Greene King has seen usage levels of its app soar since reopening, with 70% of its orders being submitted by guests through the technology, chief executive Nick Mackenzie told MCA’s The Conversation.

Mackenzie said that the usage of its app “has been massively up on last time”, which he said had meant changes have had to be made to the operating model previously used by its teams – particularly its kitchen staff.

Phil Urban, chief executive, Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) agreed that the use of technology such as order and pay at table apps were here to stay. He said they also linked into the trends for premiumisation and customers trading up.

“One of the things we are seeing is spend per head go up when they (customers) used those apps as it becomes very easy to order,” he said. “One of the few benefits of the last year is it’s probably accelerated the adoption of those things by at least 12 months,” added Urban.

Commenting on changing customer trends, Mackenzie added that the pub garden was sure to be more in demand as part of the pub experience, especially when the weather is better. “And actually I think some of the challenge will be around how we get people back inside pubs, particularly in hot weather, so we can increase capacity,” he said.

“I think there is loads to learn and there are loads of changes in the way consumers think, and that’s going to play out over the next three or four months,” he added.

In addition, Urban foresees customers expecting the same standards of safety, including things like sanitising stations, and more space around tables, even once restrictions have been fully lifted. “As an industry we have to think about that. One of the negative by-products of all this is that our government has planted a seed in the guests mind that somehow hospitality is a bed of infection, so we have to work hard to demonstrate that we are not,” he added.