Jamie Oliver Group hires ‘business transformation partner’

Jamie Oliver Group has hired a firm that offers “business transformation” services, in the same week that the company attempted to fight off more bad news.

The group has engaged the services of KBS Albion, a consultancy that claims to “solve business problems and unlock growth” by working to develop new propositions and capabilities.

The firm also claims to be able to help its clients keep pace with their customers’ changing needs.

KBS Albion started life in 2002 as a digital advertising agency but now claims to be a “consultancy disruptor” and said it would work with teams from across the four pillars of the Jamie Oliver Group (its media, licensing and restaurant arms, as well as Jamie Oliver’s Foundation, which campaigns on food education) to “develop a deeper understanding of their fast-changing customer needs”.

The announcement came just a day after the celebrity chef bit back at claims reported by the Times that the CEO of Jamie Oliver Ltd, Oliver’s brother-in-law Paul Hunt, is a “bully” who is “destroying his business empire”.

Oliver called the claims “nasty” and “nonsense” but it was the latest in a series of blows for his business empire.

Last month Oliver was forced to close Barbecoa in London’s Piccadilly and bought a second Barbecoa outlet near St Paul’s Cathedral out of administration.

In January the company announced it was shutting 12 of its 37 Jamie’s Italian restaurants.

KBS Albion has a track record of working with a number of well-known start-up brands, including Zoopla, mobile gaming firm King, mobile phone network GiffGaff, and Skype.

Among other projects, it has been working with the 175-year-old travel agency Thomas Cook to transform its marketing as it fights off the challenge posed by newly established rivals like Airbnb.

KBS Albion CEO Jenny Burns said: “We’re all massive Jamie fans at KBS Albion, and we’re delighted to be working with the Jamie Oliver Group to help take their social purpose even further.”

Darren Goldsby, chief digital officer of the Jamie Oliver Group added: “When we met the team at KBS Albion it was immediately clear that they had a huge passion for our business and instantly ‘got’ what it was we’re trying to do next, and we’re already having fun working with them.”

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