG revealed that the majority of what was owed to the company's creditors - comprised mostly of food suppliers, councils and landlords - would never be be recovered, leaving many out of pocket.  

According to a progress report by Interpath administrators, seen by Propel, the first and final a dividend of 2.47p in the pound was allocated to unsecured creditors of Jamie’s Italian as of May 13th 2022, totalling £520,000. Unsecured creditors’ claims were agreed at £21 million. As a secured creditor, Jamie Oliver Holdings Ltd. has recouped £2.4 million.

The rise and fall of Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire

The celebrity chef and best-selling cookbook author was spotted by camera crews while working as a sous-chef at The River Café in the late 1990s and founded his restaurant group in 2008 off the back of the success of The Naked Chef television programme, as well as of his first restaurant, Fifteen.

At the time, the intention was for Jamie's Italian to "positively [disrupt] 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," which he lauded a success.

Despite the demise of his domestic restaurant empire, the chef's other endeavours - his cookbooks, TV and digital content, kitchenware and food products - mean his net worth is rumoured to be between £200 million and £250 million.

Jamie Oliver has long been and continues to be a powerful voice and campaigner in his fight for healthy school dinners, tackling obesity and altering the way unhealthy food is labelled and promoted.

Last week, he staged a protest outside of 10 Downing Street calling for tougher action to combat the UK's obesity crisis after the government made a U-turn on placing restrictions on multi-buy deals and advertising foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 24th May 2022

Jamie Oliver to recoup £2.4 million from collapse of UK restaurant business