You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with a bad word to say about Jamie Oliver. The British TV darling who brought market-fresh meals to the tables of everymen everywhere, retains a personal brand as warm and inviting as his flaming rum’n’raisin. And yet, it seems no amount of fuzzy public sentiment could stop the collapse of his Australian chain of restaurants, Jamie’s Italian. Only four Australian franchises remain after an 11th-hour takeover, while Oliver’s global operations continue to struggle to refinance up to $125 million in debt.
Macaron master and MasterChef regular Adriano Zumbo has now suffered a similar fate. His three-company empire was this week put into voluntary administration, owing a reported debt of up to $10 million. Administrators were quick to assure customers his swathe of boutique sweet stores will stay open, but questions remain over their long-term viability.