CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has said he is ‘devastated’ and ‘deeply saddened’ at the news his struggling restaurant empire has finally collapsed.
Oliver’s announcement that his Italian and Fifteen chains will close reportedly left staff in tears and 1,300 jobs at risk when news broke today.
The chef, who had ploughed £12.7 million (€14.49) of his own savings into the empire when it faced collapse in 2017, blamed ‘a perfect storm’ of Brexit, business rates and a minimum wage increase on the closures.
After reportedly emailing staff just 30 minutes before the news broke, Jamie commented: “I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected. It’s been a real pleasure serving you.”
Disgruntled staff told British media: ‘I’m really angry because Jamie will not be the one looking for a job and struggling to pay his bills, it will be poor saps like us who worked for him.’
The 43-year-old chef is said to have made around £240 million (€273.72 million) during the 20 years he’s been in the public eye. His chain Jamie’s Italian is thought to have closed after running up £71.5 million (€81.55 million) in debt.