Jamie Oliver has previously spoken openly about the "dark time" he went through when he was forced to close several restaurants earlier this year, and now he's revealed exactly how much it cost him. The celebrity chef said he contributed £12.7million of his own money into his struggling restaurant business after being given two hours to save the chain.
Speaking to the Financial Times about the challenging time - which saw him close 12 out of 37 Jamie's Italian restaurants and one of his Barbecoa steak restaurants - Jamie said the company had "simply run out of cash".
Jamie Oliver input £12.7million of his own money to save his restaurant chain
"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... it was as bad as that and as dramatic as that," he confided. The dad-of-five initially input £7.5million from his own savings into his Jamie's Italian chain, followed by an additional £5.2million. The business also took out a further £37million in loans.
When asked what caused the financial problems, Jamie said Brexit was among a number of factors including rental costs, local government rates, and the increase in the minimum wage, which caused a "perfect storm".
The celebrity chef has said it was a 'dark time' for his family
It's not the first time Jamie has opened up about his business difficulties, speaking to to Woman's Weekly in June, he said: "Restaurant years are like dog years, so 10 years is a very long time. It’s been a dark time… there’s been not-so-nice darkness."
It wasn't just the restaurants that has affected Jamie; he has also been going through personal tragedies, including the death of friend and fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. "It's been rough. When it rains it pours," he admitted. Jamie, however, praised his children and wife for helping him through his hard times. "I go home and see my kids and that always cheers me up,” he said, calling children an "amazing remedy".