East Africa Breweries Limited (“EABL”), has announced a $5 million program to support the revival of bars and eateries after restrictions are lifted following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Raising the Bar” will be a two-year programme available from July 2020 offering eligible outlets and bars free access to digital training and support via www.diageobaracademy.com.
The fund will help support outlets in East Africa’s biggest hospitality centres. “Raising the Bar” has been created following a survey of bar owners to identify key priorities for reopening. Their top priorities included hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment to transform how their outlets will work when they reopen.
The “Raising the Bar” program will provide targeted support to help pay for the physical equipment needed for outlets to re-open. For example, funding may support the acquisition of ‘hygiene kits’ with high quality permanent sanitizer dispenser units, medical grade hand sanitizer and a range of personal protection equipment (such as masks and gloves); help for outlets to establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems; mobile bars and outdoor equipment.
The EABL business units in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will be providing more information on this program in due course.
To be eligible to participate in the recovery fund, outlets must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be registered as a legal entity (for tax purposes) or equivalent in each jurisdiction
- Have been operating for minimum period of 12 months before introduction of any national or local lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19, affecting its ability to operate in a business as usual manner
- Have a beer and/or spirits license or equivalent
- Demonstrate at least one way in which they are or plan to “Raise the Bar” in their community, including: promoting inclusion and diversity and job-creation in disadvantaged communities; promoting positive drinking and tackling harm or anti-social behavior; focusing on sustainability or community support; and providing skills training, especially those from disadvantaged groups.
Bar and eatery 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 said ‘Pubs and bars sit at the heart of every community. We have launched “Raising the Bar” as so many outlets have been forced to close by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again.”
On his part, Andrew Cowan, EABL CEO added that “We want to support the long-term recovery of 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.”
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.