Deliveroo founder Will Shu has argued that the covid-19 crisis has advanced consumer behaviour.

He told the BBC: “Even if restrictions are lifted soon, there’s going to be a long period of socially-distanced dining. Covid-19 really has marked a new era of delivery. Since we started Deliveroo, there’s been this incredible adoption towards online and apps. But I think covid-19 has brought forward this consumer behaviour by about one to three years. On the other hand, our restaurant partners are hurting.”

Although restaurants will be allowed to reopen in England on 4 July with social distancing measures in place, Shu said that he believed that “there’s going to be an increased demand for delivery and collection”.

Technology firms like Deliveroo “need to develop better tools for restaurants to operate safely and profitably”, he said.

It comes as Deliveroo launches a new feature called ‘Table Service’. From 15 July UK users will be able to order food and pay through the Deliveroo app when they have a sit-in meal at participating restaurants, cafes or pubs.

The firm says it’s aimed at making social distancing easier when eating out.

“This is an important safety feature to give consumers confidence they can return to restaurants safely, and for restaurant staff, who will be able to work while minimising in-person contact,” Deliveroo said in a statement.