Punch is to extend its trial with Just Eat, which allows food to be delivered to and from its pubs, MCA has learnt.

Development director David Wigham said initial results from trials involving a handful of pubs had been “encouraging” but said the real test would come with greater scale and through analysing performance during autumn.

He also tod MCA that the group has expanded its Punch Inns accommodation model into the Falcon retail contracts division for the first time.

The Just Eat trial was announced in July and involves two strands. The first involves a selection of Punch pubs across Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire offering customers the chance to order food through Just eat to consume in the pub. The second has seen two food-led Punch pubs in Yorkshire offering a takeaway menu and home delivery service to their local customer base.

Wigham said: “One of the bits of feedback from Just Eat is that while we’ve been relatively pleased with the sales so far, summertime is not the best time for the takeaway business. Our intention would be to extend the trial to some additional sites and then to see - once the darker nights come in – what the true potential is. We’ve been encouraged by the results in the first couple of sites so we’re looking forward to seeing how this develops.”

On Punch Inns, he said: “We’re continuing to apply the technology side of things and we are now implementing the Punch Inns model into our Falcon division. The trial sites were all leases so this is something different. But it’s still very early days for Punch Inns.”