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Mitchell Taylor

How suppliers are supporting the on-premise during COVID-19

May 1, 2020
By Alana House

It’s been inspiring to see the drinks industry step up to help during the unprecedented events of the past five weeks during the on-premise shutdown.

Here are just a few of the many initiatives that have been launched:

Taylors Wines has partnered with Support Local for #LocalNightIn which aims to inspire people to support their much-loved local establishments by dining at home through this challenging period. 

The Support Local website is dedicated to listing local restaurants who are currently operating and providing food and drink for their community during COVID-19.

The #LocalNightIn campaign will showcase the wide variety of restaurants, hotels, clubs and cafes on the list that are offering special takeaway, pick-up and delivery options to people in their local area. The list will then be used as part of a consumer-friendly platform for at-home diners to access and learn about the venues in their area that are still open for business.

“While we need to respect social distancing measures, there are still thousands of hotels, cafes, clubs and restaurants that are trying to navigate the new normal and stay afloat in these tough times,” said Taylors Wines MD Mitchell Taylor (pictured main).

“Our family were originally hoteliers in the 1950s. It’s difficult to see all these hospitality businesses doing it tough. Australia’s restaurants, hotels and clubs are part of our cultural fabric and we want to help as many of these venues through the other side of COVID-19.”

James Brindley; Lion

Lion has partnered with AHA NSW to help struggling venues sell take-away draught beer as part of the Support Your Local campaign. It has committed to deliver 10,000 “growlers” and caps, and 500 dispensers to hundreds of pubs, free of charge. This means millions of litres of beer won’t go to waste at venues.

The move follows Lion’s announcement in March that it would offer pubs credit for any unused kegs due to COVID-19 shutdown. Lion has now credited more than 4000 customers nationally a total of $23.5 million for more than 85,000 unused and capped kegs.

Lion Managing Director James Brindley (above) said: “We knew many pubs would have tapped kegs sitting in their cool rooms they would still need to get through, and this initiative will make that possible.”

Lion cleans beer taps

“We have also supported pubs with cleaning procedures for their draught beer systems to keep them in working order, ready and able to open up quickly again when the time comes,” he added. “Our draught quality team has now cleaned 15,000 couplers and taps for our on-premise customers, and this number will keep growing.”

Peter Filipovic CUB

CUB has also donated growlers and squealers to pubs.

CEO Peter Filipovic (above) said: “The pub industry is reeling from the recent shutdowns. So to help pubs take advantage of the Federal and State Government concessions, we’re donating 20,000 resealable bottles to more than 100 pubs in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

“What makes tap beer so great is its freshness, which is also why it has a relatively short best before date and why publicans would otherwise soon be disposing of it.

“Our resealable bottles mean beer lovers can still enjoy tap beer and support their local in its hour of need. It’ll also give many people their first taste of tap beer from the comfort of their own home.

Johnnie Walker

Diageo has worked directly with its key on-premise customers and venues on support initiatives that have positively impacted their challenged cash flow and liquidity concerns.

“Across the industry as a whole, we’ve made available free online training, support on how to create batched cocktail solutions for venues to sell directly to consumers online or through venue, and custom made stock and payment solutions for our on-premise wholesalers,” said Diageo Commercial Director Chris Shaw.

Diageo Reserve World Class is also bringing World Class Community Week to Australia. The digital initiative is designed to inspire, engage and support the bartending and hospitality trade community.

It offers a series of inspirational virtual programs, including expert business tips, masterclass tutorials and panel discussions with the industry’s best.

James Took, Swinging Cat

Bacardi has collaborated with talent from some of Sydney’s most beloved bars to home deliver Mojito packs to consumers.  

Partnering with Jimmy Brings, leading bartenders from iconic bars Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Swinging Cat, Stitch Bar and Double Deuce Lounge came together in a short video to demonstrate how to recreate the classic mojito and inspire those at home.

Campari Shaken not Broken

Campari Australia has launched the Shaken Not Broken initiative to help the hospitality industry, venues and bartenders keep connected. 

Campari has committed $500,000 in value to Shaken Not Broken, which will directly support venues to keep pouring and stay connected to their community.

It has launched a Response Package to help venues sell cocktails and drinks online to stay connected to their local communities. It is being delivered to 200 registered venues across Australia, and includes donated Campari products, bottles, swing tags and coasters.

It will also offer access to Campari Australia’s Online Ordering Platform Partner HungryHungry to assist venues to sell their products online if they do not yet have this capability. 

“We’ve been amazed by the industry’s agility at changing and adapting to new norms,” said MD Simon Durant. “We’ve seen ongoing efforts to swiftly move to take-away and delivery options, for venues to continue doing what they do best – offer bespoke cocktails and drinks for their patrons to enjoy at home.

“We hope the release of Campari Australia’s Shaken Not Broken Response Package will help equip participating venues with what they need to reconnect with their local community, while bringing in revenue to help them make it through to the other side.”

Hairydog

Paramount Liquor has joined with Splashbox to help on-premise venues sell their stock during shutdown, through an online initiative called Hairydog.

Hairydog gives hospitality owners the chance to receive a credit or refund for dead stock.

Paramount Liquor’s Commercial Director, Nathan Miller, said: “In the spirit of mateship and community, Paramount Liquor is supporting Hairydog in this initiative. The solution will help the hospitality industry by allowing impacted venues to return millions of dollars’ worth of alcohol.”

The Hairydog website is due to launch this month and will offer one of the largest online alcohol ranges in Australia, along with fast and affordable delivery, adhering to stringent health and safety measures.

Coopers Live

Coopers Brewery has launched a virtual pub initiative called Live, Loud & Local to help the on-premise and their patrons get through the current COVID-19 shutdown.

Live, Loud & Local runs for an hour on Friday and Saturday nights, offering entertainment from some of Australia’s leading comedians, musicians, chefs and MCs.

Coopers is partnering with key hotels across Australia, which are “virtually” opening their doors to host the events. Pubs include Leonard’s House of Love in Melbourne, Coopers Original Ale House in Adelaide, the Sandbar in Perth, The Great Northern in Byron Bay, the Coogee Bay Hotel in Sydney and the Storey Bridge Hotel in Brisbane.

Coopers is also supporting its pubs and other customers by encouraging the return of kegs from trade for a refund, at a cost of nearly $4 million.

Cam Pirret

Coca-Cola Amatil is helping Australia’s bar community connect via a new live-streamed education and social connection virtual venue called The Social Exchange.

Launched last month by The Exchange, Coca-Cola Amatil’s brand ambassadors, around 1000 people are heading to the virtual venue to share knowledge and training and connect over conversation and a dram from afar.

Cam Pirret, The Exchange NSW Brand Ambassador (above), said the Social Exchange “started out as an educational piece, but really it’s about staying connected and supporting each other through this time in the industry”.

“It is a really tough time,” Pirret added. “People are having financial hardships, they are isolated, and they’re quite worried about their family and friends. Tough times don’t last but tough people do, and we think there’s nothing tougher than reaching out for help.

“We are asking people to reach out – not only to your friends, but the industry that is so supportive and has such an amazing community spirit.”

Pernod Ricard Meals for Mates

Pernod Ricard launched an initiative called Meals for Mates in March to provide meal vouchers for hospitality workers who have either lost their jobs or are coping with reduced hours.

The $25 vouchers were made available to impacted hospitality staff across Victoria, NSW and Queensland to the value of $100,000.

Eric Thomson, Pernod Ricard Winemakers Director, said: “Our restaurant and bar partners venues are the lifeblood of the industry and more importantly create places for consumers to come together, they have given us so much, now let’s help them. We want to encourage the community, where possible, to continue supporting their local hospitality businesses so as many as possible can remain open.”