BigDish Plc (LON: DISH), a food technology company that operates a yield management platform for restaurants, is pleased to announce a business and operational update.
Interview, June 2019
· Brighton to launch next week
· Launch of Brand Ambassador Program
· Issuance of salary sacrifice and debt conversion shares
· Board composition changes
Further to the announcement on 21 June, BigDish is pleased to announce that Brighton will be launched on its platform next week. The Company believes that Brighton is a significant location for BigDish and upon launch expects to increase the restaurant numbers quickly. The Company aims to have all Territory Managers in place across the United Kingdom, subject to finding suitable candidates, by early September. This is currently the key focus.
As announced on 21 June, BigDish expects to enter into a partnership with a UK technology platform after Brighton goes live and expects to provide further detail in due course.
Over the past month, the Territory Managers in Territory 1 and 2 have been meeting with existing restaurant partners with a view to ensuring that operations are running smoothly and determining where improvements can be made. The Company believes it is important that all systems and processes are running smoothly and that these are scalable as the national rollout progresses. This focus on account management rather than new restaurant acquisition will balance out in due course. As such, Reading will now be launched at a later date.
There are three core components to the BigDish strategy:
1. Restaurant Partner Acquisition;
2. Technology Development;
3. User Acquisition.
The recruitment process that is taking place, both in the United Kingdom and in Manila, ensures that the first two components can be delivered. The Company believes that once a national footprint is achieved, alongside new functionality and features in the App, the pace of user acquisition will increase significantly across the country.
A separate restaurant partner website is being developed that will enable restaurants to on-board themselves to the BigDish platform. In addition, a blog will be launched which will have engaging content with a view to create a vibrant community of food lovers across the United Kingdom. This will also increase the visibility of BigDish across various online search engines. Further detail will be provided as the development of these new platforms progresses.
Brand Ambassador Program
To further support User Acquisition, BigDish is pleased to announce the launch of its Brand Ambassador Program. Following discussions with celebrities and well-known personalities over recent months, the Company expects to announce the first Brand Ambassador in due course. The role of Brand Ambassadors will be to act as Influencers in order to increase user acquisition and customer engagement. This is expected to be achieved through social media, video advertisements and attending key events.
Brand Ambassadors will be remunerated in shares rather than cash and any shares will have a restricted period from being able to sell. As such, the Company has issued 12,000,000 shares that are ring fenced for the Brand Ambassador Program. The Company expects to sign up several Brand Ambassadors and to launch various media initiatives from the fourth quarter of this year onwards as BigDish increases its national footprint.
Jonathan Morley-Kirk will move from Non-Executive Director to Non-Executive Chairman and Aidan Bishop, BigDish Founder, will move from Executive Chairman to Executive Director. This will enable Jonathan Morley-Kirk to have greater oversight of various regulatory and compliance work and enable the Company to make improvements in this important part of the business.
In the announcement of 21 June 2019, Sanj Naha commented regarding a “media initiative”. The Company expects to update the market several times during the month of July including further detail regarding the “media initiative”.
The Company also has issued 11,044,697 shares as part of its Salary Sacrifice Scheme and the conversion of debt into shares. All members of the Board of Directors and some management have opted to receive no remuneration in cash since the IPO in August 2018. This is due to having confidence in the future of the Company and to ensure the interests of the Board and management are completely aligned with shareholders.
It is expected that the new shares will be admitted to trading around 4 July 2019 (“Admission”). Following Admission, the Company’s enlarged issued share capital will be 338,558,883.
Sanj Naha, CEO commented:
“It has been a very busy period for BigDish with the recruitment strategy. Having all Territory Managers in place across the United Kingdom by September would drive our growth, as well as having additional developers and restaurant and customer support personnel in Manila.
“Having worked previously at booking platforms such as TripAdvisor and Bookatable, I am aware of the importance of ensuring that every part of the business is built for scale. The recent focus on account management in our first two territories is very healthy for us at this stage. The summer period enables us to put our heads down and work hard on the ‘non visible’ aspects of the business. From September onwards, I expect BigDish to be firing on all cylinders across the whole country.
“I have also been particularly pleased with ongoing interest in BigDish from restaurant groups. I am confident that we will see restaurant groups on the BigDish platform in due course. It has been a deliberate strategy to date to only approach independent restaurants and small groups. This has been done to ensure that the platform has a good selection of cuisines and restaurants and is not dominated by one particular brand.
“The launch of our Brand Ambassador Program is a fantastic milestone for the Company. I believe that this will significantly boost our User Acquisition strategy as well as bringing national awareness of BigDish both to the general public and to the restaurant sector. It is also great to see Brand Ambassadors becoming aligned with the vision of the Company by becoming long term shareholders.”
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