Guinness has launched a $15.8 million fund in Ireland, part of a new $100 million Diageo recovery fund to help pubs welcome back their customers following the coronavirus lockdown.

Guinness's new global program "Raising the Bar" will use its $100 million und to help pubs recover from COVID-19 and in doing so help support jobs and communities around the world. The owners of Guinness, Diageo have also called on governments to provide long-term recovery packages for the hospitality sector.

The $100 million fund program, “Raising the Bar” will run for two years and will be available from July 2020. Guinness's fund will provide support for major hospitality hubs including New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Sydney and beyond. 

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Guinness support

Diageo designed the “Raising the Bar” program 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 United Nation’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.

Pulling a pint of Guinness: A Dublin institution, The Gravediggers.

Pulling a pint of Guinness: A Dublin institution, The Gravediggers.

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 socialize safely. By providing access to free digital support, technology, training, and equipment, Diageo aims to help any bar, anywhere open its doors again.

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Pubs of Ireland

In Ireland, the “Raising the Bar” program 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.

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.

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 center 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”.

A Guinness advert on the streets of Dublin, during the COVID lockdown.

A Guinness advert on the streets of Dublin, during the COVID lockdown.

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Government call to action

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. These businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialize 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.”

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

Here's a beautiful advert Guinness launched in March, a message of hope for post-COVID met ups: 

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