• Team Business-360°

How Jamie Oliver lost the spice in his restaurants

Small town boy with a head full of dreams. Jamie Oliver was born on the 27th of May 1975 and was raised in Clavering, Essex where his parents owned a restaurant which started his love for food and cooking. After entering the Westminster Catering College at the age of 16, he travelled to France for additional training and experience. He was noticed by the BBC in 1997, after making an unscripted appearance in a documentary about The River Café, the restaurant he was working in as a sous-chef. He soon managed to start a cooking show in 1999 on the channel and his book, The Naked Chef became a bestseller in the UK. Finally, in 2008, he opened his first restaurant in Oxford, called Jamie’s Italian. His other famous restaurants like Steakhouse Barbecoa and Fifteen among others, started out really big but lost their fizz along the way, leading him to close down all his restaurants over a period of time.

To his dismay, the entire chain of restaurants he opened failed for a variety of reasons like the involvement of his family in the business. This would have been a success if they had any experience at running a restaurant. He hired his brother-in-law to manage them but his lack of experience led to their mismanagement. This, coupled with Jamie being extremely busy with shows and other gigs led to him being unable to pay attention to his restaurants and hence, caused its downfall. According to diners and food critics, the food itself was boring and the price and quantity of food served was immensely disproportionate. Another important factor that led him to fail was Brexit. The economic instability at this time, led to him paying higher rents, which caused him to increase the prices of the services provided at his restaurants.

However, according to Oliver the “well-publicised struggles of the casual dining sector and decline of the UK high street, along with soaring business rates," caused the downfall of his restaurant chain. Fierce competition between restaurants in the area coupled with him starting off the restaurants too big, too soon caused him to miss the boat.

Currently, the award winning chef is releasing cookbooks while also starting many campaigns in collaboration with the government such as Jamie’s school dinner campaign and his #AdEnough campaign, which are campaigns against junk food.

Sadly, his poor management, lack of innovation and his inability to prioritise his work and poor strategy drove his restaurants which had immense potential because of his talent, passion and reputation to the ground.

Read more about his restaurants here:

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