The incredible international expansion of San Carlo Restaurant Group

Addressing the Rainmakers Conference during his keynote fireside chat, Marcello Distefano, managing director of San Carlo Restaurant Group, outlined his group’s national and international growth since his father founded the enterprise in Birmingham in 1992.

He said: “We’ve had a great few years and are going through a lot of growth at the moment.

“We are a family business first and foremost, we’ve never been heavily leveraged and we’ve never wanted to be.

“We’ve got 25 sites in the UK and have got 10 franchises – that’s going to double in the next 18 months.

“We’re now looking at Ireland and mainland Europe, so we’ll have to think more strategically.”

He didn’t rule out an ambitious return to the home country with the opportunity to open in Milan, Italy. But higher on the list of key projects is a private members club in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, where the group is developing a former French colonial house surrounded by rare trees.

He also welcomed the plethora of new globally known food brands looking at the city, and said it would raise everyone’s aspirations and standards.

“Manchester is really the capital of the North – there’s so much going on in this city. We’ve been in the city 20 years and are still seeing no signs of decline for our restaurant here.

“As retailers leave, empty spaces can only be filled up with food and beverage but we’re not worried anymore about the competition, because it’s just bringing more and more people into the city.” believe passionately that the jobs created, specialisms developed, and the entrepreneurs unleashed give the Rainmakers community the right to a seat at the table and a voice in the debate on the economy of the North.

This platform, like the 2024 Rainmakers conference, is an opportunity to not only celebrate the contribution from funds raised and deals created, but also to look to the future at the challenges ahead.

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