Digesting the Dimmi revenue numbers from Stevan Premutico’s latest interview

Date: 08-04-2015

Stevan Premutico was in an article this weekend in the Fin Review where he met up with Tatts Group CEO Robbie Cooke who is one of the investors in Dimmi.  Stevan was kind enough to share so revenue number about Dimmi’s current performance.

Dimmi Revenue Numbers

He shared that Dimmi currently has around 2,500 Restaurants and is expecting $8,000,000 in revenue this year.   In an interview in The Age in January 2015, Premutico stated that the majority of Restaurants are paying $150 per month for the table management system that they resell from Restaurant Diary in the UK.  If we assume that equates to half, Restaurant Diary revenue equates to $2,250,000 in annual revenue, leaving $5,750,000 in revenue from bookings.  Dimmi charges $1 for every booking that comes from the Restaurants website and $3 for each booking made through the Dimmi network.  From feedback from our customers, the Dimmi network provides about 15% of bookings, with the rest coming from the Restaurants own website.

Based on these figures, the Average Restaurant takes just 147 seats of bookings each month with Dimmi, and over 100 come from their own website.

This figure equates with Premutico’s statement on his Linkedin profile that Dimmi does 1 million seats every 12 weeks.  One very interesting fact is that the number of Restaurants using Dimmi is still just 2,500 – this number has not grown since 2012.

Why isn’t Dimmi growing the number of Restaurants?

Dimmi has been reporting that they have 2,500 customers since 2012,  so it has failed to grow the number of Restaurants that are using the system in 3 years.   We believe that there are a couple of factors for the failure to grow.

  • It has not been able to grow outside of Australia. A couple of Restaurants tried it in New Zealand, but Restaurants we spoke to, including Botswana Butchery we not impressed at all about Dimmi marketing to the Restaurants customers on behalf of other Restaurants.
  • Margins are tight in the Restaurant industry and many can’t afford the $1 per seat booked.
  • The Restaurant industry has a high level of business closing down and all businesses dealing with Restaurants have to have a certain level of new sales just to replace businesses that close down.
  • When Dimmi started there were no real alternatives, but today there are many alternatives, including our Free OnLine Restaurant Booking System. Dimmi has tried to enforce contracts that are for 12 that restrict the number of online booking companies that a restaurant can us, in an effort to capture the emails and bookings from the Restaurants own website, where the majority of bookings still come from.
  • Restaurants are beginning to understand that sharing their customers’ contact details is one of biggest causes of decreasing customer loyalty, especially when linked their customers then get emails from Dimmi targeting the Dimmi flash deals.

 

Where did all of the money go?

The Telstra investment round, which may have been as high as $10,000,000 was done in 2012.  Then Dimmi had, according to their own press releases, 2,500 customers and they have not grown the number of Restaurants at all.  Where did all of that investment go?  Last time I spoke to Stevan, he stated that they had moved 3 times because they had been hiring staff so quickly.  We can also remember the large full page ads in The Age and other newspapers driving people to download the Dimmi app.  There is no concrete numbers available to the current headcount, but we estimate it to be around 10 – 15.  Funded businesses dealing in the Hospitality space have been known to spend magnificently to acquire customers, sometimes spending thousands of dollars to acquire each customer, knowing that each new customer boosts their market cap, but it appears that Dimmi spent through all of that money without gaining any new restaurants.  This in itself highlights the massive issues that Dimmi faces today.  Over the last 3 years the only tangible achievement has been taking over the relationship with Restaurant Diary.  There is no indication as to how many restaurants Dimmi has added to this product since it took over from Restaurant Diary Australia.

 

Changes in the Dimmi Network

Anecdotal evidence from Marketing4Restuarants points to Qantas’ Frequent Flyer Program as being the largest source of bookings.  Urbanspoon was a significant source of bookings, but this can no longer be counted on going forward with Zomato’s purchase of Urbanspoon recently and their plans to introduce their own booking system.

Dimmi has obviously changed significantly in the last 18 months, with the money from the $10,000,000 raising from Telstra and Village Roadshow having been spent and requiring a downsizing in the workforce, which we believe saw headcount drop from 30 to around 15 in an effort to stem the significant cash burn rate, which was still at around $100,000 per month.  An interesting point made in the article is that Dimmi has raised $15,000,000.  This would indicate a further raising after the Telstra raising –  we believe that Dimmi raised $10,000,000 from Telstra and Village Roadshow amongst other investors.  It is not clear whether Telstra was a part of the latest raising or not.  Obviously, investments from Telstra attract a significant amount of media scrutiny so there will be pressure for Telstra to make a return or exit on the best post terms possible.

 

The recent departure of Lisa Hasen  ahead of the entry of Open Table into Australia will put further pressure on Dimmi.  It will certainly be an interesting 12 months for Dimmi with the entry of the Open Table juggernaut into Australia and Zomato planning to release their online online bookings system, but the big question is whether Restaurants can afford to pay per seat booked and whether they are willing to give up their customers contact details in the process.

For more information on how Restaurants can take bookings online completely free of charge, check out the Free Online Restaurant Booking System.

Latest Restaurant and Booking Numbers from Dimmi
Robbie Cooke lunching with Stevan Premutico from Dimmi – source AFR.

Robbie Cooke seems to be quiet realistic about the risks, with his final quote in the article being about the prospects of the companies that he has invested in, “You’ve got more chance of them not being a Wotif, than being one,” he says, in relation to the chances of finding another company that will have similar success like his original startup Wotif.com.  The significant strategic challenge for Dimmi will be to morph from being a reseller of Restaurant Diary into a company with significant growth prospects.

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