Story by Sarah Stephenson

To understand why the training of a new team is so important you first have to understand what it is exactly that makes Jamie’s Italian tick – it’s a a fantastic environment where food is served and created by passionate and knowledgeable staff. How do we achieve that? Jamie’s Italian is a unique, brilliant and inspirational place to work and we look for staff to match these standards that we have set. Once we’ve got our new team we start using words like “ambassador.” We use that word a lot, especially during the training. For us, it means you’re proud to be working at Jamie’s Italian, you always want to do your best and every aspect of your performance meets our high standards. It also means there is no negativity, lots of team focus and you’re able to represent Jamie’s Italian and ultimately Jamie himself brilliantly. Everyone is working under the same roof for the same goal for the same reason. This is what the new team members sign up for in their training and this is definitely one of the secret ingredients of the Jamie’s Italian recipe.

At the end of the first day of training for every brand new Jamie’s Italian, all the new recruits are given a small bag of freshly extruded pasta and asked to come up with something brilliantly creative with it for the following morning. When we were in Leeds recently for staff training the team really excelled at this task. We had a fantastic assortment of creations this time from a miniature scooter made out of spaghetti, earrings made out of pappardelle plus all sorts of delicious offerings of pasta dishes. Jamie Oliver’s mentor and good friend Gennaro Contaldo is traditionally the judge of the competition and he found it hard to choose an outright winner until he saw what the waiter Luke Peters created. Overnight Luke had produced, filmed and edited a short film starring his pasta creation – Mr Tagliatelle! It was the outright winner by a mile. General Manager Amanda Duffy was delighted with the huge amount of effort that everyone had put into this task. She says, “Everyone just embraced the challenge and put 100% into the task. It’s a really great sign of things to come!”

About the author: Sarah Stephenson works on recruitment and communication for Jamie’s Italian

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