Diageo launches $100m fund to help pubs and bars recover from lockdown

Drinks giant Diageo will spend US$100 million on a two-year campaign called Raising the Bar, designed to help bars get up and running again in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund will be available from July for the next two years, and will provide practical support to pubs and bars to reopen and operate safely after months of coronavirus-induced hibernation.

The company, which makes Irish stout Guinness, will provide $100 million to support hospitality businesses in cities all over the world including: New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, and Sydney and beyond.

Support will come in the form of:

  • ‘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 establish partnerships with online reservation platforms and cashless systems
  • Mobile bars
  • Outdoor equipment.

This $100 million programme includes the $20 million Community Fund first announced in the United States on 12 June 2020, nearly £30million ($24.89m) for pubs and bars across the UK, with £4million of that earmarked for Scottish businesses.

Raising the Bar was put together following a global survey of bar owners to find out what they need to reopen after lockdown.

Their top priorities included hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment to transform how their outlets will work.

Bar owners will receive regular updates on best practice training, and will also be invited to participate in more surveys that will provide a database of sorts for Diageo employees rolling out the fund.

This is the latest, and largest, support fund Diageo has launched since lockdowns came into place around the world.

Last month, Diageo pledged AU$1.2 million (US$825,000) to help its on-trade partners reopen across Australia. The ‘Welcome Back’ support package will provide 130,000 free serves to bar partners, as well as help with PR and marketing, to help ramp up sales.

Earlier this month, Diageo created a Community Fund worth $20 million to support businesses, consumers and partners central to the hospitality industry in black communities across the US. The Smirnoff vodka maker said this will involve targeted donations supporting advocacy efforts as part of the economic recovery from Covid-19, training for business owners and employees, and relief aid.

Diageo also launched a £1m hospitality support fund at the start of the UK’s own coronavirus lockdown in March.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo said the fund should not replace long-term government support for the hospitality sector.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

DeAille Tam named Asia's Best Female Chef 2021

DeAille Tam, executive chef and co-founder of Obscura in Shanghai, has been named as Asia’s Best Female Chef 2021.

The true cost of keeping a pub shut for the next seven weeks

Though Boris Johnson's oft-touted 'roadmap' out of lockdown has at least provided businesses with an idea of when they might be able to reopen, pubs still face weeks of closure and uncertainty.

Public called to take action to save pubs across the UK

National charity the Plunkett Foundation has launched a UK-wide public appeal to help save pubs through community ownership before it's too late

15% of Hong Kong bars have closed due to the pandemic

Some 210 bars in Hong Kong have closed in the last six months due to the pandemic, accounting for 15% of the entire industry.

The big interview: Kate Nicholls

As CEO of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls OBE has been instrumental in holding the government’s feet to the fire when it comes to saving the sector. She tells Lucy Shaw about her role, and what the industry is likely to face over the coming months. 

Most Recent Stories

DeAille Tam named Asia's Best Female Chef 2021

DeAille Tam, executive chef and co-founder of Obscura in Shanghai, has been named as Asia’s Best Female Chef 2021.

The true cost of keeping a pub shut for the next seven weeks

Though Boris Johnson's oft-touted 'roadmap' out of lockdown has at least provided businesses with an idea of when they might be able to reopen, pubs still face weeks of closure and uncertainty.

Public called to take action to save pubs across the UK

National charity the Plunkett Foundation has launched a UK-wide public appeal to help save pubs through community ownership before it's too late

15% of Hong Kong bars have closed due to the pandemic

Some 210 bars in Hong Kong have closed in the last six months due to the pandemic, accounting for 15% of the entire industry.

The big interview: Kate Nicholls

As CEO of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls OBE has been instrumental in holding the government’s feet to the fire when it comes to saving the sector. She tells Lucy Shaw about her role, and what the industry is likely to face over the coming months.