Earlier this week, it was announced that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurants had gone into administration, resulting in the closure of all three of his restaurants.
KPMG, the firm appointed to act as the group’s administrator, revealed in a statement that roughly 1000 people will lose their jobs.
According to Metro, some employees only learned about the restaurant closures on Tuesday, the same day the world found out, with some being visited by KPMG accountants at work, while others heard about the news from an email sent by Oliver.
In the leaked email, the distraught chef admitted that it was not his decision to close the business.
“I’m absolutely devastated that we have had no choice but to put our much-loved UK restaurants into administration,” he wrote.
“I appreciate how difficult this news is for everyone affected and I want to assure you that I have explored every possible avenue available and exhausted all options over the past months to try and save this business,” he continued.
“I have personally invested everything I could to try and turn things around.”
Oliver went on to share that all employees will be paid their full salary up to the date of the closure, before thanking everybody who put their “hearts and souls into our restaurants.”
“You guys are the best in the business and I know you will move on to great things in no time at all. I’m truly sorry and give you all my love, gratitude and most importantly wish you all the luck in the world. Today is a really sad day. Big love as ever,” he wrote.
One staff member told the Manchester Evening News: “At 10 o’clock we had two accountants from KMPG show up and they handed us a notice to say that the business has ceased trading as of now. We didn’t know – nobody was aware of it. There were about 15 of us. It’s a bit of a shock to the system to everyone. Some people have been here since day one, so over 10 years.”
Oliver later took to Twitter to share a statement with the world:
“I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years,” he wrote.
I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 21, 2019
KPMG shared in their own statement that of Oliver’s 25 restaurants, only the three located at London’s Gatwick Airport would remain open.
“Both Jamie’s Italian restaurants and Jamie Oliver’s Diner at Gatwick Airport will continue to trade in the short term while the joint administrators explore options for the site,” the firm announced.
“The current trading environment for companies across the casual dining sector is as tough as I’ve ever seen. The directors at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group have worked tirelessly to stabilise the business against a backdrop of rising costs and brittle consumer confidence,” added Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.
“Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need,” he added.