Administrators have been called in as part of a desperate bid to save British chef Jamie Oliver’s Australian restaurant chain from collapse, with a new operator already waiting in the wings.
Fairfax Media has reported that the Canberra branch of Jamie’s Italian restaurant has already closed its doors indefinitely, but that the restaurants in the other capital cities are expected to remain open for the time being.
BDO has been appointed as administrators for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Australia.
A spokesperson for the firm confirmed it had been appointed voluntary administrators during a transition period.
"The Administrator[']s role will include transitioning the Jamie’s Italian Restaurants in Australia to a local operating partner," the spokesperson said.
"Brisbane-based Hallmark Group will take over the management of the five Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Parramatta and Adelaide. The site in Canberra will close with immediate effect. Canberra staff have been informed of the closure."
No statement about the company’s situation was posted on its website or social media profiles as of 3pm Tuesday, 17 April, although Canberra had been removed from the list of Australian locations.
Jamie Oliver is a renowned British chef, author, television presenter and restaurateur, with several different themed restaurant chains operating in several countries around the world.
Despite his profile, not all have been successful, with the Australian arm requiring a high-profile cash injection from Mr Oliver personally in 2016, while other outlets in his UK homeland have also closed down in recent years.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.