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It's not all doom and gloom

San Carlo shows that if you hit it right you can increase profits

Published on July 3rd 2008.

It's not all doom and gloom

As more and more companies feel the effects of the credit crunch, one Manchester business is bucking the trend by announcing record profits.

San Carlo, the family owned Group of Italian restaurants based in South King Street West, saw profits double to £1.2m on a turnover topping £8m. By far the most important operation is the Manchester arm which amounts for almost £3m of the turnover and draws in around 3500 customers a week. Although we have to bear in mind that with the departure of their most loyal punter to Mexico - Sven Goran Eriksson - they may have to slice a million off next year. That fella was never out of the place.

Other restaurants in the Group, those in Birmingham, Bristol and London are, according to proprietor Carlo Di Stefano “way ahead of budget” and, at a minimum anticipating a 20% increase in forecasts.

“This is very good news for us and shows that whatever the economic climate, people still want quality food in the right atmosphere,” he said.

Of course he would say that wouldn't he? But it is remarkable that such a return is possible in a business defined by its miniscule margins. Of course San Carlo is a very clever operation beautifully surfing the crest of the wave of British and North European passion for Mediterranean cooking - hence Sven's contribution. But it goes beyond that: Di Stefano thinks there might be another factor assisting monetary success.

“Unlike other restaurants, we have not put our prices up. We are absorbing increased costs for the longer term benefit of our business.”

San Carlo opened a Manchester restaurant in 2004 and acquired the renowned Signor Sassi restaurant in London’s Knightsbridge Green last July. The Group now has plans to open additional restaurants in Liverpool and Leeds by the end of this year. Given these returns on the money they invest you can see why they might want to expand.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

BentitoJuly 3rd 2008.

San Carlos...full of chavs and old women with too much false tan . Bloody aweful place

LallyJuly 3rd 2008.

San Carlo was my most favourite restaurant until recently: the noise level is unacceptable - the tables have been pushed together to accomodate more punters and, to top it all, the fellow next to me had taken his shoes off!! 'nuff said!!!!!Why can't the di Stefanos do something to "baffle" the crescendo of sound? The food is second to none, the staff are marvellous and, every time I have been, I have been greeted like an old friend - this adds to the ambiance and it is a shame to spoil the best restaurant in Manchester - PLEASE do something about the noise!!!!

foody from middletonJuly 3rd 2008.

Carlo di Stefano used to cut my hair in Kendals ! Excellent Barber !!

foody from middletonJuly 3rd 2008.

San carlos is a supermarket, its about authentic italian as nandos! Full of glitz yes, but the majority of the waiters dont know where italy is , the menu is large but the portions, pasta in particular is small . every time I have been I get an upset stomach and it cant be the alcohol because I dont drink.For a better Italian style meal go to San Rocco , this isnt as good as when it used to be Cesare/San Roco, but the pasta is far and away better than San Carlos. Bring back Terraza I say , what a great restaurant that was.

Peter DeanJuly 3rd 2008.

I think San Carlo is a very good restaurant. It seems to get a lot of stick because it is a success. But the food is well above average sometimes excellent and the people watching beyond compare. Bentito I love all the false tan and ridiculous suits. It's the equivalent of the evening walk Italians take where they all stare at each other, irrespective of age or class. Brilliant.

SKJuly 3rd 2008.

San Carlo - Fabulous Fabulous Fabulous

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