Jamie Oliver's Australian restaurant chain collapses

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group chief executive Jon Knight said the partnership would give it the opportunity to expand its presence geographically.

The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Australia, which operated six Jamie's Italian restaurants in Australia, slipped into voluntary administration on Monday.

Five branches of Jamie's Italian have been sold to Brisbane-based restaurant group Hallmark, which will take over running the brand as a franchise in Australia.

Oliver, who bought back his Jamie's Italian restaurants from failed hospitality group Keystone two years ago, has been forced to close his Canberra restaurant - leaving staff with no warning and no reason, the Canberra Times reports. Oliver's businesses in the United Kingdom are in debts of £71.5m and he has been forced to close flagship restaurants such as the St Paul's branch of Barbecoa.

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Jamie Oliver's business woes have deepened with his Australian restaurant group falling into voluntary administration.

Over the weekend, Oliver said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday that the business was stronger as a result of the adjustments, and insisted that the decisions had saved thousands of jobs.

In March, the chief executive of the United Kingdom business said the company had struggled because it had "rested on its laurels" as more quick service retail businesses entered the British market.

"We'll be working closely with Jamie and the United Kingdom team, staff and local suppliers to keep driving the business forward and delivering exceptional experiences across the country", a statement by Hallmark said.

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