Diageo has today 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.
Diageo will provide $100m (£80.4m) 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.
The programme includes the $20m (£16m) Community Fund announced in the United States on 12 June 2020.
Diageo said it designed Raising the Bar 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 said it 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.
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.”
He added: “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.”