22 May 2019

Insolvency: How Jamie's woes reflect current issues facing the sector

Anthony Cork profile image

Anthony Cork, Partner

Anthony holds the position of Restructuring & Recovery Partner at Wilkins Kennedy. He joined the firm in 2004 and was previously at Numerica and Deloitte.

May 22, 2019

The demise of Jamie’s Italian signals a big red flag for the future of the UK’s casual dining scene, according to one insolvency expert.

Anthony Cork, insolvency practitioner at Wilkins Kennedy in London, believes a whole host of issues are weighing heavily on the sector.

This includes increasing competition, changing consumer habits, and competition from new takeaway services such as Just Eat and Uber Eats which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for a restaurant chain that had already been through a Company Voluntary Arrangement and shut restaurants.

Cork said: “Convenience and value are king for a lot of consumers at the minute, and Jamie’s Italian didn’t tick either of those boxes.

“Casual dining is a cut throat industry and if you aren’t agile and able to adapt to consumer needs, then you fall by the way side – this is something we have also seen with fast fashion retailers.

“Jamie’s Italian had too many restaurants in locations where eating out is very much seen as a treat as opposed to an everyday occurrence, and when the likes of Just Eat and Uber Eats came on to the scene, it became increasingly likely that the business was on borrowed time.

“If there’s one lesson to take away from Jamie’s Italian’s demise, it’s that businesses need to be agile both in terms of giving customers what they want, and when cutting costs according to business performance.”

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