Jamie Oliver has told how his restaurant group “simply ran out of cash” after senior management were faced with the “perfect storm” of cost pressures, the Financial Times reports.

Oliver told the FT he had two hours to inject £7.5m of his own savings into the restaurant business, which was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

He said he was “still trying to work out what happened”, and lamented that the once “incredible” success story had been taken away.

The celebrity chef spoke of his ambition to get the restaurant group back on track, adding: “What I’ve tried to prove is that you can do decent ingredients, high-welfare ingredients, at mid-market prices. With Jamie’s Italian, we kind of got halfway there and then it all ran away. But now I am a bit more confident. We’re beginning to see a little bit of light out of a very dark year.”

Describing the moment he was told of the restaurant business’ financial woes, he told the FT: “We had simply run out of cash. And we hadn’t expected it. That is just not normal, in any business. You have quarterly meetings. You do board meetings. People supposed to manage that stuff should manage that stuff…

“I had two hours to put money in and save it or the whole thing would go to shit that day or the next day. It was as bad as that and as dramatic as that.”

On what went wrong, he said: “I honestly don’t know [what happened]. We’re still trying to work it out, but I think that the senior management we had in place were trying to manage what they would call the perfect storm — rents, rates, the high street declining, food costs, Brexit, increase in the minimum wage. There was a lot going on.”

On the impact of Jamie’s Italian, he said: “We disrupted massively. We changed the whole mid-market landscape. Our story for the first six years was incredible. The culture that we built was phenomenal. We had it, and now it’s been taken away.”