Greggs is looking to grow the evening day part by opening later, which would enable it to capitalise on the delivery market, chief executive Roger Whiteside has said.

The bakery chain launched a trial with UberEats in Newcastle a year ago, and recently partnered with Deliveroo on a trial at seven sites in Birmingham, but is yet to roll out delivery more widely.

Speaking on the back of the food-to-go retailer’s Q3 trading update yesterday, Whiteside told MCA one thing that constrains the business is that most of the demand for delivery is for things to eat in the evening.

“We are mostly closed in the evening, so we are working away at trying to open up the evening day part, as part of our strategy for the longer term,” he said. As part of this its pizza offering was expanded in the last quarter to include a pizza meal deal, which is only available after 4pm.

Whiteside said it was launched “in an attempt to get people to start to think about Greggs as an alternative solution when they want to grab something to eat at that time of day”, and was proving very popular.

“Slowly we’ll build a reputation for having that type of food, then we can start to open later, and in opening later we can offer delivery services later,” he added.

One of the other challenges when it comes to delivery has been that, as a value retailer, it’s quite difficult to build a basket of good that is high enough in price to warrant the delivery charge, he said.

“What we are finding is that people are not ordering for individuals but for groups, so we are having to reconfigure the way we offer our products to encourage groups to make group orders, that way you can get a basket over £10 and it’s worth spending the delivery charge,” he explained.

Commenting on its click-and-collect trial, which is currently in place for breakfast only at three sites in Manchester, Whiteside said that it has deliberating kept the trial small and low key as it just wants to see what’s involved operationally.

“It’s easy enough to take the order online, but the complexity comes in how you fulfil the order. All that needs to be worked out,” he said. “We definitely see if being part of the future – there is no question that people want to be able to order in advance,” Whiteside said, adding that once the right model is in place he “definitely” sees it being rolled-out to the other day parts.

On its expansion into transport hubs, he said Greggs site at London Bridge, as part of the development of the station, is due to open before the end of the calendar year, and that there were one or two other transport hub sites that were in the pipeline.

“We are encouraged as Westminster has done very well. The problem is everyone wants space in the travel locations so we are in competition with everyone else looking to expand in those areas,” he said, adding they were likely to do only one or two a year, maximum.