Diageo Recovery Fund to Support Pubs Across Island of Ireland

Standing with publicans of Ireland, Guinness today announced a new €14 million fund, called “Raising the Bar”, established to support the recovery of pubs across the Island of Ireland.

This is part of a Diageo (maker of Guinness) 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.

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.

In Ireland, the “Raising the Bar” programme will be focussed on the provision of practical equipment and confidence building measures needed for outlets to reopen and operate on a safe and sustainable basis.  Guinness will consult with the on-trade as to how best to direct future funding over the two-year period.

From 24 June 2020, bar owners across all of Ireland will be able to register their interest for the “Raising the Bar” programme via www.mydiageo.com. 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, often providing a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.”

Speaking today, Oliver Loomes, Managing Director of Diageo Ireland said: “The hospitality sector in Ireland requires long-term investment and support to get back up and running. Not only has the financial impact to their business been significant, but they have missed their place at the centre of Ireland’s social fabric. Through this €14 million “Raising the Bar” Fund, our ambition is to support pubs in Ireland in welcoming back customers in the safest possible way, when they are ready to do so.

It is more important than ever to work with our partners to create a safe and sustainable night time economy together.  This fund is our commitment to the future of the local pub in Ireland. It will also be essential for the authorities on this island to work together with our industry to build both a safe and a sustainable hospitality and bar sector”.

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 any bar, anywhere open its doors again.

To register interest in the “Raising The Bar” fund log onto www.mydiageo.com.  More details will be announced in July.