Diageo calls on governments to provide long-term recovery packages for the hospitality sector
Diageo, the maker of Guinness, has announced a new global programme to support pubs and bars to welcome customers back and recover following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Raising the Bar” will be a two-year programme available from July 2020.
Through “Raising the Bar”, the company will provide US$100m/£79.9m to support the recovery of major hospitality centres, including New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Sydney and beyond. This US$100m/£79.9m programme includes the US$20m/£16m Community Fund announced in the United States on 12 June 2020.
Diageo designed the “Raising the Bar” programme following a global survey of bar owners to identify what they need to reopen after 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 re-open. For example, 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 24 June 2020, bar owners will be able to register their interest for the “Raising the Bar” programme via DiageoBarAcademy globally and MyDiageo in the UK and Ireland. 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.
Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo commented: “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 the first foot on the employment ladder for young people.”
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. 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 wants 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.