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The New York Times this morning that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has made the serving of healthier food in schools a personal mission, apparently has not been able to keep his chain of restaurants in the UK very healthy - yesterday, they filed for the British equivalent of bankruptcy protection.

According to the story, “Oliver set up the restaurant group just over a decade ago, on the back of his fame as ‘The Naked Chef’ on television. The business expanded to include Jamie’s Italian, Jamie Oliver’s Diner and Barbecoa steakhouses … All but three of Mr. Oliver’s 25 restaurants will close, and about 1,000 employees will lose their jobs, according to KPMG, the firm hired to administer the business for creditors.”

The Times writes that “his British restaurants ran into financial trouble in 2016 and got into such dire straits that Mr. Oliver had to inject millions from his own savings to salvage the business. Even then, he had to close about 20 restaurants and pizzerias in the months that followed.

“The group started looking for buyers late last year, and Mr. Oliver provided an additional 4 million pounds, or about $5 million, of his own money this year to make the investment more attractive. But the company struggled to find interest and floundered as competition grew in the midmarket casual dining sector.”

Oliver’s other businesses, including restaurants outside the UK, are not affected by the filing.
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