Jamie Oliver has said he “hasn’t lost faith” in the restaurant industry as he pushes ahead with plans to open a new restaurant four years after the collapse of his eponymous high street chain.
Speaking to The News Agents podcast on Wednesday the celebrity chef blamed a 40 per cent hike in business rates and a fall off in punters hitting the high street for the demise of his business.
“We probably signed rents 20 per cent over the odds, our rates went up 40 per cent in two years [and] high street decline was about 16 per cent,” Oliver said.
In 2019, Oliver’s restaurant chain was plunged into administration, with the 22 restaurant closures resulting in some 1,000 jobs being lost.
Following its collapse Oliver owed creditors a whopping £83m and made a personal loss of £25m.
“It was utterly devastating,” the 48-year old said, commenting on the closures, however, said he “hasn’t lost faith” in the sector with plans to open a new restaurant in October.
Later this year, he will open a new landmark restaurant in London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Oliver said the restaurant will be a bit more upmarket than the chef’s previous venture, who plans to work with farmers and artisan producers he has known for years.