(“BigDish” or the “Company”)
On Friday 20 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all restaurants to be closed to diners and this would be reviewed on a monthly basis. Furthermore, all non-essential businesses in the United Kingdom have been told to close.
The government intervention has had an immediate impact on the ongoing operations of the Company.
The Manchester team has been furloughed in order to enable the Company to avail of government assistance and preserve cash. As such whilst restaurant numbers have increased in March, no further growth in restaurant numbers is expected to resume until restaurants are allowed to open to diners.
The Philippine technology and business support teams are working from home in Manila. Technology development continues and no material effect to this aspect of this business is currently envisaged. The team have all accepted voluntary salary reductions during this period.
The Company has determined cash preservation is of paramount importance in this challenging environment. As such, immediate cost reduction measures have been implemented. Based on current information available it is expected that the Company has sufficient funding runway until the end of the year. This is well beyond Q3 according to previous guidance, and should reassure shareholders in the wake of recent pandemic related events.
Whilst the longer-term effect to the restaurant industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic is unknown at this time, the Company remains optimistic that once restaurants are allowed to reopen there will be increased demand for its services, as was the trend at the start of 2020.
Whilst the Company has taken the necessary steps to preserve cash it also acknowledges the need that further funding will need to be made available at some point in the future in order to reignite growth.
To this end the Company had recently engaged a boutique corporate advisory firm outside the UK with a successful track record in funding early stage consumer restaurant tech. This was done with a view to funding growth without the need for an equity placing. Whilst this activity was progressing well prior to the pandemic, this has since slowed down due to the difficulties in being able to travel internationally. The Company will continue to pursue this opportunity remotely until such time management can travel internationally.
Aidan Bishop, Director, commented:
“Restaurant numbers were growing monthly at a fast pace prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. By taking the necessary steps, we both ensure that we prioritize the well-being of our employees and also preserve cash for as long as possible.
Whilst this is obviously a very difficult time for the world, I choose to remain confident that BigDish will emerge on the other side of this crisis positioned strongly for a rebound.
I would like to thank our employees who have supported us at this time and I am pleased that our technology development will continue relatively unhindered during this period.
Our thoughts are also with our restaurant partners who are feeling the brunt of this crisis.
There will always be opportunities that are present in adversity, both known and unknown, and I am taking this time with key management and our corporate advisory partners to identify these and to envisage the future of BigDish.”
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION EU 596/2014 (“MAR”)
|Zak Mir, Digital Communications Officer, BigDish||+44 (0) 7867 527659|
|Jonathan Morley-Kirk, Non-Executive Chairman||+44 (0) 7797 859986|
Notes to Editors
BigDish Plc is a London Stock Exchange listed food technology company that operates a yield management platform for the restaurant industry.
Yield Management is a dynamic pricing strategy based on understanding and influencing human behaviour in order to maximise revenue from a fixed, time limited resource. Yield Management has been very effective for selling airline seats and hotel rooms. BigDish believes that Yield Management can benefit restaurants to optimize revenue by bringing diners to empty tables.
BigDish is a free consumer product. Consumers can book a table with a discount via the BigDish App or website. Restaurants pay BigDish a fixed fee per diner seated.