Jamie Oliver’s Istanbul restaurant asks for suspension of bankruptcy
Dinçer Gökçe ISTANBULBritish celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, a.k.a. the “Naked Chef,” has not found what he had hoped for with his “Jamie’s Italian” restaurant in Istanbul, which is seeking a suspension of bankruptcy from a court that has ruled for an injunction, according to sources.
Among the partners of the “Jamie’s Italian” Istanbul branch are Kaya Demirer, the head of the Tourism Restaurant Investors Association (TÜRYİD) and the brother of famous Turkish singer Sezen Aksu, Nihat Yıldırım.
The largest of all 40 “Jamie’s Italian” restaurants was opened in Istanbul at the beginning of 2013, but the restaurant began to face financial difficulties by the end of 2013.
The company’s advocate asked for a suspension of bankruptcy from the court on Dec. 24, 2014. In the application letter, it was said the company had accrued debt based on poor financial results recorded by the end of Sept. 30, 2014. The reasons why the company had faced financial difficulties were mentioned in the application petition.
The company claimed that it was unable to reach high guest numbers at its location in the Zorlu Center, as it had hosted only 50 percent of the guest numbers earlier promised to them. It also claimed that another contributing factor was that menu prices had to be kept low to remain competitive in the local culinary market.
A financial improvement plan was submitted along with the application to the court for the suspension of bankruptcy. As part of the plan, the company said it would raise its equity capital from 540,000 Turkish Liras to 2 million liras and cut the number of staff members.
The court then ruled for an injunction, putting the company under protection against any execution for debts for a while.
The company declined to comment for the story.