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Fri 3rd Aug 2018 - Update: Bar and nightclub awards, Shake Shack, BigDish
Nominations for 2018 Dusk ‘til Dawn, the bar and nightclub sector awards, now open: Nominations for the 2018 UKHospitality Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards, the annual celebration of the UK’s late night hospitality sector, are now open. The eight categories in which the awards will recognise the best in the dynamic late night sector are: Best Late Night Food; Best Late Night Drink; Best Late Night Entertainment; Best Service and Team Development; Best Marketing and Promotions; Best Late Night Bar; Best Late Night Club and Best Late Night Company. The awards will be handed out at the annual Dusk ‘til Dawn event on Monday 8 October and will follow the Bar and Nightclub Conference held at BAFTA, Piccadilly Circus in association with Propel. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Dusk ‘til Dawn awards are a fantastic celebration of a vibrant and exciting sector, and we are pleased to bring them to Café de Paris for the fourth consecutive year. The quality of nominations over recent years has been extremely high and I am looking forward to this year’s competition immensely. Late-night venues are some of the most important assets of town and city centres across the UK and the evening is a celebration of the vital work they do. The nominations are open to both UKHospitality members and non-members and we are encouraging businesses to get involved and celebrate the venues that contribute so much both culturally and economically.” Nominations can be made online now before the closing date on 12 September at:

Shake Shack reports 1.1% like-for-like sales growth in Second Quarter: Shake Shack has reports total sales grew 27.3% to $116.3 million in its Second Quarter to 27 June. Like-for-like sales increased 1.1%. Adjusted Ebitda increased 12.9% to $21.9 million. Chief executive Randy Garutti, said: “We continue to deliver strong top and bottom line results as we execute our strategic growth plan. We delivered year-over-year revenue growth of 27%, including a 1.1% increase in same-Shack sales, and grew adjusted Ebitda by 13%. These results were driven by the strength of both new and existing Shacks, as well as our focus and continued investment across our key digital initiatives and foundational infrastructure. Our development pipeline remains robust both domestically and across our international licensed regions. As of today, we’ve opened 12 new domestic company-operated Shacks so far this year, and remain on track to open 32 to 35 in 2018, although our opening schedule is heavily back-end weighted to the fourth quarter. We’re very excited about this class of Shacks and are looking forward to their contribution to our future sales growth. Our global license partners have opened 11 new Shacks to date, including our first Shack in Hong Kong, and we continue to expect 16 to 18 net new licensed Shacks for the year with continued growth in Asia. Additionally, digital innovation remains a key focus to better connect with our guests and enhance the Shake Shack experience, while delivering ongoing menu innovation and investing in our foundational infrastructure to execute on the significant long-term growth ahead.” Average weekly sales for domestic company-operated Shacks decreased to $89,000 for the second quarter of 2018 compared to $92,000 for the same quarter last year, primarily due to the addition of newer Shacks at a broader range of average unit volumes.

BigDish launches in UK: An app has been launched, BigDish, which offers a discount of up to 50% for restaurant bookings in quieter times. BigDish raised £2.2 million on the public markets to help fund its launch in the UK. BigDish is described as a 21st-century version of a discount card. The thinking behind it is that empty tables make no money, so even a reduced bill is ultimately better for the restaurant. The founder of BigDish is 48-year-old Briton Aidan Bishop. He 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 generating little data.” In 2016, he decided to change tack and switch his focus to technology. Bishop added: “The food-tech sector is a hot space to be in, and our yield management platform is a niche that is gaining traction. Companies such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb have made recent investments in young food-tech start-ups and that trend looks likely to continue.” BigDish was founded in Manila, capital of the Philippines, and has expanded across Asia into Hong Kong and Indonesia to work with around 500 restaurants. As part of its float in London BigDish is also buying a similar British business called Table Pouncer, which was founded in Bournemouth. After the London listing, Bishop intends to expand the UK. He will compete with established brands such as Taste Card, which offers diners discounts at restaurants. BigDish charges restaurants a fee to use the app to offer customers discount rates during quiet hours. The app is free for diners. “A restaurant has fixed overheads regardless of whether people come in or not – rent, utilities and staff,” Bishop said. “What we’re looking to do with BigDish is to send people in during quieter periods or off-peak hours when the restaurants most need them.”

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