Jamie Oliver Restaurants will continue its growth in India primarily with the expansion of the Jamie’s Italian brand, as well as its first airport site at Bangalore International Airport.

Jasper Reid, MD at Dolomite Restaurants – the Indian master franchisee for Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s Pizzeria, and Jamie’s Diner – tells MCA the brand will open more Jamie’s Italian sites in the short-term but also build upon the success of the other concepts as it looks to grow to 60 sites.

Jamie’s launched in India in 2015 and currently operates 20 sites, including two Jamie’s Italian in Delhi, 18 Jamie’s Pizzeria in Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Jamie’s Diner has recently been launched as a delivery-only concept and will soon open in a deli format.

The brand is about to launch in major cities such as Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Chennai, and Punjab, as well as “build scale in places we’ve launched,” such as Mumbai and Delhi. It will continue building its presence in shopping centres as well as expand into airports.

“In the short term this year, we’ll launch more Jamie’s Italian,” Reid says. “They’re slightly bigger, with a wider menu, more experience, more bar-y.

“We also want to do more fun and experiential stuff with guest chefs and maybe a culinary school within the restaurant.”

The smaller format pizzeria initially expanded first, while having three concepts has helped the brand experiment with different options.

“We basically created the pizzeria brand for India as opposed to transplanting and customising it,” Reid says. “Our prejudice was for slightly smaller restaurants from the start.

“We designed a lot of the format and menu for the Indian market. We’re comfortable seeing our way to 50-60 restaurants but careful of how we expand.”

“We’ve changed the menu, pricing, and operating model multiple times,” Reid continues. “We want to get it ready for when the Indian economy really starts to rock the world. It’s always been our vision to build up for that.”

Jamie Oliver India - paneer kadhai pizza

As he points out, average disposable incomes in India have been rising steadily owing to a growing middle class, while the Italian casual dining scene is still “relatively in infancy.”

“In more mature markets such as the UK or US, labour costs would have been prohibitive, or you can’t get the people,” Reid adds.

This has allowed Jamie’s to experiment with the food offer as well, which includes Italian classics but is significantly localised for the Indian market. Jamie’s Pizzeria serves paneer kadhai and chicken tikka pizzas, along with a ‘chilli freak’ sauce that features prominently across the menu.

Also prominent are a variety of vegetarian options, while beef is absent.

“Jamie’s brand of Italian cooking – rustic, with lots of chilli and lots of flavour – turned out to be a good fit.”

The “heart of the brand” is much the same, with a foundation of fresh, made-from-scratch sauces and dough, Reid says.

“We want to be kind of a chain but not a chain. It’s very much mid-market – being good value is key.”


With the market for Italian cuisine in India far from saturated, Jamie’s will stand out as one of the few Italian chains present across the country. Much of the Italian offer in India’s major cities is divided between independent, single-site businesses and pizza giants like Domino’s and Sbarro. Many businesses that offer Italian food are likely to describe themselves as European, with a negligible number of dedicated pasta restaurants.

Recent growth in the more upmarket end of the spectrum has evidenced the appetite for Italian food, with Jamie’s well positioned to carve out a niche for itself as a trustworthy mid-market option.

The menu is wide-ranging, divided between ‘classic’ and ‘rebel’ dishes, with enough to please both the most purist and most Indian of palates. Spices and punchy flavours paired with Indian favourites like chicken tikka show sufficient localisation – tried and tested by Domino’s India – while reliable Neapolitan flavours are always an option.

With relatively few authentic, Italian-founded offers on the table, the Indian market – while fond of pizza and pasta – is open to experimenting with the classic dishes and expects Indian flavours to be present on even the most Italian of menus.

The market will certainly be more receptive to Jamie’s interpretation of Italian than the UK was. While Reid rightfully says the UK is a much more crowded market, complacency led to the pre-pandemic collapse of Jamie Oliver Restaurants at home, a mistake the brand is unlikely to repeat. Guest chefs, open kitchens, and culinary schools will all go a long way in ensuring Jamie’s doesn’t become irrelevant in the still-nascent market, which has nevertheless seen exponential growth in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Oliver is nowhere close to a household name in India as he is in the UK, which could be a pro or a con depending on your perspective. Having a higher profile gives plenty of cross-promotional opportunities, but it was arguably Oliver’s divisive public perception which contributed to the demise of his UK restaurant estate. 

The decision to expand into airports is also likely to be well-received. Food courts with Indian and QSR options are near-universal at airports, many of which are notably lacking when it comes to casual dining and Italian cuisine.

Jamie Oliver India