Jamie Oliver’s London restaurant cleared out by bailiffs

Jamie Oliver's London restaurant was cleared out by bailiffs today after the chain's collapse put 1,300 people out of work.

Furniture from the celebrity chef's flagship branch was moved into a van on Thursday morning, as tables and chairs could be seen stacked inside the vehicle parked outside.

The building was completely emptied from top to bottom, and even Jamie's cookbooks were taken away alongside every single piece of kitchen equipment.

The business, which includes Jamie's Italian, went into administration last week, and all but three of his 25 outlets have closed.

The TV chef, 43, worth an estimated £240million, said he is “devastated” and thanked those who “put their hearts and souls into this business over the years”.

Jamie’s Italian staff said they were told they had lost their jobs by email, just 30 minutes before it was confirmed to the press.

One staff member, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m really angry. Jamie won’t be the one looking for a job and struggling to pay his bills, it’ll be poor saps like us who worked for him.

“He and his management team got greedy. They thought they’d make billions without investing in the business. It was getting too commercial. I felt under pressure to get customers seated and ordered and then out too quickly."

Administrators said all workers' salaries will be paid up to date. Will Wright of accountants KPMG said: “Our priority is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.”

Oliver is understood to have put in another £4million in the restaurant business since the beginning of the year to support the fundraising.

But with “no investment forthcoming” and in light of difficult trading conditions, the firm brought in administrators.

He said in a statement: “We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”

It could mark the end of Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurant empire. Fifteen in Hoxton, East London, which opened in 2002, is among those closing. Other closures include the Barbecoa in St Paul’s, central London, a year after its other branch of the same name in the capital closed.

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