MP says 'bland food,' not Brexit to blame for demise of Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th August 2019

Conservative MP James Cleverly struck out at Jamie Oliver for alleging that Brexit was to blame for the demise of his restaurant chain. 

The pro-Brexit Tory party chairman James Cleverly - who was appointed the role of Conservative party chairman by Boris Johnson in July, Tweeted that he had eaten at one of the celebrity chefs' restaurants - and that in fact, the quality of the food didn't match the price. 

Jamie was speaking to Radio 4 host Sheila Dillon on a programme chronicling the past two decades of his life, from his beginnings on 'The Naked Chef' to his attempts to employ people with limited prospects in his restaurants, through to his healthy eating campaigns, his cookbooks and the perishing of his restaurant business. 

Whether or not they bring a valid explanation to the table,  the chef's comments were somewhat more nuanced than squarely blaming Brexit - he referred to a mix of factors including the rise of the gig economy and the death of the high street. 

"The world changed, the high street changed - it started to become uberfied - our competitors changed, and we looked less different to them as we did in the beginning," he said.

For him, Brexit was more the straw that broke the camel's back. 

"Then, when there's that chain reaction, throw a bit of Brexit in, say the B word, confidence goes and people's habits changed."

While whether or not it directly affected Jamie's Italian, which went into administration in May and was recently sold off in its entirety, research does suggest that Britain's exit from the European will have a negative impact on the UK hospitality industry. 

A study by MCA Insight published recently stated that the value of the UK's eating and drinking out industry has already dropped  by £1.4 billion as a result of the vote, and could fall by another £5.4 billion by 2020 in the advent of a no-deal Brexit.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th August 2019

MP says 'bland food,' not Brexit to blame for demise of Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain