EAT sandwich shops drives deeper insights on financial data with Anaplan platform


EAT, one of the UK’s leading chains of sandwich shops, has leveraged the Anaplan platform to effectively manage its financial planning and analysis (FP&A) processes including reporting and integrated planning.

EAT was founded in 1996 with the ambition of providing the best food, soup and coffee in London at reasonable prices. Today, the company operates more than 100 shops throughout the UK, and continues to offer hand-made sandwiches, soups, pies, salads, drinks and breakfast items.

In early 2012, under the leadership of chief financial officer Strahan Wilson, EAT implemented Anaplan to replace a spreadsheet-based process for their financial planning and reporting requirements.

“When I joined EAT, we operated three independent planning processes: long-term planning, company level planning, and store planning,” said Wilson. “The lack of integration meant that it was both time consuming to move between each and the reliance on spreadsheets meant that often errors appeared. I chose Anaplan because I saw this as a great opportunity streamline the process and reduce the risk of error.”

Within Anaplan, a team of 10 EAT employees run a planning model with nearly 800m populated cells to capture sales by product, by week and calculate all the costs by year, by week and by store. EAT’s reporting team also uses Anaplan to pull actuals for monthly reports that go to their management and executive boards.

“Historically, when building a planning system the process has been very slow as each time a formula was entered a separate consolidation had to be run to confirm the formula was correct. With the real-time consolidation that is possible within Anaplan we get an immediate, one-click view of our financial plans,” said Wilson. “What separates Anaplan is its intuitive user interface, excel-like front end, and its scalability and responsiveness. The result is that we’ve built a highly granular planning model without the help of external consultants in record time.”

Anaplan’s cloud-based platform is built on a patented, in-memory data engine, HyperBlock, delivering unparalleled immediacy, flexibility, and scale, the company claims. Anaplan’s intuitive user interface and ease of adoption promotes rapid deployment of financial models linked to a continuous stream of operational data and processes. Anaplan’s power and flexibility enables instant what-ifs and driver-based planning for finance teams.

“EAT is a shining example of a hyper-growth company that has transitioned to the cloud to better manage some of their core business processes,” said Ian Stone, managing director, Anaplan UK and Ireland. “As shown by their rapid success, EAT is able to collaborate on, plan for, and achieve their financial goals in a new and powerful way with Anaplan as their FP&A enterprise application.”