Food: Why has Jamie Oliver gone to the (hot)dogs?
You don't become the world's richest chef without spotting an opportunity
Over the past few years, Jamie Oliver has reinvented himself from a TV chef with a cheeky persona to a transatlantic crusader, government critic and a man desperate to improve the way we all eat.
So it may come as a surprise that Oliver, scourge of the salty school dinner and tormentor of the turkey twizzler, is to open a hot dog joint. The Dog House & Diner on Shaftesbury Avenue in London will, according to reports, serve an "on-trend menu of hot dogs, burgers and ribs".
The adult market is, of course, different to the meals the country's children are served in schools. But if the move sounds like the sort of U-turn you would expect from a cold, cash-focused corporation, then you have to remember that Oliver is now big-business. Last year's Sunday Times Rich List declared his worth to be £150m, making him the world's richest chef.
This is also the man who described McDonalds' presence at the Olympics as "contradictory".
But his new venture could be perceived to be using his marketing and financial arsenal to take on similar small vendors, those who helped make fast food fashionable again.
Some wags on Twitter have suggested a better name for the venture would be "Bandwagon" as it comes trailing, belatedly, after London diners caught the bug for fashionable fast food.
Scott Collins from Meatailer, who have the Meat Liquor and Meat Market restaurants in the capital, says while the Dog House is the culinary equivalent of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, it is also unsettling for innovative businesses like his.
"For Jamie to serve 'on-trend' burgers, hot dogs and ribs is testament to the hard work and ethos independent traders brought to the London food scene," he tells The Independent. He added, however, "it is fairly insulting, to independent traders, that he is trying to get in on that market."
The market is, however, about to get even busier. US burger chains Five Guys (said to be a favourite of President Barack Obama) and Shake Shack are also planning to open flagship venues in the capital. And one can expect that if Dog House is a success, it will be rolled out across the country like Oliver's successful Jamie's Italian.
A spokesperson for Oliver said that the concept and the timing are "still in the process of being decided" and added: "Suffice it to say that the food will be some distance away from what most people would casually refer to as 'fast food'. The team are looking at higher welfare and sustainable ingredients as well as healthier options."
Life & Style blogs
Dozens of empty homes in two of Liverpool’s most deprived areas will be brought back into use thanks...
A roundup of the latest property news
Plus, do energy saving measures boost house prices?
The 10 Best sports sunglasses
Apps: A poke in the eye for social-network friends
Viral video straps colt .45 handgun to a home-use drone
Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan, accused of choosing sex of baby
'NHS watchdog is not fit for purpose': Report reveals CQC covered up scandal at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust where eight babies died of neglect
- 1 Disability campaigners celebrate 'victory' after government rethink over plans to make it more difficult to claim disability benefits
- 2 'Jail reckless bankers': Report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
iJobs Food & Drink
£20,000 - £45,000 OTE: Co-Venture: Working on international markets without ge...
£20,000 - £45,000 OTE: Co-Venture: Working for this company will give you a ch...
£40000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£18000 - £35000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits & Uncapped Comm: Flight Cen...