CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver pocketed a £5.2million payout from his business empire just months before his Jamie’s Italian chain collapsed.
All but three of his 25 restaurants went into administration in May this year, with creditors facing losses of up to £83million.
Accounts published by the Jamie Oliver Group show that they were hit by £9.8million in costs last year.
The 44-year-old TV star and his wife Jools picked up £5.2million from the overall group — down from £8.6million in 2017.
The Jamie Italian brand now only operates in the UK via a franchise at Gatwick Airport.
Discussing the accounts, Paul Hunt, chief executive of Jamie Oliver Holdings, hailed the overall business empire as “resilient”.
He said it had “weathered” significant challenges in 2018.
He added: “We have emerged from the past six months with complete clarity around our vision and values, as well as a renewed focus on what we want to achieve in the coming years.”
We have emerged from the past six months with complete clarity around our vision and values, as well as a renewed focus on what we want to achieve in the coming years.
Paul Hunt, chief executive of Jamie Oliver Holdings
Jamie — worth an estimated £240million — also raked in £5million from a contract with Shell as he created a food-to-go range for the oil giant.
Of the £5.2million he received, £3.2million was from licensing with his name on various products.
In August, the chef announced he is transforming his remaining business into an ethical “B corporation” that promises to consider the impact of its operations on its workers, suppliers, community and environment.
Earlier this year we told how, furious staff lashed out at Jamie Oliver after 1,000 jobs were hit amid the collapse of his empire.
They were pictured tearfully waiting outside branches earlier, after turning up to work and finding the restaurants closed.
They claim they were sacked by conference call just 30 minutes before the announcement that Jamie’s Italian Limited – which includes 23 Jamie’s Italian branches and the Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants – had appointed KPMG as administrators.
The 22 restaurants shut immediately
ALL but three restaurants based at Gatwick will close.
Jamie’s Italian closures:
- London (Islington)
- London (Covent Garden)
- London (London Bridge)
- London (Piccadilly)
- London (Victoria)
- London (Westfield White City)
- London (Westfield Stratford)
- Barbecoa (One New Change shopping centre, London)
- Fifteen (Hoxton, London)
One member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: “Email is a pretty cold way to sack your staff.
“It was only half-an-hour before it was all over the news. I’m really angry because Jamie won’t be the one looking for a job and struggling to pay his bills, it’ll be poor saps like us who worked for him.
“He and his management team got greedy. They believed their own hype and thought they’d make billions without investing in the business.
“It was getting to commercial and I felt under pressure to get customers seated and ordered and then out too quickly.
“On busy nights it felt like a conveyor belt. Why pay £100 plus for a meal when you feel under pressure to eat it quickly? You might as well go to McDonalds.”
Jamie Oliver launched his first Jamie’s Italian in 2008[/caption]
A member of staff at Jamie’s Italian in Liverpool reads a notice of the restaurant’s closure[/caption]
Jamie’s Italian shut 12 of its 37 sites last year, then closed another 22 in May[/caption]
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