Diageo launches $100 million recovery fund to help pubs and bars welcome back customers after lockdown

Diageo launches $100 million recovery fund to help pubs and bars welcome back customers after lockdown

  • New global programme to help pubs and bars recover from COVID-19, supporting jobs and communities around the world
  • Practical equipment for outlets to implement new social distancing measures, digital skills training and contactless technology
  • Diageo calls on governments to provide long-term recovery packages for the hospitality sector

24 June 2020: Diageo, maker of GUINNESS, 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.

Through “Raising the Bar”, Diageo will provide $100 million 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 $100 million programme includes the $20 million 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 www.diageobaracademy.com globally and www.mydiageo.com 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 a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.’

The UN’s International Labour Organization 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 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.

For further information please contact:
Diageo Press Office
+44 (0) 7803 856 200

Notes to editors:

  • UN’s International Labour Organization forecast is available via: ilo.org
  • To be eligible to participate in the $100 million of targeted support from the “Raising the Bar” programme, outlets:
    • Must be registered as a legal entity (for tax purposes) or equivalent in each jurisdiction
    • Must have been operating for minimum period of 12 months before introduction of any national or local lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19, affecting its ability to operate in a business as usual manner
    • Must have a beer and/or spirits licence or equivalent
    • Must demonstrate at least one way in which they are or plan to “Raise the Bar” in their community, including: promoting inclusion and diversity and job-creation in disadvantaged communities; promoting positive drinking and tackling harm or anti-social behaviour; focusing on sustainability or community support; and providing skills training, especially those from disadvantaged groups.

About Diageo
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories.  These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.  The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).  For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.  Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.


A survey of more than 11,000 people across nine countries has found: 

  • 84% of drinkers are drinking the same or less alcohol during shutdowns, with almost one in three people (30%) saying they are drinking less or have stopped 
  • Of the 11% drinking more under shutdowns, 72% plan to revert to their old drinking habits 
  • 54% of people miss socializing and dining out at restaurants or bars, second only to socializing with family and friends (64%) 
  • Concern remains for the 5% of drinkers who said their drinking has led to more problems 

During lockdowns, the vast majority of drinkers (84%) are maintaining their previous levels of drinking or consuming less alcohol, a survey of more than 11,000 people across nine countries has found.

When the coronavirus shutdowns began, photographs of empty alcohol shelves in supermarkets around the world led to fears that people would drink more when they were confined to their homes and buying alcohol at a lower cost than they would normally pay in restaurants and bars. 

Now a YouGov survey for the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) of 11,678 adults in Australia, South Africa, Mexico, France, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, and New Zealand has revealed that most people have consumed the same or less during shutdowns.

Almost one in three drinkers (30%) said they were drinking less or had stopped during shutdowns, and of those almost half (46%) said they would continue to drink less when the restrictions were eased.  

Drinkers aged under 35 years have been the most likely to give up drinking completely during this period, with more than one in seven (15%) abstaining from alcohol while they have been unable to socialize at restaurants or bars.

Of the minority of drinkers (11%) who were drinking more during shutdowns, most (72%) said they were planning to revert to their previous drinking habits once lockdowns have eased and bars and restaurants reopen. 

However, concern remains for an average of 5% of drinkers who said their alcohol consumption had led to them experiencing more problems due to their drinking under the coronavirus restrictions. 

International Alliance for Responsible Drinking President, Henry Ashworth said: “Despite reports of people rushing to stock up on alcohol in supermarkets, pictures of empty shelves, and early increases in off-premise alcohol sales, today’s polling indicates that the vast majority of people in these nine countries consumed the same or less alcohol during shutdowns.  

“It is also encouraging that many intend to maintain these moderate habits as restaurants and bars, which have been sorely missed as a vital part of many people’s social wellbeing, begin to open. 

“Some people are clearly struggling with their alcohol consumption during shutdowns and it is important that these individuals seek support from their doctor or specialist organizations that offer the chance to talk about their drinking. Having consulted with a doctor, for some people, the better choice may be not to drink at all during this difficult time.”  

Socializing and dining out at restaurants or bars is missed by 54% of people, second only to socializing with friends and family (64%). It ranks highly within the things missed about normal life in all nine countries. Overall, the majority of respondents in nearly all countries believe that the current restrictions during shutdowns are just about right.

However, there are clear divisions in South Africa, where an alcohol ban was put in place during shutdown. Almost half of respondents in South Africa (46%) felt that regulations surrounding the sale and purchase of alcohol in their country were too restrictive. This has resulted in drinkers obtaining alcohol during shutdown from other sources*, with 45% saying they made their own homemade alcohol and 29% acquiring homemade alcohol from others. This suggests that drinkers were accessing and consuming unregulated and potentially toxic alcohol drinks, and breaching shutdown rules to do so. 

In Mexico, where heavy restrictions on alcohol were put in place in some local states, almost one in four people felt regulations in their country were too restrictive (24%).  

Sadly, both Mexico and South Africa have seen deaths or illness from unregulated and illicit alcohol during their shutdowns. In Mexicoover 150 people died in May alone after consuming illicit alcohol. These deaths happened in local states where alcohol had been banned during shutdown.

Commenting on the growth of illicit alcohol in these markets, Henry Ashworth said:  

 “Unregulated and illicit alcohol is bad for government, bad for economies, and potentially very bad for health. Although most governments have looked at ways that legal and regulated producers could stay open during this period, a few countries have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing heavy restrictions that are leading to unintended consequences, such as driving consumers to unregulated sources of alcohol.”  


*Respondents were asked which, if any, of the following sources they had bought or obtained alcohol since stay at home orders began: in-store; online purchase; restaurant/bar delivery or takeaway; I have been making my own; I have been getting it from others who make their own; and other.  

[1]For more information about the wide-reaching implications /of unregulated alcohol, please see IARD’s Alcohol in the Shadow Economy report.  

Notes to Editors:  

  1. The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing harmful drinking worldwide. IARD is supported by its member companies from all sectors of the regulated alcohol industry – beer, wine, and spirits – in their common purpose of being part of the solution to reducing the harmful use of alcohol. For more information on our membership and what we do, please visit www.iard.org
  2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 11,678 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th and 21st May 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all country adults (aged 18+). 

For more information contact:  Puja Darbari – pdarbari@iard.org/ + 44 (0) 7818071922

Golden Moon wins prestigious award

Liveryman Stephen Gould and Karen Knight founded the Golden Moon Distillery in 2008 and they have just received the prestigious Bubble Cap Award for Distillery of the Year, by the American Distilling Institute (ADI). The award is considered the craft distilling industry’s highest honour and is presented to a distillery that most exemplifies ADI’s values, including excellence in production, quality, transparency and education as a leader in the industry.

“It’s an enormous honour to be recognised by the ADI and our industry peers as this year’s Distillery of the Year,” says Gould. “The entire Golden Moon Distillery family has worked hard to get Golden Moon to where it is today. Our handcrafted herbal spirits and liqueurs are fermented and distilled using traditional methods going back to the 1800s. We have a lot more work to do to realise our vision so it is incredibly flattering that our industry has recognised our achievements to date and our plans for the future.”

HRH The Princess Royal opens Chatham’s Copper Rivet Distillery

On Friday 1st December, HRH The Princess Royal officially opened Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham’s Historic Dockyard. The three founders, Bob Russell and his sons Matthew and Stephen welcomed her to their beautiful distillery before introducing her to the team.

During the tour, The Princess Royal tried her hand at using a copper ‘valinch’ to extract barrel samples of the maturing Masthouse Whisky, which will be ready for release in 2020.

Copper Rivet Distillery is one of only very few distilleries to control the whole distillation process from grain to glass. In addition, it has agreements with local farmers on the neighbouring Isle of Sheppey to grow their ‘Holy Trinity’ of wheat, barley and rye so as to let them control every aspect of the flavour of their spirits.

Copper Rivet Distillery opened its doors in October 2016 and since then has gone from strength to strength. Its Vela Vodka won the top Double Gold award in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; its award-winning Dockyard gin has had the honour of launching HMS Medway, the first ship ever to be launched with gin; and its Son of a Gun English grain spirit, finished in oak barrels, is pioneering a new drinks category for Britain’s ever more inventive army of mixologists.

Stephen Russell says, “To receive a visit from HRH Princess Royal to officially open the distillery has been the icing on the cake for us and for all our suppliers in Kent. Chatham was the first Royal Dockyard in the time of Elizabeth 1st, and is now a rising star again in the time of Elizabeth 2nd. Copper Rivet Distillery is symbolic of that re-birth and, as a local family, we are proud of Chatham, and proud of Kent.”

10,000 visitors have already visited the distillery and its delicatessen area on the increasingly popular tours.

Castel plans entrance into sparkling segment

Courtesy of The Drinks Report

Castel Group is to start production of Crémant de Bordeaux for the first time in its history, from its Oenoalliance site.

The company is aiming to develop its sparkling segment in the large scale retail sector, which it claims is still modest in comparison to Castel’s other French AOP wines.

The move to boost growth and focus on innovation comes at a time when sales of fizz are starting to soar.

Oenoalliance’s technical facilities and flexibility have enabled the investment to be made; it is set to benefit brands such as Malesan and Maison Castel as well as private labels.

Read the full article

Hine releases two 1987 vintage cognacs

Courtesy of The Drinks Report

Anchor Distilling Company’s cognac brand Hine has released a pair of 1987 vintage cognacs, a Jarnac-matured and an Early-Landed.

Hine claims to have initiated the concept of making rarities and vintage cognacs commercially available throughout the world. In each exceptional year, Hine has set aside casks of Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie to mature in the 18th century cellars beneath its offices in Jarnac, or be shipped in cask to the UK and matured as Early-Landed cognac.

The custom of Early-Landed cognac at Hine dates back to the 19th century when casks were first shipped to Bristol, to mature in the unique conditions offered in south-west England. The 1987 Early-Landed was shipped in fine-grained French oak casks to Wickwar, near Bristol, at the end of 1989 to gently develop and mature to perfection in dark, damp cellars.

Read the full article

The City of London Freeman’s Guide: Lord Mayor’s Edition

The City of London Freeman’s Guide is a vital companion to the Freedom of the City of London as it is in modern times. The 3rd or Lord Mayor’s edition adds a cornucopia of new topics, rising to 170 pages, and features a glowing Foreword by the 689th Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley.

Continue reading “The City of London Freeman’s Guide: Lord Mayor’s Edition”