Being a celebrity chef isn’t always enough to make ends meet. Indeed, the restaurants branded with the name of Jamie Oliver–the British celebrity food personality known to many as “the naked chef”–are entering into administration, the BBC reports.
Oliver rose to fame in the late 1990s/early 2000s by becoming a food television staple. Using that as a springboard, he built out a restaurant and media business, publishing dozens of books and opening over 20 restaurants. Business, however, hasn’t been going well, as the restaurant group behind Jamie’s Italian chain is shutting down at least 22 restaurants. Three restaurants at Gatwick airport are reportedly staying open for the time being.
As a result of this bankruptcy, around 1,000 people are losing their jobs.
On Twitter, Oliver wrote a short message about the news:
I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) May 21, 2019
The BBC notes that certain Jamie Oliver restaurants operating under a separate franchise, along with some international versions of his establishments, are remaining open.
Oliver’s businesses have reportedly been facing difficulties for some time. In 2014, he shut down most of his Union Jack’s restaurant business–and three years after that, he closed a decade-old magazine. In the last year, the chef put in £3 million of his own money to keep his current restaurant business float. Alas, it didn’t seem to be enough.
The problems Oliver’s restaurants–and others–faced was rising rent prices and diminishing brand cachet. As a result, 1,000 people lost their jobs. Employees reportedly did not see this abrupt closure coming. Let’s hope they receive proper compensation as the chef’s company gets liquidated.