Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has spoken out about his troubled restaurant empire, which has been through the wringer over the past year.
Oliver spoke to the Mail on Sunday about the situation and says he won’t be saving the restaurant group should it crumble.
“I haven’t got any more [money],” says Oliver. “I tried to do the right thing, I’ve never been paid by the restaurant group, I’ve always reinvested.
“I could have just gone, ‘Do you know what? Let it go.’”
The chef told the paper he couldn’t risk the other side of his business and the livelihoods of the employees who work there.
“The upside is I am now fully in control of the restaurant business. It’s fully owned by me. We’re getting on top of it and we’ve learned lots of lessons,” says Oliver.
Earlier this year, Hospitality reported Oliver’s restaurant empire owed debts totaling $125 million. The group confirmed 12 restaurants in the UK would close and requested rent cuts for other locations. Up to 600 workers were also made redundant.
Oliver used more than $22 million of his own money to rescue the group.
“I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to s*** that day or the next day,” Oliver told the Financial Times. “It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that.”
However, the group remain positive they have learned from past mistakes and have high hopes the company will be in profit and clear of debt.