Jamie Oliver Just Closed a Load of Restaurants Because of Brexit

Cheltenham, Exeter, Aberdeen, and others wave goodbye to Jamie's Italian.
Phoebe Hurst
London, GB
January 6, 2017, 2:00pm

Brexit has already claimed bacon sarnies and £3 meal deals, but now the financial uncertainty following Britain's decision to leave the EU has targeted another much loved/slightly problematic stalwart of the British food landscape: Jamie Oliver.

Today, the cheeky chappy's restaurant group announced that it would be closing six UK outposts of Jamie's Italian, due to money issues caused by Brexit.

Jamie's Italian chief executive Simon Blagden said in a statement: "As every restaurant owner knows, this is a tough market and, post-Brexit, the pressures and unknowns have made it even harder."

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The unlucky branches are Cheltenham, Exeter, Aberdeen, Tunbridge Wells, Ludgate, and Richmond. Jamie's Italian said that they would try to redeploy the 120 staff affected to other restaurants within the group.

READ MORE: Jamie Oliver Doesn't Want to Be a Hipster Chef

The falling value of the pound against the Euro has been a blow to the restaurant chain's sourcing costs. Food prices in the UK are rising, making it harder to import authentic Italian ingredients.

Blagden added: "Because we refuse to compromise on the quality and provenance of our ingredients and our commitment to training and developing our staff, we need restaurants that can serve an average of 3,000 covers every week to be sustainable."

Sourcing ingredients isn't the only worry for restaurant workers post-Brexit. Many in the hospitality industry have also voiced their concerns over staff and skill shortages should they no longer be able to employ European workers. Shortly after the Referendum, Borough market trader Philip Crouch told MUNCHIES: "We're very concerned because there's a great amount of uncertainty. I have three Italian staff who are simply unclear about everything."

They're not the only ones.