Last Orders: Jamie’s Italian goes into Administration

June 5, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group, including Jamie’s Italian, Fifteen and Barbecoa, has gone into administration.

What does this mean?

The failure of Jamie’s Italian has stemmed from multiple changes within the sector.  Paolo Aversa, a senior lecturer in strategy at Cass business school, pins the failure on the market changes and Jamie’s inability to respond quickly to them. He recognises that there has been a rise in demand for healthier food, which Jamie’s Italian was not able to offer, as it maintained a very consistent menu over many years. He also recognised that Jamie Oliver himself was a strong pull for the restaurant to begin with, but the ‘celebrity strategy’ struggled over the long term.

What's the big picture effect?

Primarily, with the closure of 22 restaurants comes the loss of 1,000 jobs. Though, Frankie and Benny’s has offered a guaranteed phone interview to anyone who has been made redundant from the closure of these restaurants.

Essentially, this news can serve as a learning opportunity for businesses in the current competitive climate. As can be seen, there were a multitude of different reasons that caused Jamie’s Italian to close, and these should be recognised by companies now. In the face of new challenges, Oliver’s companies were unable to adapt or respond.

The demands of consumers have changed since Jamie’s Italian opened its doors. More customers are opting to stay at home, demonstrated by the growth of Deliveroo and UberEats. This now means that restaurants need to put more effort into the dining experience to offer more value to diners who do leave the house. That’s one area where the restaurant failed. Jamie’s Italian suffered from reduced staff and poor reviews, with a significant number of people dining there due to discount coupons. As a result, the restaurant failed to develop a loyal customer base. Oliver’s restaurant was also known as being slow to change its menu options. With the recent increase in the popularity of veganism, other restaurants have catered to new diets in a way that Jamie’s Italian failed to do so.

Whilst many people still dine-out, and some restaurants are expanding, it will be interesting to watch how different restaurant chains respond to this news and whether we will see any more closures in the near future. For other companies that rely on their celebrity status, such as Gordon Ramsey’s Group, this could be a wake-up call.

Nonetheless, for any business, there are lessons to be learnt from the failure of operations within Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group.

Report written by Harina C

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