Jamie Oliver eyes transport hubs to help resuscitate restaurant empire

Jamie's Italian at the airport in Nice, France. ― AFP pic
Jamie's Italian at the airport in Nice, France. ― AFP pic

LONDON, Feb 24 ― Jamie Oliver's crumbling restaurant empire is looking towards transport hubs to help the group get back on track following a string of restaurant closures.

Earlier this year, Oliver announced plans to close 12 of the 37 restaurants from his flagship Jamie's Italian brand.

This week, he narrowly saved his upscale steakhouse Barbecoa near St. Paul's Cathedral in London by buying it back through a newly created subsidiary.

The Piccadilly location closes just a year after opening.

At the Casual Dining Show in London this week, Jon Knight, CEO of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, conceded that Jamie's Italian had fallen “complacent” and failed to innovate, reported UK trade publication BigHospitality.

Citing the success of Oliver's restaurants at London's Gatwick airport which include Jamie's Italian, Jamie's Van, Jamie's Bakery and Jamie Oliver's Diner, Knight also told the audience that franchising ― particularly in transport hubs ― and diversifying off the high street are some of the key strategies being considered to turn the business and brand around.

Jamie's Italian is already present, for example, at international airports in Nice, France and Oslo, Norway.

While Oliver will be, perhaps, less ubiquitous around London, travellers may see more of his face and brand at train stations and airports around the world. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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