Coronavirus: drinks giants rally for hospitality

DRINKS companies are rallying behind the hospitality industry with a number of initiatives aimed at supporting the industry during the current pandemic.

Budweiser Brewing Group UK has launched the Save Pub Life campaign, which encourages members of the public to buy a gift card for their local pub, which they can then redeem when the pub reopens for business.

The scheme is open to pubs across Scotland, England and Wales and pubs can sign up at

Budweiser will match the value of each gift card up to a combined total of £1 million. The brewing group will be supporting the campaign with marketing materials and social media templates.

Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group said the initiative was designed to help pubs through “an incredibly difficult period”.

“Although it’s absolutely the right thing to do at this time, closing doors to consumers for weeks or months will see many pubs struggle to survive, risking lasting damage to the industry and those who work within it,” said Lindenberg.

“We know that Brits are passionate about pubs, so we have launched our Save Pub Life programme to help them support their local during this time. As a champion of Britain’s iconic beer culture, Budweiser Brewing Group is proud to match the funds for the pub, providing an even greater level of support for the trade. We hope that pubs and pubgoers throughout the country get involved to help secure the future of the industry.”

Meanwhile Pernod Ricard, parent company of Chivas, The Glenlivet and Absolut, has pledged £250,000 to industry charity The Drinks Trust and has also teamed with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) to provide 2000 hospitality professionals with the WSET Level 1 Spirits online course for free.

In addition to this the company has donated £26,000 to Motor Neurone Disease charity MND Scotland – on top of the £24,000 it has raised already this year.

And soft drinks company Britvic has introduced a raft of new information to its Sensational Drinks website to help operators during the crisis. The website, at, includes advice on how operators can manage their dispense equipment, as well as links to guidance from other trade groups and specialists.

Britvic is also providing several online training courses free of charge to hospitality workers.

The initiatives from Budweiser Brewing Group, Pernod Ricard and Britvic follow industry initiatives from companies including Diageo and Edrington-Beam Suntory.

Diageo has pledged £1 million to support out of work bartenders across the UK and has also launched a helpline to advise on the raft of support available from  government, while Edrington-Beam Suntory and wholesaler Speciality Drinks teamed up to provide wellbeing packs for out of work hospitality staff.

The first 1000 packs – containing food and essentials – were sent out on Wednesday, March 25, with more now being prepared.  Members of the industry who are out of work can sign up to receive a pack at the Speciality Drinks website.

Speciality Drinks sales director, Jen Baernreuther, said:  “With our industry temporarily shut down it feels like a very uncertain time for everyone, and we’ve chosen the contents of the packs to lend a little support to those who need it, helping them to stay stocked up on essentials during this time.”