UKIBC Strategic Partner Diageo India launches ‘Raising the Bar’ – an INR 75 crore recovery programme

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

The impact of COVID-19 on hospitality industry has been widespread, with the closure of venues across the country.

Diageo India, the country’s leading beverage alcohol company and a subsidiary of global leader Diageo PLC, announced ‘Raising the Bar’, a 75-crore programme committed to support bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol to welcome customers back and recover following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Raising the Bar” will be a two-year programme to support the revival and recovery of qualifying bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol across New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and other cities.

Back in March, during the very early stages of the pandemic in India, Diageo donated 300,000 litres of bulk hand sanitiser and approx. 150,000 masks to state public health departments, and supported the hospitality sector with a INR 30 million healthcare insurance to bartenders.

Diageo designed the “Raising the Bar” programme following a global survey of bar owners to identify key priorities to support reopening and hence will provide targeted non-cash support including physical equipment needed for outlets to re-open like ‘hygiene kits’ with high-quality permanent sanitiser dispensers, medical grade hand sanitiser and a range of personal protection equipment (such as masks and gloves); help to bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol to establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems; mobile bars and outdoor equipment.

Following resumption of business operations and the sale of alcohol in bars, pubs and restaurants, outlets will be able to register their interest for the “Raising the Bar” programme via 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.

“The Indian Hospitality and F&B industry has witnessed unprecedented loss of revenues. This has impacted many start-ups and MSMEs as well as the livelihood of millions of people. Pubs, Bars and Restaurants are an integral part of our communities, bringing people together to socialise and celebrate – something we have all missed during the lockdown. Diageo has always had strong linkages with the Hospitality and F&B industry, jointly curating unique experiences for consumers. The revival of this sector is vital to the economy and to the success of our business. ‘’Raising the Bar’’ is our commitment to qualifying Pubs, Bars & Restaurants that serve alcohol. This support extends to providing enhanced safety measures when they resume operations so that their business and employment can revive, enabling our consumers to feel confident once again to socialise and lead normal lives.’’

– Anand Kripalu, Managing Director & CEO, Diageo India

Diageo India’s commitment is part of the USD 100 million commitment by Diageo, benefitting global cities like New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, and Sydney. In India, the programme will be owned and led by Black Dog, Diageo’s locally blended iconic scotch whisky.

The impact of COVID-19 on hospitality industry has been widespread, with the closure of venues across the country. The industry, home to many start-ups and MSMEs, is facing a tremendous liquidity crisis owing to lockdown closures, high rentals, and additional pressures of securing hygiene equipment. As governments begin to ease lockdown measures, people want to come together again to connect with their community and socialise safely. By bringing international best practices, providing access to free digital support, technology, training and equipment, Diageo aims to help bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol in India, open its doors again.

UKIBC appreciate these continuous efforts of our strategic partner Diageo to rejuvenate the economy during these unprecedented times and will continue to work with our members to support them and their meaningful efforts.

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