It’s a tasty Ensphere Experience for Jamie’s Italian


Established in 2008 by renowned chef Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Italian is group of exciting new restaurants.  In just three years Jamie’s Italian has experienced significant growth, today there are 23 restaurants located across the UK and further locations continue to be added at record pace.

Jamie’s Italian was founded on Jamie Oliver’s longstanding passion for Italian cuisine and his influences as a chef, in particular his mentor Gennaro Contaldo.  The concept of the restaurants was based on providing authentic Italian food using quality, fresh ingredients and creating a family- friendly, relaxed atmosphere for all to enjoy at affordable prices.  As you would expect the dishes and dining environments alike also incorporate the signature rustic flair that Jamie Oliver is famous for.

With restaurants already located in most major cities, each one employing approximately 100 members of staff and a strategy for continued expansion, Jamie’s Italian has embarked on a very exciting journey.

Working with Ensphere

One of the major challenges faced by Jamie’s Italian relate to ensuring that their IT systems have the capacity to meet the changing demands of their rapidly expanding business.  In a fast-paced, busy environment employing in excess of 2000 staff and growing at a rapid rate, it’s vital that the business processes work smoothly and efficiently.

From the outset Jamie’s Italian has used Sage to provide their core financial accounting solution.  The financials system is provided by Sage 200 and complemented by additional hospitality specific management solutions.  

Sarah Stephens from Jamie’s Italian explains:

“Sage 200 works really well for us but we wanted to drive it forward to achieve an optimum solution   and also integrate it with our hospitality system where possible.”

“We have a longstanding relationship with members of the Ensphere team and have known some of them since Jamie’s Italian was first launched.  The business currently has 23 restaurants to manage; each one has its own profit centre which has to account for significant stock, ingredients and suppliers transactions on a daily basis.  It is, therefore, absolutely vital for us that we can manage our accounting function as efficiently as possible.  That’s why we engaged the services of Ensphere - because we had confidence that they would provide knowledgeable and efficient support as well as helping us to achieve the ideal Sage 200 solution for our specific needs.”

Since their appointment the Ensphere team have helped Jamie’s Italian to benefit from a number of additional features developed within the core Sage solution and as bespoke programmes, all resulting in improved performance from the finance function.

Initially Ensphere recommended that Jamie’s Italian upgrade their existing Sage 200 to the latest version, this would give the company access to a range of core enhancements without significant cost implications. 

Next they set about working with the Finance team to assess immediate priorities and recommend appropriate solutions. The resulting work focussed on a range of bespoke programmes and minor adjustments to the core Sage 200 system in order to ensure that it worked even harder for Jamie’s Italian’s specific requirements.

A purchase invoice import programme was developed to overcome a duplication of data input that was occurring.  Historically whenever one of the restaurants purchased ingredients and stock it had been necessary to manually input the information into both the hospitality system and Sage 200.  In the early days this was accounting for only approximately 70 transactions each day but as the Group grew so did the number of transactions, currently it’s up to 900 transactions a day. 

By developing an import tool, Ensphere were able to remove the requirement for the data to be inputted into Sage thus resolving manual data duplication.  Now a programme enables users to flag the records that need importing from the hospitality system into Sage and all relevant fields are automatically imported into Sage by 8am the following day.  Furthermore, Alert Reports are automatically generated and emailed to inform the Finance team of exactly what information has been imported including specific details of suppliers, cost centre codes and amounts.

This relatively simple programme has afforded Jamie’s Italian considerable time savings resulting in improved efficiency.

Ensphere have also been working to improve the core reporting held within Sage 200.  Whilst sufficient, Jamie’s Italian’s management team had certain criteria and formats that they preferred and Ensphere are in the process of making the necessary alterations.

There are further enhancements currently being developed too, all designed to provide the Jamie’s Italian team with the key information that they need when they need it and to enable them to realise the full potential of Sage 200.

Andrew Lee, Head of Finance at Jamie’s Italian explains:

“Sage 200 is a robust Accounting solution that is more than capable of supporting us as Jamie’s Italian continues to expand and it’s coped extremely well with our significant growth to date.  Over and above that though we need to have a team alongside us who we can rely on to support our systems, proactively advise us and help us to realise our needs from our Accounting business processes.  Furthermore, it is imperative that that team share our vision for the future and have the knowledge, skills and capacity that we will need as our business continues to expand.”

“I feel confident that we have found that team in Ensphere.  They have a thorough understanding of our business and its needs and are extremely knowledgeable, supportive and helpful. Whenever we phone their Support team queries are acted on quickly, efficiently and courteously.  In actual fact it’s often the case that Ensphere are aware of the issue and working on resolving it before we even speak to them about it!”

Mr Lee concludes:

“As Jamie’s Italian continues on its exciting journey we are looking forward to working with Ensphere further.  We’ll be looking to them to for expert advice on how we can get even more out of our Sage solution, seeking new enhancements to further improve efficiency and simplify our processes.  I am sure it’s going to be a very exciting journey for us all!”

Ensphere are knowledgeable, efficient and reliable, especially where support is concerned.   The entire team works hard to deliver and advise which is why we’re building such a strong partnership.

Sarah Stephens, Jamie’s Italian

I feel confident that Jamie’s Italian has found the right partner in Ensphere. 

Andrew Lee, Head of Finance, Jamie’s Italian