Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver revealed that he ‘got cocky’ before the collapse of his restaurant chain.
During his Channel 4 documentary Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Bares All, the chef admits the mistakes he made before many of his outlets were forced into administration.
Speaking to staff, Jamie said: ‘It’s a really tough one. For many, many months now I have been walking around the office and you have been like “Jamie, are you alright” and I have gone “Yes” but the truth was no I’m f*****g not, it’s f****d.
‘I am utterly devastated, financially I have exhausted everything I could, I used every card, I used every trick, I used every contact.’
The star also admitted that his attitude probably didn’t help things, as he added: ‘We got cocky, we thought anything we did would work.
‘Massive lessons learnt. I will never make them again, never again, never again, never again’, Jamie concluded.
Jamie Oliver and Davina McCall visited the site of his first Fifteen restaurant, based in London. As the pair stood in the abandoned restaurant, Jamie described it as ‘eerie’ and said that he ‘didn’t like it’.
‘It’s like in the films when the bomb has gone off and everyone has to leave and everything is just left’, Jamie admitted, as he looked at his surroundings.
But of course, the collapse of the restaurants didn’t just affect Jamie, as staff working there had to be made redundant as a result of this: ‘Sadly you can’t practically give employees notice that you are about to make them redundant in administration.
‘It is just not practical, administrators take over executive control, we are appointed by the court.’
Then Jamie revealed how they broke the difficult news of the business going under: ‘We invite all employees to conference calls which we lead and we give people the bad news sadly, which is awful.
‘But there is no other way to do it’, He confessed.
Jamie insisted that he ‘made sure’ the staff got paid up to the date, adding that: ‘Without question the most painful regret when a business dies is having to tell staff that you care about, that have worked really hard for you, that they haven’t got a job anymore.’
The chef also told Davina that surviving in the restaurant industry was ‘tough, and that he was ‘very naïve at the time’.
‘I was good at running one restaurant but I wouldn’t call myself a businessman’, Jamie sadly admitted.