Diageo has announced a new support programme to help pubs and bars recover following the coronavirus pandemic.
The global giant, which has a huge supply operation based in Leven in Fife, has launched “Raising the Bar” which will be a two-year programme available from next month.
Through “Raising the Bar”, Diageo will provide $100 million to support the recovery of major hospitality centres, including: Edinburgh, New York, London, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Sydney and beyond.
This $100 million programme includes the $20 million Community Fund announced in the United States earlier this month.
Diageo designed the “Raising the Bar” programme following a global survey of bar owners to identify what they need to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown. Their top priorities include hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment to transform how their outlets will work.
The “Raising the Bar” programme will provide targeted support to help pay for the physical equipment needed for outlets to reopen.
In the UK, Diageo will provide initial funding for: “hygiene kits” with high-quality permanent sanitiser dispense units, medical grade hand sanitiser and a range of personal protection equipment (such as masks and gloves), help to pubs and bars to establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems, mobile bars and outdoor equipment.
From today, bar owners can register their interest for the “Raising the Bar” programme via mydiageo.com in the UK.
Bar owners will receive regular updates on best practice training and resources and be able to participate in global surveys to share insights, as they build back their businesses.
Impact of crisis
Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, said: “Pubs and bars sit at the heart of every community. We have launched ‘Raising the Bar’ as so many outlets have been impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again.
“We are calling on governments around the world to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector. These businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate – something that we have all missed so much during this terrible crisis – and sustain hundreds of millions of jobs, which provide a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.”
We are calling on governments around the world to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector.
Ivan Menezes, chief executive, Diageo.
The UN’s International Labour Organisation has forecast that 436 million enterprises worldwide face serious disruption and one in six young people will be unemployed due to Covid-19.
And the hospitality sector will be one of the hardest hit, as pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants provide hundreds of millions of jobs for many full and part-time workers.
The impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality sector has been widespread, with the closure of venues the world over.
As governments begin to ease lockdown measures, the public want to come together again to connect with their community and socialise safely. By providing access to free digital support, technology, training and equipment, Diageo aims to help bars open their doors again.