Gordon Ramsay triumphs over Jamie Oliver as tough-talking chef‘s restaurants return to profit one week after Jamie‘s Italian chain collapses
Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay (pictured here in 2006) have had a public decade-long tête-à-tête
Gordon Ramsay‘s restaurants made a turnover last year of £53.6 million, fresh accounts have revealed – just a week after his long-time rival Jamie Oliver‘s restaurants plunged into administration.
Gordon Ramsay Restaurants (GRR), broke even last year as the group made a profit before tax of £500,000 in the year to August 31, 2018.
It marks a recovery on the previous year, when pre-tax losses came to £3.8 million after a decline in sales.
The collection of restaurants, which includes Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in well-heeled Chelsea, also reported a 30% increase in underlying earnings to £5.2 million.
Turnover meanwhile jumped 4.3% to £53.6 million.
The millionaire TV chef, 52, said the success of his business model was down to understanding what customers want or risk being ‘left behind‘.
The news may come as a blow to his fellow TV chef, who was last week forced to close – with immediate effect – 22 of his 25 sites as his beleaguered chain Jamie‘s Italian – which had run up £71.5million in debt – appointed administrators, putting as many as 1,300 jobs at risk.
Oliver, 43, said he was ‘devastated‘ and ‘deeply saddened by the outcome‘.
The pair‘s decade-long tête-à-tête has seen Oliver liken Ramsay to a ‘dementia sufferer‘, after the Scottish chef mocked Jamie‘s cooking, referring to him as ‘fat‘ and a ‘one-pot wonder‘.
The warring pair have long traded public insults – but Ramsay insisted it was all in good faith in the name of ‘banter‘, and Oliver even added it was ‘good for PR‘.
But they have since put aside their differences after Ramsay offered Oliver an olive branch.
Ramsay told the Mail On Sunday‘s Event Magazine it was ‘appalling to see Jamie worry‘ so he ‘reached out‘ – but their collaboration was not enough to save the Oliver restaurants from collapse last week.
Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.
Speaking about his surge in profits today, Mr Ramsay said: ‘Guests do not just expect a good plate of food, we are relentless with our food quality, that is a given.
‘Our guests want to join us for all occasions be it social or business and then relax in a great environment.
Mr Ramsay‘s dining empire will ‘continue to expand‘
‘We have to understand our guests, what they want, where they are heading and we have to head there with them or be left behind.‘
It comes at a difficult time for the restaurant industry, with rising costs and fierce competition pushing several operators to shut up shop.
However Mr Ramsay‘s dining empire said it will continue to expand, despite the headwinds in the sector.
The group, which is led by chief executive Andy Wenlock, said it had tactically reviewed its current estate and invested in new concepts such as a private dining room at Heddon Street Kitchen and a lounge at Bread Street Kitchen.
GRR‘s current portfolio currently includes 15 restaurants in London and 23 internationally, with a combined total of seven Michelin stars across the business.
Addressing his so-called feud with Oliver in Event Magazine, Mr Ramsay said their war of words came to an end last year.
He said: I put a phone call in to Jamie last year, seeing the s*** he was going through. We met at the Ivy Club, got absolutely p***** together and I tried to give him as much advice as I could. It was just unfair to see him being taken down.‘
Oliver had been forced to put £13 million of his own money into his company to save at least some of his restaurants from going bust, but he was being criticised for letting his staff down.
Speaking before the news broke of last week‘s closures, Ramsay said: ‘I thought: “I’ve been through what he’s going through ten years ago, fighting to get my name clear and look after my business.
‘It was appalling to see Jamie worry, so I reached out. I thought: this is our careers, it’s in our blood. We’re those generous, vulnerable, talented individuals who know that everywhere you turn, left or right, there’s someone trying to take advantage of you.
‘So I said, “What can I do to help this ship stop sinking?” Our CEOs met and exchanged ideas.‘