Jamie Oliver is scrambling to close his Italian restaurant Jamie’s in Russia as he joins a stampede of Western businesses fleeing the country in response to Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine.
The celebrity chef’s catering company, Jamie Oliver Group, is ending a deal with its franchise partner Ginza Project, which has operated a Jamie’s Italian in central Moscow for nearly a decade.
Ginza was ordered over the weekend to remove all of Jamie’s Italian branding from the site and will also have to shut down all branded social media.
She must also close the Jamie Oliver cooking school in Moscow, which has been open for just over six years.
A spokesperson for Jamie Oliver said: “We are terminating our franchise agreement and our operations in Russia will cease operations.”
Mr Oliver announced the company’s launch in Russia in 2012, writing on Instagram: “For Russia with love, I think I will need a translator and an editor.”
Jamie’s Italian restaurants almost entirely disappeared from the UK’s high streets in 2019 after the business collapsed into administration.
However, there are still branded restaurants abroad in countries like Hungary, India and Portugal, as well as in Russia.
In September, Mr Oliver hinted he wanted to ‘get back in the game’ with his catering business.
He said at the time: “We have some exciting ideas for [non-profit restaurant] Fifteen to reinvent itself, and we still have restaurants abroad. I had a lot of trial and error, but you can’t stop trying.
The step to end the franchise deal in Russia places Mr Oliver as the latest to leave the country following his invasion of Ukraine last month.
McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC all confirmed last week that they would shut down operations, condemning the Kremlin’s actions in the face of growing pressure from customers threatening to boycott brands that continued to keep stores open.
Others have halted all sales in the country, including luxury beauty chain Space NK, which halted shipments to Russia indefinitely last week.
Managing Director Andy Lightfoot said he would not resume deliveries until there was a significant change in the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The cosmetics company has no stores in the country.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-12 18:00:00