Jamie Oliver Spent His Own $17 Million to Save His Restaurants, Which Came "Two Hours" From Bankruptcy

Jamie Oliver Spent His Own $17 Million to Save His Restaurants, Which Came "Two Hours" From Bankruptcy

The British TV chef brought Jamie's Italian back from the very brink.

By Tamara Palmer

Jamie Oliver had to dig deep into his pockets to rescue his United Kingdom restaurant chain from going under. The British TV chef and personality admitted to The Guardian that he spent almost 13 million pounds — equivalent to $16.7 million — to keep the chain, called Jamie's Italian, from shuttering altogether. But that's not all: It was done completely under the wire.

“I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to s--- that day or the next day,” he revealed. “It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that.” He put in about $10 million of his own money right away, and added about $6 million more in the following months.

Sadly, he did have to close 12 of the 37 locations and he's still baffled as to how Jamie's Italian "ran out of cash" and got that close to closing.

“We’re still trying to work it out, but I think that the senior management we had in place were trying to manage what they would call the perfect storm: rents, rates, the high street declining, food costs, Brexit, increase in the minimum wage," he explained. "There was a lot going on.”

With the chef's personal cash infusion paired with new bank loans, Jamie's Italian is back on its feet.

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