The Empire Must Die: Why Jamie Oliver Closes Restaurants

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The Empire Must Die: Why Jamie Oliver Closes Restaurants
The Empire Must Die: Why Jamie Oliver Closes Restaurants

Video: The Empire Must Die: Why Jamie Oliver Closes Restaurants

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Video: The Real Reason Jamie Oliver's Restaurant Empire Is Collapsing 2023, January

The story of Jamie Oliver has always seemed like a sweet fairy tale about a talented good-natured person who cares for people's health and also honestly earns fabulous millions of pounds. The future number one chef (at least in recognition) was born in the village of Clavering, Essex county, in the family of the owners of The Cricketers pub. The boy's fate was predetermined: from the age of eight, Jamie disappeared for days in the kitchen of the establishment, helped his parents with pastries and chopped meat. The teachers added fuel to the fire, unanimously repeating that the child had absolutely no ability for anything but cooking - Oliver was diagnosed with dyslexia (a violation of the ability to master reading and writing while retaining the ability to learn) and did not look for a special approach to him …

The boy, unable to assert himself in his studies, grew into a man who asserts himself in the profession: during the time spent in the kitchen, Jamie became so skilled that he first went to work not as an ordinary apprentice, but as the pastry chef of the Neal Street restaurant of the Italian Antonio Carluccio - author of the culinary bestseller Pasta. At the same time, Oliver began two serious novels - with Italy and with television: from Carluccio, the chef moved to the Italian restaurant The River Café, where, by a lucky chance, the BBC crew dropped in. In 1999, pink-cheeked energizer Oliver first aired on the BBC with his own show "Naked Chef" - something like the domestic "Let's eat at home!" with Julia Vysotskaya. The show lasted for three seasons, and in 2002, a full-fledged TV star came up with the reality show Jamie's Kitchen,in which he taught the culinary arts to 15 low-income participants. The five winners were employed in Oliver's new restaurant Fifteen as a prize. In parallel with flashing on TV, Jamie appeared in an advertisement for the British supermarket Sainsbury's, which added $ 12.8 million to the chef's wallet over 10 years.

The positive qualities of the most media cook in Europe multiplied faster than layers of dough in lasagna. Jamie lobbied for the improvement of school lunches (the British government allocated $ 280 million to eliminate fast food from the children's diet), and in 2015, having connected to the general hysteria about sugar, he shot the documentary "Sugar Rush", in which he clearly explained what diseases it leads to abuse of sweet.

Oliver is generally known as an adamant fighter with excess weight (remember at least his hitting McDonald's, they say, people can't eat this) and with climate change. On this front, however, there was an incident: at the end of 2018, the "greens" took up arms against the cook for the fact that he signed a five-millionth contract with the fuel giant Shell. On the one hand, such a deal with the conscience can be understood: by that time Oliver had already closed 12 of 37 restaurants and lost £ 20 million. But let's go back to the past for a while.

Oliver's empire

In 2012, The Independent wrote an enthusiastic text about the king of delicious and healthy food, counting, among other things, his fortune - £ 150 million (110 of which came from Jamie's Italian chain of 44 restaurants) - and placing him in the top 500 richest people UK". In that year, the Jamie Oliver Holdings empire, in addition to Italian establishments, expanded with three Fifteen, one Barbecoa, two Union Jacks, two Recipease, culinary schools, Fabulous Feasts catering, a production studio and publishing house that printed books and Jamie magazine. According to various estimates, the holding's annual income reached £ 30 million, it employed 6,400 employees, and each new restaurant cost Oliver a ridiculous £ 2 million.The author of the text admirably emphasized that every week Jamie has breakfast, lunch and dinner with 100 thousand satisfied visitors.and total book sales are second only to the Potterians.

Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver © press service

Until 2018, the "naked chef" confirmed his financial superiority in word and deed. For example, in 2015, the turnover of Jamie's Italian grew by 9%, to $ 149.5 million, and the total revenue of the empire rose to $ 203 million.But this turned out to be only a golden crust of a pie with a raw filling: in 2014, Oliver blushed before SanPiN for overdue meat, mold and mouse droppings in the kitchen of the Barbecoa restaurant on Piccadilly, in 2015 it closed all Recipease restaurants, in 2017 - six Jamie's Italian restaurants and a culinary magazine, and in 2018 got rid of 12 more restaurants and collected debts for £ 71.5 million

Photo: Leon Neal / Getty Images
Photo: Leon Neal / Getty Images

© Leon Neal / Getty Images

And now, of the 25 remaining restaurants, Oliver is forced to close 22, leaving 1,000 workers on the street. At the same time, the chef shrugs his shoulders sincerely, answering the question of how it happened: “I am grateful to everyone who worries about me,” quotes The Guardian's chef. - We opened Jamie's Italian in 2008 with the aim of accustoming the British to quality Mediterranean cuisine with a reasonable price tag. We have worked with the highest quality products, I have assembled the best team, fully sharing a passion for good food and impeccable service. I did it. " It turned out not all. Experts conclude that Jamie dug a hole for himself, failing to stop in time and deciding to take in quantity. Oliver's name, seven years ago, served as a quality mark, has become a print for consumer goods. Auditing company KPMG,which has transferred 25 establishments, will find new owners for the remaining three, including Jamie's Diner at Gatwick Airport. The franchised restaurants outside the UK will remain safe and sound.

What Jamie Oliver's empire is made of

Jamie Oliver Holdings

Oliver's media division, producing books, Jamie magazine and TV programs. In 2017, the book "5 Ingredients: Fast and Simple Food" sold a million copies in the UK alone.

Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

The division, formed at the end of 2017, was supposed to merge Jamie's Italian, Fifteen, Barbecoa, but lost 18 restaurants in two years.

Jamie Oliver Licensing

A unit that helps Oliver work with major brands such as Tefal and Hotpoint.

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