Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has put his Barbecoa restaurants up for sale, as his food empire struggles with falling bookings and rising costs.

Last month the TV chef said he planned to close 12 of the 37 branches of his Jamie’s Italian chain. Fierce competition and a switch to home deliveries is taking its toll on chain restaurants.

A spokesman for the Jamie Oliver group said it had instructed a real estate agency to assess the value and market suitability of the two Barbecoa steakhouse sites in London. It is understood there have been no firm offers to take them over.

The separate fight to save the Jamie’s Italian chain has required creditors, including landlords, to agree to slash bills for sites that are still able to make money.

The TV chef, who is thought to be worth around £150million, put £3million of his own money into the chain in addition to a £6.5million loan from another business arm.

David Campbell, a food industry expert at accountants KPMG, said: ‘We are expecting growth over the next year or two to be coming out of independents rather than chains.’