A more sophisticated pub sector, shaped by the use of big data, is emerging from fallout of the pubs code, according to Vianet.

Chief executive Stewart Darling said the big pubcos were responding to the challenges of legislation by working smarter and closing the gap on competitors in the wider leisure field.

He said Vianet was also focussing heavily on cashless payments in its vending solutions business as consumers increasingly demand to use contactless and mobile payments.

On the pub sector Darling said: “There is still a lot of uncertainty around because of the pubs code. But we are also seeing a change in the way pub companies big and small operate. They have seen how valuable the data that is floating about in their estates is and what to use every last drop of that to improve operational excellence.

“Our recent beer quality report showed just how much scope there is for pubs to be more efficient. If you went into a coffee shop there is no way you would find the kind of inconsistency in the quality of what is being presented to you that still exists in some pubs. That’s a huge opportunity.”

On the move towards cashless payments in vending solutions, Darling said: “The days of people scrabbling for change to get a coffee are over and the technology needs to move as quickly as consumer sentiment. The way people are now embracing mobile payment, it’s clear that we won’t even be looking at contactless payments in a few years time – it will all be done over the phone.”