Music for Restaurants — Case Study

Sea Containers Hotel

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The Backstory

Music is crucial to Sea Containers, with the award-winning Tom Dixon-designed lobby feeding into the restaurant, Dandelyan bar, 12th Knot rooftop cocktail bar and ‘70s themed spa. We worked with the management alongside the operations, marketing and IT departments to deliver a unique musical experience throughout the hotel.

What We did

Sea Containers music is a celebration of London today - diverse, forward thinking and unique. Our approach will be to begin by taking a broad overview of where London’s music is at in 2019…

The London music scene is thriving and its renaissance in the last five years has helped it regain its position as the centre point of the UK music global export market. UK Artists and bands across all genres are releasing music to global acclaim, and London is leading the way.

jorja smith

In the pop/soul/R&B/hip-hop spectrum the US is now looking across the pond to London for inspiration: examples are endless and include Drake sampling grime and collaborating with Jorja Smith, Skepta and more, Kanye working with a cross section of up and coming UK producers, Ella Eyre and Nicki Minaj touring together, IamDDB supporting Lauryn Hill, BBC sound of 2019 winner Octavian working with Diplo, SOPHIE being nominated for a Grammy and many more.


Outside of the pop sphere, London Jazz is blowing up. A whole new breed of young musicians have captured the worlds attention, with the likes of Erza Collective, Shabaka Hutchings, Kamaal Williams, Moses Boyd, Yazmin Lacey and Kokoroko creating massive global hype, and collectively promoting a remarkable return to traditional musicianship.

In electronic music, the UK has always excelled and the current generation is no different: Tom Misch, Swindle, Tirzah, Fatima, Maribou State, Jungle have taken on the mantle from the likes of Massive Attack, Groove Armada and Basement Jaxx.

At the same time, we still remember Amy Winehouse, Rolling Stones, David Bowie and all the timeless British legacy artists and bands whose music remains as vital today as it ever has been.

Technical Set Up

All music hardware is positioned out of sight, and the outlet GMs use the Open Ear Manager mobile app to control their playlists during service. They can adjust volume levels and can cue playlists so they can respond to changes in footfall in realtime. The app also gives the Sea Containers team a simple and direct means of feeding back to Open Ear on the song selection, allowing them to be more involved in the music curation process.

"We consistently receive great feedback from our customers on our music selection across all outlets. With the high turnover of staff that all hospitality businesses are faced with, Open Ear have been a crucial part in our ability to deliver a consistent and high quality customer experience since opening."

Neil SawersHead Of IT, Sea Containers, London

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