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Aberdeen outlet to close

Jamie Oliver shuts six restaurants in ‘tough’ climate

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is to close six of his Jamie’s Italian restaurants, including one in Aberdeen where the slump in the oil sector has hit the hospitality trade.

Others are in Cheltenham, Exeter and Tunbridge Wells, as well Ludgate Hill and Richmond in London. Alternative roles will be offered to the 120 staff affected.

The Aberdeen branch, housed in the former Esslemont & Macintosh department store on Union Street, opened in 2013.

The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group’s chief executive Simon Blagden said: “As every restaurant owner knows, this is a tough market.

“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.”

It is understood the company has been hit by a combination of rising staff costs, lower footfall and the increased cost of ingredients following the slump in the pound.

There are 42 Jamie’s Italian outlets in the UK, employing 3,100 staff, plus 28 restaurants overseas. The company said it planned to open another 22 outside the UK.

Group revenue rose by almost 9% to £116.1 million in 2015, although profits fell from £3.8m to £2.3m.

There are outlets at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh and in George Square, Glasgow.



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