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BigDish shares soar as it rebrands TablePouncer to kick-start UK roll-out

Food tech is 'hot' and Tablepouncer’s acquisition gives it a presence in the UK said CEO Joost Boer
BigDish helps to fill those empty tables

BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) rocketed higher as it unveiled plans to roll out its restaurant booking app across the UK.

Recent acquisition Tablepouncer will be rebranded as a first step.

The UK restaurant market is ripe for disruption, said Joost Boer, BigDish’s chief executive, and Tablepouncer has given it an immediate foothold.

WATCH: Investors tuck in as BigDish begins trading on London's Main Market

Tablepouncer is part of the Pouncer Group, which was acquired by BigDish in August at the time it joined the standard list of the main market.

In Bournemouth, where it is in use already, Tablepouncer booked 126,000 diners in 2017, a 9% rise year-on-year.

BigDish intends to shift these Bournemouth-based restaurants over to its branding and launch the app softly in Bath, ahead of a roll-out across other regional towns and cities.

Yield management systems have been around since the seventies, but the restaurant business has been a slow adopter, said Boer.

"It is a dynamic pricing strategy that charges different prices at different times for the same products." 

The app enables restaurants to offer customers discounts at quieter times to boost revenue and is already in use in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Uber is a renowned user of a similar 'surge pricing' model, though the taxi app giant puts prices up at times of peak demand.

The beginning

Founder Aidan Bishop, said: "BigDish started life in Manila as a restaurant discount card but we soon discovered this was an old-fashioned and outdated model with barriers to achieving scale and generated little data. 

"We made the decision to pivot in mid-2016 after noting a yield management platform in New York that grew rapidly and was acquired by Groupon.  

"That was the beginning for us."

BigDish has been working with Pouncer since January and Patrick Knight, the founder of Pouncer, will run the UK operations.

Shares jumped 23% to 5.38p. They were priced at 4.5p in the float in August, which raised £2.2mln for the company.

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