Dimmi Restaurant bookings reports flat growth

Last month Dimmi Restaurant bookings data was released detailing the number of bookings made online with Dimmi.  The figures only relate to Restaurants using Dimmi for their online bookings, which is only around 3,000 restaurants.  which according to Ibisworld, has 25,680, so Dimmi’s market share of all Restaurants is only just over 10%.

Stevan Premutico, Dimmi CEO, said in an interview with the Australian Financial Review, that  the Dimmi Restaurant booking numbers had increased just 4% over the past 12 months.  This would have to be a disappointing result for new Dimmi owners, Tripadvisor.

Dimmi had struggled incredibly to build market share before the Tripadvisor buyout, unable to grow past the 2,500 restaurants that it had for a period of 3 years.  The Dimmi  website is now reporting 3,000+ restaurants.  It is probably not many more than 3,000 given their desire to appear as a growing business.

The big implication for Dimmi, however, is if they have grown the number of Restaurants by 20%, then the number of bookings per restaurant has dropped.  It seems very unusual that the number of bookings per restaurant would decrease.  Some restaurants have moved to no bookings, relying solely on walk ins, but this isn’t a big trend and wouldn’t explain the per restaurant decrease in bookings.

The fact that booking numbers are growing so slowly, and bookings per restaurant are probably down, highlights the fact that Telstra may have made a good decision in unloading their shares in Dimmi when Tripadvisor came looking for an entrance into the Australian market.

What is best practice for using Dimmi restaurant bookings?

We believe that the decrease in booking numbers per restaurant is a part of the growing trend of Restaurants who are becoming increasingly concerned about database security and cost conscious.  Under the Dimmi agreement, Dimmi retains access to the customers and build up a database of where each customer dines and how often.  This has become an increasingly contentious issues with fine dining restaurants, because there are a limited number of customers wanting to spend $200 per seat on a regular basis, and a database of those people is incredibly valuable.

Best practice for Restaurants wanting to take booking online is to use a booking system that does not share their customer contact details, such as the Free Online Restaurant Booking system.  This system has taken over $15,000,000 in bookings, is growing every month and has customers in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and as far away as Nigeria, as more restaurants need to take bookings online without monthly fees or per seat or per table charges and most importantly maintaining database security.  If restaurants choose to access the Dimmi network, they can do so without have the Dimmi booking widget on their own website.  Dimmi actually refers virtually no traffic to Restaurant websites, so every booking taken on a Restaurant website is the result of the Restaurant’s marketing, not Dimmis.

The number 1 reason for decreasing customer loyalty

We believe that leaking customer email addresses into systems like Dimmi, Eveve, and OpenTable is one of the biggest causes for decreasing customer loyalty.  Diners are repeatedly sent emails from these companies advertising other Restaurants and often with discount deals associated with them, so retaining loyal full price paying customers only becomes more difficult in the face of the these email campaigns.

What is the future for Dimmi?

Dimmi has appeared to struggle to grow it’s bookings numbers as more restaurants discover the fact that over 75% of bookings are made on their website, which means that if they move to a free online restaurant booking system, they can save money, retain customer contact details as well as maintaining customer loyalty.

We believe that the majority of Dimmi’s revenue comes from it’s partnership with ResDiary, and that will strain the relationship with Tripadvisor, given that it has it’s own, albeit significantly inferior, table management software.

The future is also clouded with the slightly jarring relationship with customer reviews that Dimmi and Tripadvisor have.  The issues with Tripadvisors fake reviews, have been well documented.  Fake reviews have been a contentious issue with Restaurants and the linkage of Dimmi with Tripadvisor has created a situation that restaurants may see as increasingly difficult to manage as their bookings are now being handled through a comapny that they have had to deal with fake reviews with in the past.

More Dimmi alternatives come onto the market

The big entrant into the Australian market has been OpenTable, but their model is more expensive than Dimmi’s and their Table Managment software is not as user friendly as ResDiary, the software that Dimmi has licensed and resells.  OpenTable appears to have struggled in Australia and restaurant numbers are probably below their expectations.  The big alternatives which are growing in market share are our Free Online Restaurant Booking system, which is now operating in 4 countries.

If you are looking to move to a paperless restaurant diary,  want to cut the costs of using OpenTable, Eveve, or Dimmi, or want to stop sharing customer email addresses, please look at the Free Online Restaurant Bookings system.  For 3 years now it has collected hundreds of thousands of email addresses for Restaurant owners, creating very powerful databases for them to grow their businesses.

Is Poor SEO Killing Your Restaurant?

Too many times we see customers with websites that are costing restaurants thousands of dollars every month through poor design, poor messaging and poor SEO. If your website could be improved to bring in 200 extra visits per month and just 10% of those made a booking, and each booking was for 2.5 seats on average at $50 a seat, you would have an extra $2,500 in revenue a month. A 30% food cost, that is $1,750 in profit extra a month. This ignores those customers coming back as regulars – which is more profit.

Remember, if these customers aren’t finding your Restaurant, they are finding your competitors.

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