Early indications suggest indoors opening got off to a good start yesterday, as the much-cited “pent-up demand” came to fruition, as consumers sought refuge from the rain to return back inside hospitality venues.

Gavin George, CEO of Laine Pub Company, admitted it was “quite strange” to see customers inside for the first time in so many months, but equally described it as “fantastic”.

Andy Laurillard, MD of Giggling Squid meanwhile told MCA that the numbers from lunch showed no reticence from customers coming out.

George, appearing on MCA’s The Conversation, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to open the inside of our pubs, for the first time in many months.

“We have been fortunate that a lot of our pubs have got great outside areas that we’ve invested quite heavily in, making them comfortable and warm, and actually we traded quite well in those since the reopening on April 12.

“It’s quite strange actually to see people inside pubs. I’ve been in one of our pubs, and seeing people sitting and enjoying their first meal and drink inside - I’m very pleased that it’s happening.

“Bookings are pretty strong. We’re now operating in an environment where every single other pub’s open as well, so competition is harder, but I’m pretty confident.

“There’s a lot of pent up demand, people want to come inside this last week as shown with the torrential rain, even with fantastic outside areas there is still an impact. So, having people inside is great news.”

Also on The Conversation, Laruillard said: “I’m looking at the numbers from lunchtime and it’s pretty good.

“I don’t see in any of the numbers any reticence from customers to come out

“That’s very positive. I think we’re looking forwards, but it’s great to be open.”