Thieving diners steal 30,000 Jamie Oliver napkins
Thieving diners are stealing 30,000 of his napkins a month, according to celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.
The entrepreneur, who has an Italian in the heart of Cheltenham, said light-fingered restaurant-goers are taking thousands of the customised blue and white linen napkins as a souvenir from their visit.
The 37-year-old said he has also had to weld on expensive bathroom fittings following thefts from the toilets.
He told Radio Times: "I have noticed things in this recession. Like people nicking the linen napkins from our restaurants.
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"We now lose about 30,000 a month. And there's another thing: every restaurant of mine has the old-fashioned Thomas Crapper toilets because I've always thought they look wicked.
"But they're really expensive and we've had to have the handles and flushers welded on because people were unscrewing them and nicking them.
"Honestly, some people were coming out for a meal and going home with half a toilet. Bonkers."
Customers who want to recreate the look at home can buy a pack of four blue-and-white napkins – embroidered with the words Jamie's Italian – for £8.
But the same cloths – apparently stolen from one of his chain of 30 restaurants - can be bought on eBay for £7.49.
Last week, Mr Oliver confronted a contestant on the Australian version of TV cooking competition Masterchef for stealing one.
Other diners boasted openly on Twitter about stealing his napkins, and even posted photos of their ill-gotten wares.
Yesterday, Mr Oliver's spokesman said: "Although we do lose a fair few napkins, it is not near that number. People mostly want them as souvenirs. There is not much we can do about people selling them on eBay."