Jamie Oliver to launch high-end UK restaurants to move brand upmarket

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The celebrity chef is opening a new range of restaurants hoping to boost the Jamie Oliver brand

Jamie Oliver is launching a new range of high-end restaurants in the UK. The announcement comes only a year after administrators finished their work on Jamie’s Italian, which collapsed resulting in the loss of more than a thousand jobs, The Times reports.

While the new restaurants are yet to be named, the first of the bunch will open its doors this autumn right next to the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden in the capital. The establishment will serve a seasonal menu with a higher price tag than the chefs’ Italian restaurants in order to move Oliver’s brand away from the casual dining market and into the exclusive upmarket arena.

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Collapsing in 2019, Jamie’s Italian owed £83 million to creditors. The celebrity chef said: “Losing my UK restaurants was without doubt one of the hardest times of my life. But being a positive part of the restaurant industry is very close to my heart.”

The new restaurant is the first in a series of initiatives by Jamie, 47, after hiring Vue International’s Kevis Styles in July last year as the new chief executive of the Jamie Oliver Group. Plans by Styles include the launch of new Oliver brand cupboard groceries, home and tableware and frozen “chef-quality” frozen meals which will be available from the Jamie Oliver website.

He has also said he wants to increase the number of people visiting a Jamie Oliver cookery school from the current 35,000 to 250,000 by 2027. There will also be new television shows featuring the chef along with recipe books, company endorsements including his role as “good food ambassador” for Tesco, and an increase in the number of foreign restaurants bearing the Oliver brand to about 200.

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Styles, 50, said the investment plans will make the group “three to five times” more profitable, adding the brand had achieved earnings, before interest, tax and non-cash items, of just above £9 million in 2022.

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