In August last year, Jamie Oliver admitted that 40% of his business ventures had soured. He can now add his restaurant empire to the list after it crashed into administration: 22 of the chef's 25 restaurants across Britain were immediately closed, and 1,000 staff will lose their jobs. He said he was "deeply saddened" by the collapse, while KPMG said other directors had worked "tirelessly" to save the outlets of Jamie's Italian, Jamie's Italian Coffee Lounge, Jamie Oliver's Italian, Jamie Oliver's Diner, Barbecoa and Fifteen. Oliver shocked insiders by pulling the plug late on Monday. Sources close to the negotiations claimed that one of the reasons that talks to save the business by offloading it to an outside investor were scuppered was the looming wage bill. "The business was consistently portrayed as a viable going concern," said one person connected to the sale. "It wasn't the world's hardest deal." In truth, the failure of Oliver's restaurants had been a long time coming. Restr...

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