Jamie’s Italian, the restaurant chain founded by British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, will close its branches in Hong Kong today, following the shut down in the Taiwanese capital Taipei yesterday.
The closure of the branches in Causeway Bay and Harbour City will lead to a layoff of about 100 employees, who will be remunerated with their February salaries, outstanding leave pay, notice pay and severance pay.
“I’m deeply saddened that our restaurants in Hong Kong have had to cease trading. Our absolute priority was to ensure that all affected staff were paid in full. We do not forecast a marked improvement over the next few months and have therefore made the difficult decision to close all three restaurants with immediate effect,” said William Lyon, the CEO of Big Cat – which owns the restaurant franchise.
He also revealed that the restaurants have been facing a challenging period, especially in the second half of 2019.
“Despite the support from our Causeway Bay landlord, our other landlords have not been supportive enough during this period. We'd like to thank our fantastic staff and the thousands of customers we’ve had the pleasure of serving over the past few years,” Lyon added.
In 2019, 22 of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants were closed down in the UK. Overseas branches were unaffected.
Photo/ Foodie Hong Kong
The story was first reported by Sing Tao Daily.