Bailiffs remove tables, chairs and cooking equipment from Jamie Oliver’s flagship London restaurant a week after his empire collapsed and put 1,300 jobs at risk
- Bailiffs have been clearing out the flagship Jamie’s Italian restaurant near Piccadilly Circus this morning
- The site is one of 22 of his 25 locations to close immediately following the business entering administration
- Oliver’s chain has debts of £71.5million and valuable assets are being removed to help cover the costs
- It took the team of bailiffs four hours to clear site of tables, chairs, kitchen equipment and even a scooter
Jamie Oliver’s flagship London Italian restaurant has been cleared out by bailiffs today after the business went into administration.
The celebrity chef’s beleaguered chain Jamie’s Italian has debts of £71.5million and workers were seen today removing valuables from the eatery near Piccadilly Circus.
Bailiffs were seen loading tables and chairs into a lorry outside the restaurant, which opened in 2014, with furniture piled up inside the vehicle.
The administration has put 1,300 jobs at risk and Oliver was forced to close 22 of his 25 sites immediately.
The 43-year-old, who has netted £240 million during 20 years in the public eye, said he was ‘devastated’ and ‘deeply saddened by the outcome’ in a statement.
He thanked staff and suppliers, adding: ‘I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected. It’s been a real pleasure serving you.’
But many of his staff were left upset after turning up for their shifts only to find restaurants were shut, with notices left on doors and windows.
It took the team of bailiffs four hours to clear the site of valuable assets, with kitchen equipment, machinery and even an orange scooter among the items removed.
Jamie Oliver’s flagship Jamie’s Italian restaurant near Piccadilly Circus has been cleared out by bailiffs today, pictured
Among the assorted items taken away from the central London restaurant was an orange scooter, pictured right
Bailiffs wearing reflective jackets were seen carefully loading various pieces of furniture and cooking equipment, including this chopping board, pictured, into a lorry
Other workers teamed up to carry heavy pieces of kitchen machinery, pictured, out of the London eatery and into the vehicle
The crumbling chain was also beset by a tide of poor reviews, including from restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin who in 2018 said she would have to be ‘paid to go back’ to his restaurant in Westfield London.
The chef himself previously blamed his empire’s parlous state on Brexit, which he said was among the factors which caused a ‘perfect storm’, as well as rental costs, local government rates and the increase in the minimum wage.
In 2017 the father-of-five, who lives in a £6million 16th century Essex mansion, ploughed £12.7million of his own money into his struggling business after being given two hours to save the chain.
According to Companies House, Jamie Oliver Holdings Ltd – the umbrella company under which he runs his myriad businesses – turned over £32 million last year – a staggering £87,670 a day.
But Jamie’s Italian was on the brink of collapse two years ago with the chef revealing in an interview it had ‘simply run out of cash’ and run up millions in debt.
Oliver has built his vast fortune on TV and publishing deals, restaurant chains and product endorsement — both in the UK and Australia, where he fronts nutrition adverts for a supermarket.
Meanwhile it was revealed last weekend that fellow celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay had tried to help Oliver during his time of need.
The warring pair have long traded public insults – but Ramsay insisted it was all in good faith in the name of ‘banter’, and Oliver even added it was ‘good for PR’.
But they have since put aside their differences after Ramsay offered Oliver an olive branch.
Ramsay told the Mail On Sunday’s Event Magazine it was ‘appalling to see Jamie worry’ so he ‘reached out’ – but their collaboration was not enough to save the Oliver restaurants from collapse last week.
The restaurant, pictured, opened in 2014 and it took the team of bailiffs four hours to clear it of valuable assets
So far 22 of the 25 UK Jamie’s Italian restaurants have closed, including the flagship London branch, right, and around 1,300 jobs are at risk due to the administration. Pictured right is a lorry filled with wooden chairs and tables from the site
Some of Oliver’s cookbooks, pictured, could still be seen in the windows of the restaurant as bailiffs arrived today