Jamie Oliver’s restaurants are facing major financial issues. Picture: Paul Stuart
Jamie Oliver’s restaurants are facing major financial issues. Picture: Paul Stuart

Jamie Oliver’s shock admission

JAMIE Oliver has no more money to save his troubled business empire, the celebrity chef has revealed.

Last September, Oliver ploughed $A23 million of his own savings into the previously successful Jamie's Italian restaurants to stop them from closing.

Now, the chef has claimed in a new interview if any of his restaurants now needed financial support he would no longer be capable of providing it.

"I haven't got any more [money]. I tried to do the right thing, I've never been paid by the restaurant group, I've always reinvested. My living was always the other side," Oliver told the Mail on Sunday

"So I could have just gone, 'Do you know what? Let it go.'"

Oliver said he "was not broke", but didn't have the necessary money to put into his restaurant chain.

"There's a point where I can't put the other side of the business at risk as well and the people who work there. The upside is I am now fully in control of the restaurant business. It's fully owned by me. We're getting on top of it and we've learned lots of lessons," he said.

 

Jamie Oliver is one of the most recognisable chefs in the world. Picture: Supplied
Jamie Oliver is one of the most recognisable chefs in the world. Picture: Supplied

Earlier this year, Oliver's restaurant chain, which opened its first business in 2008, revealed it would close 12 restaurants and ask for rent cuts at 11 more as it dealt with debts of $A130 million. More than 600 people were made redundant but the chef said that a restructure was necessary to save the remaining 1600 jobs.

In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year, Oliver said the business "had simply run out of cash".

"We hadn't expected it. That is just not normal, in any business. You have quarterly meetings. You do board meetings. People [who are] supposed to manage that stuff should manage that stuff," he said.

 

Jamie Oliver put $A23 million of his own cash into his ailing business empire. Picture: Supplied
Jamie Oliver put $A23 million of his own cash into his ailing business empire. Picture: Supplied

 

It was then Oliver reportedly injected $A23 million of his own cash.

"I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to s*** that day or the next day. It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that," he told the Financial Times.

However, the company has said it will be profitable again in a few years, with proper management.

John Knight, chief executive of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, said: "We were opening too many restaurants, too quickly, in the wrong places."

Mr Knight has claimed the restaurant group will be "back to value" and free of debt within four years and that the celebrity chef will get his own money back, "or at least most of it".

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