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Lid lifted on closure of Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Cheltenham

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Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 08 November 2017 13:41

Lid lifted on closure of Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Cheltenham

 

More light has been shed on the closure of Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Cheltenham earlier this year.

It is no secret that the television personality, chef and businessman behind the restaurant chain, and a multi-million pound empire, was staunchly pro-remain during the run up to the vote on Brexit.

And it was in this climate that the Cheltenham restaurant closed and much of the blame hung on the white-hot issue of the day.

Simon Blagden, then CEO of the restaurant group, said: “As every restaurant owner knows, this is a tough market and post-Brexit, the pressures and unknowns have made it even harder.”

When the closure of the five-year-old Cheltenham restaurant was announced it saw the loss of 33 jobs.

Five other restaurants in the chain were also closed at the time, affecting about 120 jobs in total.

Despite the closures at the time Mr Blagden described the overall business as “in very good shape”. It has now emerged this is not the case. Mr Blagden has stepped down.

Jamie Oliver Group has reportedly confirmed the appointment of a specialist turnaround business, Alix Partners, hired to look at Jamie Oliver’s Italian.

The restaurant business is believed to have received a short-term loan from the Jamie Oliver Holdings Group after a further deterioration in trading.

According to reports the company lost £9.9 million last year on a turnover of around £112million.

It is not alone is facing tough times. There is reportedly widespread pain being felt across the restaurant sector. A rising minimum wage and rising input costs caused by a drop in sterling are said to be factors in the difficult conditions.

Mr Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurants is not part of the Alix Partner’s remit, neither are the two Barbecoa sites in London and the rest of his empire is thought to be faring well.

His most recent book, 5 Ingredients, is topping the British best seller lists.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List Mr Oliver is worth in the region of £240million.

New owners of Jamie's Italian site have big plans to transform the building

 

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