JAMIE Oliver's restaurant empire lost a whopping £29million in just one year in 2017, which is £5million more than it made in ten years.

That's according to analysis of his accounts by the Daily Mail, which comes as one retail expert says it would have been better to "pull the plug years ago".

The newspaper claims that in all of Jamie's Italian's seven years in the black – from 2009 to 2015 – the firm netted only £24million.

It goes on to allege that despite turning over more than three quarters of a billion pounds between 2008 and 2017, Jamie's Italian made a net loss of £15million over the period.

Jamie's Italian Limited – which includes 23 Jamie's Italian branches and the Fifteen and Barbecoa restaurants – this week went bust calling in KPMG as administrators.

Just three restaurants will now stay open in the short term after 22 were confirmed as closed – two Jamie's Italian restaurants and Jamie Oliver's Diner all based at Gatwick Airport.

It's thought that banks and food suppliers could also now "pursue Jamie Oliver for millions of pounds in debts".

The dad-of-five opened his first Jamie's Italian in 2008 and saw rapid expansion across the UK in the early 2010s.

But last year, it was revealed that the Essex-born star's firm owed staff £2.2million and was in £71.5million of debt.

Jamie's Italian shut 12 of its 37 sites as part of a Company Voluntary Agreement and steakhouse chain Barbecoa went into a pre-pack administration.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, told The Sun: "You get a product and it's successful and then you drive forward and expand.

"But apart from the first few years, Jamie Oliver didn't make any money – as the business grew to a £100million turnover the profit disappeared.

"The problem was that every other significant chain was following the same path of rapid expansion and that meant there was a lot more competition than expected.

"Plus, customers have become much more conscious of price than before – they want to eat out but they don't want to pay a lot for it and Jamie Oliver was charging too much.

"Many have said the company changed from being an upmarket restaurant chain to one where they wanted to get you through the experience very quickly to get the next people in.

"You've got to have a good product but you've got to make sure it remains good and relevant as you expand.

"In reality, it would have been better to pull the plug years ago before the losses occurred before carrying on in the hope it would turn out alright."

Bosses had been hunting for fresh investment into the brand but were unable to attract the money needed to keep administrators at bay.

Jamie Oliver even pumped £13million of his OWN cash into failing restaurant chain – but he still has a "£100million" net worth with mansions totalling £16million and a lucrative TV career.

KPMG told The Sun that it's too soon to comment on the figures given it only took over as administrator yesterday.

Source: Read Full Article