The "pressures and unknowns" of Brexit as well as tough trading has caused Jamie Oliver to close six of his Italian restaurants, according to the chief executive of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group.
The closures wont include Jamie's Italian in Dundrum Town Centre, however the Aberdeen, Exeter, Cheltenham, Richmond, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate Hill restaurants will all close reports The Guardian. Although around 120 employees will be affected by the closures, representing less than 5 per cent of the chain's total staff, they will be offered alternative jobs throughout the other outlets.
Chief executive Simon Blagden cited the high cost of ingredients, staff training and lower footfall as reasons for the closures, saying "we need restaurants that can serve an average of 3,000 covers every week to be sustainable".
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Despite the closures, Oliver's Restaurant Group will expand its steakhouse and BBQ brand Barbecoa, will focus "on our core Jamie's Italian estate" as well as launching 22 Jamie's Italian restaurants internationally. The brand currently has 42 Jamie's Italian restaurants in the UK and over 36 abroad.
Blagden added, "Our overall business is in very good shape, we finished last year with like-for-like sales growth and an increase in covers."