Former Jamie’s Italian restaurant to become a McDonald's

It’s another big kick in the teeth for the celebrity chef who is a big campaigner for healthy eating

Updated on 13 January 2020

Former Jamie’s Italian restaurant to become a McDonald's

It was announced this weekend that the former site of Jamie’s Italian in Guildford will be transformed into a McDonald's later this year, as an application to install the LED golden arches signage on the building has been approved by Guildford Borough Council.

Shortly after the restaurant was forced to shut up shop in May last year, along with 22 other Jamie’s Italian sites, a planning application was granted to allow the site to be used as a takeaway. Documents on the council’s website also reveal that permission has since been given for alterations to be made to the shop front and for the installation of new plant equipment to the roof.

Jamie’s Italian had occupied the 2-storey site since 2009 but the company’s failure to meet with rising costs meant that it was forced to close its doors ten years later when the enterprise fell into administration resulting in a total 1,000 job losses.

The transformation of the site into a branch of the world’s largest fast-food chain will no doubt be a bitter pill to swallow for the celebrity chef who has campaigned tirelessly over the last decade to promote healthier lifestyles amongst the UK population, and in particular to reduce childhood obesity levels. In 2018 Oliver launched a campaign against junk food advertising aimed at children. Using the hashtag #AdEnough he rallied supporters to call for a 9pm watershed on junk food advertising on TV and reduce their prevalence online and in the streets. Over the years he has also called for national programmes to weigh children in schools and fought for compulsory sugar and calorie restrictions in kids’ meals with the overarching aim of halving childhood obesity levels by 2030 in the UK.

Want more on Jamie Oliver? Read about the lifestyle change the chef recently revealed helped him shift two stone