Zizzi + STartle.

A restaurant music solution for Zizzi with all the toppings.

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About Zizzi.

A much-loved staple of British high streets, Zizzi is a chain of Italian-inspired restaurants in the UK and Ireland, serving delicious Italian food in over 130 uniquely designed locations. It is also part of The Azzurri Group, one of the UK's largest and most successful casual dining businesses.

Houston, we have a…

The Azzurri Group approached us as their existing music supplier contracts were coming up for renewal across their three (very different) brands, including Zizzi. They had several different music providers across the group but they didn’t have the benefits of group purchasing, and there were inconsistencies in the quality of service, such as a lack of updates and the constant repetition of tracks. This repetition of tracks was a particularly big problem for staff morale; employees would often know what time of day it was purely from hearing a particular track!


This is how we do it.

Zizzi wanted a single solution that they could roll out across the group, yet would allow them and the other Azzurri brands to uphold their distinctiveness.

Startle struck up concurrent and individual project installation and music curation conversations with each of the three brands, with our Creative Director and music master, James, taking a detailed music brief to get the ball rolling.

Zizzi wanted a single solution that they could roll out across the group, yet would allow them and the other Azzurri brands to uphold their distinctiveness.

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Starboy Cover
Rainbow Child Cover
Geography Cover
Exotica Cover
The Milk of Human Kindness Cover
Uptown Special Cover
Teardrops Cover
The Journey Cover
Adi Oasis Cover
A Different King of Fix Cover
St. Elsewhere Cover
Feel it Still Cover
I Created Disco Cover
My Love is Cool Cover

The sound.

Working closely with Zizzi’s Creative Director, we identified three main areas and styles that would help them transition from quieter periods into their peak service times. Each playlist focused on artist discovery, with some fantastic commercial tracks dotted throughout.

After testing out the least energetic playlist on a sample site, we realised that Zizzi could benefit from a higher baseline energy. We therefore raised the energy and BPM (Beats Per Minute) parameters for the remaining two playlists, ensuring there was enough contrast to cater to all trading patterns. After pushing this live, we helped to sustain a buzz that customers and staff on site really engaged with - so much so that many asked for copies of the playlist to take home with them!

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Bright, Bold, Feel-Good

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Average tempo

118 BPM

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Indie Pop, House, Funk

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Example artists

Caribou, Folamour, Jafunk, LION BABE, Neil Frances, Purple Disco Machine, Tom Misch

Look at me now.

After working with Zizzi for a couple of years now, the improvements reported have been significant; uniformity, more control, more flexibility, enhanced staff engagement and increased cost effectiveness.

The next part of our story sees Startle’s provision go beyond music. Whereas their previous digital signage supplier was still posting USB updates to the restaurants, we were able to use our same slick hardware, the Startle Player, to remotely update screen content with ease. And the best part; music and signage is all managed from the same intuitive platform, Startle Studio.

But that’s not all. Zizzi was keen to explore the idea of automated volume control - that’s having music volume automatically adjust as busyness of the restaurants changes. With fluctuating noise levels that require staff to continually adjust the levels of music themselves, it’s a pesky and unnecessary task that can be removed from their plates using Startle’s tech. To kick this off, we’ve installed atmosphere sensors in a sample of Zizzi restaurants to begin capturing busyness and liveliness data, which will paint a picture of how trade changes over a 24 hour period, across the whole week.

From my first interaction with Startle I have been very impressed with the understanding they have of what we're looking for. Creating a 'vibe' or environment within a space is something quite hard to explain but the support and reactivity they gave throughout the curation process was incredible.

Joe Gilbert

The Azzurri Group

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Heard enough?

Get in touch to start playing your customers the kind of background music that creates those hair-tingling moments.

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