Music for Restaurants — Case Study

San Carlo

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The Backstory

The award-winning San Carlo Group which first launched in Birmingham in 1992, has grown to become a £60 million restaurant empire which currently numbers 21 authentic Italian restaurants across the UK - from Covent Garden, Piccadilly and Knightsbridge Green in London, to Bristol, Leicester, Liverpool, Leeds, Cheshire and Manchester.


It continues to be a family owned business and Open Ear work directly with one of the owners Alessandro to curate the music for the three restaurant brands: San Carlo, Fumo and Cicchetti, as well as sub-brands Alto and Signor Sassi.

What we did

The music for each restaurant is unique and highly curated to match the owners brief. San Carlo focusses on modern jazz and classy chill out music, Fumo is more contemporary, electronic and urban in its sound. Chicchetti is a mix of the two.


In order to gain full understanding of the business, Open Ear took time to visit each site, spending often hours in each to gain full insight into the customer, atmosphere and trading times. From this, we were able to curate a set of playlist for each restaurant and schedule them to match the time of day.


The owners enjoy using the Open Ear Manager app to identify songs and fine tune the playlists themselves. This way they get the best music for each property and remain in full control of how each brand sounds.

"We chose Open Ear based on their ability to understand both our growing business and the music brief given. I am pleased to say that on the performance of the music profile across the trial sites, we rolled out the Open Ear music service to all of our restaurants. Their music knowledge and account management has been a real support to the San Carlo Group."

Alessandro DiStefanoCo-Owner, San Carlo Group

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