Stevan Premutico, CEO of reservations platform, Dimmi, has announced he’ll be leaving the company he founded some 10 years ago.

Bought by TripAdvisor in 2015, the idea for Dimmi was first conceived in the midst of the financial crisis, Premutico wrote in a statement announcing his departure.

“My humble and perhaps naive ambition at the time was to make the restaurant industry better. It was stuck in the dark ages, stuck in an analogue world and I saw technology as the saviour. It has been a near impossible slog … The only thing that got me through was an intimate belief that the industry really needed us. This gave me enough ammunition to get through the tough days, to stick it out. 10 years later, I am grateful we did.”

Premutico has spent the past decade urging restaurateurs to embrace technology and welcome the efficiencies that online reservation platforms – and the digital world in general – can offer businesses. Among his greatest achievements, he said, is the fact that 43 percent of reservations at Dimmi restaurants are now made online.

“I move on with Dimmi sitting as the clear market leader, and I am super proud of what we achieved. 50 percent of Aussie restaurants now depend on us for their bookings. Over 40 million diners have booked a table with us. We took a stance against diner no–shows and reduced it by 25 percent. We launched Hospo Game Changers to inspire a better industry. We published 1 million verified user reviews to make the industry more democratic, more transparent, more accountable. Many of Australia’s marquee brands including Urban Purveyor, Rockpool, and Merivale ditched their former platforms and switched to Dimmi – a true defining moment in our journey. And in May 2015, our watershed moment, we joined the TripAdvisor family,” he said.

According to The Australian, it’s understood that TripAdvisor, which previously was quite hands-off with the running of the reservations platform – is getting more involved in Dimmi, which takes 20 percent of all restaurant bookings in Australia, and aims to handle 50 percent of all restaurant bookings in the country by the year 2020.

Jared Chapman, currently Dimmi’s general manager, will replace Premutico as CEO, effective 1 July.

While Premutico is yet to confirm his plans moving forward, he has said he’ll be working with another start-up.

“I am a small business guy, a start-up guy…much more a founder than a CEO,” he said.

Image: Collective Hub

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