“The past few months have been the most disappointing of my life” Jamie Oliver talks to The Times

The Staff Canteen

Jamie Oliver has spoken for the first time since his restaurant chain, comprising 25 restaurants across the UK, went in to administration.

Last week it was reported that the collapse has left creditors facing losses of £83 million.

In an interview with The Times, he says he tried to save ‘his restaurants and in total he put more than £25 million of his own money into the chain’.

On what went wrong, he said: “At the beginning, when we were setting up the restaurants, no one sat me down and asked me if I had a plan B in case it goes down the toilet. When it was all going wrong it felt like a colander: the business was full of holes and there was nothing we could do to plug them.”

He added: “I have to take full responsibility. I did believe I could turn it round. I put in £3 million, another £3 million, then another £3 million, however the numbers went. But there was no good news.”

He ‘insists there was nothing wrong with the restaurants – but he had been badly advised and kept in the dark’.

Despite the current situation, Jamie went on to say Fifteen, which he started in 2002, ‘will be back in some shape or form, and Fifteen Cornwall, initiated by him but now run by a separate charitable trust, is still thriving’.

And he remains positive saying: “With the restaurants, we had the best of times and the worst of times. Now I’ve seen a lot, know a lot, smelt a lot, felt a lot. I won’t ever operate in the same way again. But I still think there is a lot more to give. I’m not going to go off into the sunset.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th July 2019

“The past few months have been the most disappointing of my life” Jamie Oliver talks to The Times