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Big Picture

BigDish aims to bring customers for restaurants and discounts for diners

The company's website and phone app aims to help restaurants fill spare capacity by offering discounts potential diners during quieter periods
Restaurant diners
The group is preparing to roll out its platform across the entire UK after success in its first two territories

• Platform designed to match restaurants with diners during quieter periods

• Operates through website and mobile phone app

• Rapid UK expansion planned

What BigDish does

BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) is a technology company that operates a platform that aims to help restaurants fill spare capacity by matching them with potential diners during quieter periods.

The BigDish platform does this by offering discounts to diners for reservations at restaurants at certain times of the day, usually when general demand is lower and the restaurant is looking to get people through the door.

The platform is operated through both a website and a mobile phone app.

Inflexion points

• In early June, the company raised £2.1mln from an institutional investor to help accelerate the expansion of its restaurant booking platform

• As a result of the new funds, BigDish said it could accelerate its expansion and potentially grow beyond what was initially planned

• In late May the firm unveiled plans to roll out its platform across the entire UK and would begin recruiting territory managers to help speed up its expansion

Blue Sky

Speaking to Proactive in March, BigDish’s chief executive (CEO) Sanj Naha said when seeking new regions and restaurants the company undertakes a “hands on” approach that involves not only online research but also speaking to local people and restaurant owners in order to select the best businesses for its platform.

He adds that the firm has an “aggressive target” of around 20 restaurants in the first month of operating in a new territory, with the ultimate aim to build up 200 per territory as an initial milestone.

“Twenty is a good number to launch with,” Naha says, who became CEO of BigDish in January having previously held senior positions at companies such as review site Tripadvisor and online restaurant reservation service Bookatable.

He also says that while the group is currently looking to target independent establishments, BigDish won’t shy away from approaching restaurant chains in the future.

“The sales cycle is much shorter with [an independent restaurant]” Naha says, which is better for a growing business. However he adds that BigDish is already having conversations with larger chains.

“I think the right mix as we go forward will probably be having a third of independent restaurants, a third of chains and groups, and also a third of smaller restaurant groups … once we have more of a UK presence you’ll start seeing more of those popping up in our territories.”

Naha adds that having around 6,000 restaurants using the platform within two years is “absolutely achievable”.

He cites the example of Deliveroo, which over three to four years amassed around 18,000 UK restaurants on its platform.

With shares trading at around 8.8p as of 7 June, BigDish has a market cap of £26.3mln.

Chairman interview - Aidan Bishop

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