Opening new restaurants abroad 6 months after closing most of his restaurants in the UK comes at quite a surprise. The Jamie Oliver Group said international franchises plan to open 21 new Jamie Oliver restaurants by the end of 2020.
Oliver said that at least 2 of these restaurants will be under a more casual dining brand known as Jamie Oliver Kitchen. As of May, the UK restaurants were closed costing over 1,000 jobs.
The celebrity chef said he was saddened and devastated by the loss.
While the UK Group, which included Jamie's Italian chain, Babecoa, and Fifteen collapsed, the international businesses are still afloat. The 70 remaining restaurants are run as franchises in 27 markets worldwide.
As of date, two new Jamie Oliver Kitchen restaurants are due to open in Bali and Bangkok by the end of November and will be operated by the group franchise partner HPL.
It is reported that the restaurants will open in Jamie's Italian locations.
It is planned that 19 other restaurants will open abroad next year under various brands including Jamie's Italian, Jamie Oliver's Pizzeria, Jame's Deli, and Jamie Oliver's Diner. The firm did not divulge where these restaurants will be based.
After the administration in May, all but three of Oliver's 25 UK restaurants closed. It is believed all of this happened when the UK slowdown in the casual dining sector which also saw the demise of Bryon and Prezzo who closed their doors as well.
In September, it seems Mr. Oliver did pay himself a £5.2 million dividend in 2018 but also said he poured millions of his own money into supporting his restaurants.
Profits at the Jamie Oliver Group include the chef's media business and his restaurant interest which fell sharply this year.
In regard to his new openings, Oliver said that over the past 20 years, he traveled around the world to find exciting flavours while picking up some incredible influences along the way. He added that the new restaurants will bring those inspirations to life and will serve some of his all-time favourites.