Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian has appointed administrators, putting as many as 1,300 jobs at risk.
The TV chef said: “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade.
“I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.
“I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.
“We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”
Oliver’s restaurant group was forced to close 12 of its 37 Jamie’s Italian restaurants last year amid the casual dining crunch.
His steak joint Barbecoa closed its Piccadilly site in February as part of a pre-pack administration.
The company also handed over control of five Jamie’s Italian sites in Australia when the chain went into voluntary administration last April and was sold to Brisbane-based group Hallmark. One other site was closed.
Oliver himself put £13 million of his own money into the business when it ran into trouble last year.
Speaking in January, Oliver said casual dining was primed for a comeback.
He told the Press Association: “I think we will come back and it will come back strong and it will be relevant.
“For myself and most of the others it’s just sticking it out and listening. I think lots of lessons have been learned but I still believe in the sector.”