A trend for home-delivered restaurant food could be killing the traditional British pub atmosphere, as reclusive diners are avoiding trips out by opting for "pub grub takeaways".
For the first time a selection of pub favourites such as pies and roast dinners are becoming available for home delivery through services like Deliveroo, Just Eat, Hungry House and UberEATS.
And data from consumer analysts at The NPD Group show the number of people ordering food from pubs online or through smartphone apps soared by 59pc last year, with deliveries of pub classics now accounting for 4 per cent of the UK's takeaway market.
Experts said pubs have become the latest food institution to succumb to the pressure of offering home delivery, in a bid to a ttract more customers and stay ahead of the competition.
It comes after figures from the British Beer and Pub Association found more beer is being sold in supermarkets than pubs for the first time. The balance has shifted dramatically since 1980, when pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels accounted for 87 per cent of all bitter and lager sold.
But now more diners are choosing to order pub food at home, they can save money by washing it down with low-cost beer and wine from their own fridge.
Overall Britain's restaurant market grew by 6pc last year to £3.6 billion, the data shows.
However the take-away market is growing ten times faster than the sit-in dining market. T otal visits to eat out in pubs and restaurants increased just 1pc year-on-year to 11.3 billion in 2016, while the delivery sector jumped by nearly 10pc to 599 million visits.
Cyril Lavenant, foodservice director at The NPD Group, said: "Pubs are now feeling they need to get involved with food deliveries in order to keep up with their competitors. But as the trend grows it could ruin their atmosphere if fewer people are turning up.
"I expect that it will lead to pubs making more of an effort with their decor to encourage people to sit in. But as they are already struggling with people choosing to drink less, they may struggle to find the money for this."