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Creditors push through plans to close 12 Jamie Oliver restaurants

PUBLISHED: 09:35 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 12 February 2018

Jamie Oliver at his restaurant in Norwich Royal Arcade, when it opened in 2012.  Photo: Bill Smith

Jamie Oliver at his restaurant in Norwich Royal Arcade, when it opened in 2012. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Creditors owed money by Jamie Oliver’s chain of restaurants have pushed through plans which will see 12 of them closing, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Jamie Oliver talking to staff at the opening of his restaurant in Norwich in 2012.  Photo: Bill SmithJamie Oliver talking to staff at the opening of his restaurant in Norwich in 2012. Photo: Bill Smith

The closures are part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which will allow the Jamie’s Italian chain to secure rent reductions on the remaining estate as well as leave unprofitable outlets.

However, the Norwich branch of the chain, in the Royal Arcade, will remain open. The restaurants to close are: Bath, Bristol, Bluewater, Chelmsford, Greenwich, Harrogate, Kingston, Milton Keynes, Piccadilly Diner, Reading, St Albans and Threadneedle St.

Staff are currently going through a consultation period, although the company will attempt to place some of those affected in other parts of Mr Oliver’s restaurant empire.

Jamie’s now has 25 restaurants in the UK and 28 overseas.

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Only last year, Mr Oliver blamed a combination of rising Brexit cost pressures and tough trading when he shuttered six restaurants.

As well as staff costs and lower footfall, the group has been stung by the collapse in the pound, which has ramped up the cost of buying ingredients from Italy.

A total of 95% of creditors, including landlords, voted in favour of the deal on Friday.

The company said in a statement: “We are pleased to have received the overwhelming support from our creditors for our proposal to reshape Jamie’s Italian restaurants.

“We have a strong brand and are focused on continuing to deliver the levels of service, taste and the experience our loyal customers deserve.

“We are working hard to ensure that our estate is fit for the current trading environment and we feel confident that this newly shaped business will provide strong opportunities for growth and profitability.”

Mr Oliver’s chain is the latest in a long line of high street firms to hit the skids, with Byron and Prezzo also undergoing painful restructurings that will see store closures and job losses.

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