Six Jamie’s Italian restaurants across the country are set to close, with the brand’s parent Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group blaming a tough market.
The restaurants the company proposes to close are in Aberdeen, Cheltenham, Exeter, Ludgate, Richmond and Tunbridge Wells. They may be sold in the first quarter.
Simon Blagden, chief executive 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. While our overall business is in very good shape – we finished last year with like for like sales growth and an increase in covers – because we refuse to compromise on the quality and provenance of our ingredients and our commitment to training and developing our staff, we need restaurants that can serve an average of 3,000 covers every week to be sustainable.
“These closures are in no way a reflection on the dedication and commitment of our staff and my first priority is to try and secure those affected alternative jobs within other Jamie’s Italian restaurants. Where this isn’t possible, we’ll be working with them to find alternative employment. Jamie’s Italian has become a much loved presence on the UK high street and we have our teams to thank for that. These closures represent less than 5% of total turnover and impact less than 5% of our team members ”
He added that the group would continue to expand the Barbecoa brand, which will see two new openings in the UK in 2017. Internationally, the business plans to open another 22 Jamie’s Italian restaurants.
Jamie’s Italian currently has 42 UK restaurants, including those at risk of closure, and a further 28 internationally.
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