Diageo North America Pledges Millions to the Bar and Restaurant Community

With hospitality workers facing unprecedented challenges from the impact of COVID-19, Diageo North America commits more than $4.5 million to support in their time of need

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Diageo North America Pledges More than $4 Million to the Bar and Restaurant Community

People globally are feeling the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak. The bar and restaurant community has been particularly hard hit by the current situation, with many facing extreme financial and personal uncertainty in the coming weeks and months. This is a group that has always been at the heart of Diageo’s business. To play its part in supporting them in their time of need, the company’s North America business has pledged more than $4.5 million of support to the bar and restaurant community, and frontline workers.

Specifically, Diageo North America has pledged $1 million to the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund, which is being  used to support those who will go without work during this challenging time. The USBG is a non-profit professional society of bartenders and other hospitality professionals uniting the hospitality community to advance professional bartending. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars of this $1 million will come directly from Guinness US.

Diageo Canada, along with Diageo World Class Canada, has pledged $200,000 to support the Canadian hospitality industry through dedicated relief funds organized by industry partners including the Bartenders Benevolent Fund and the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association (CPBA).

Other brands in the Diageo North America portfolio are also joining the fight with commitments that include the following:

  • Guinness US also announced before Saint Patrick’s Day a commitment of $500,000 to support organizations where “we live, work and celebrate.” The brand has now increased that initial commitment to $1 million. In addition to the $250,000 mentioned above which will go to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund, the brand has committed $750,000 to the Guinness Gives Back Fund. Additionally, the Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, Maryland is donating 500 loaves of "Brewers Bread" (made with Over the Moon Milk Stout) each week, as well as all curbside beer pick-up proceeds, to the Maryland Food Bank.
  • Crown Royal has committed to donate $1 to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund – up to $400,000 – for anyone who virtually raises a glass (no matter what they are drinking) and tags #generosityhour.
  • Don Julio has partnered with Cameo.com on "It's Cinco Somewhere" giving fans the opportunity to donate to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation . While the brand has also committed $200,000 to-date, Diageo's #TipsFromHome social program also allows users on Don Julio's Instagram to generate an additional $1 per tag, up to $50,000.  
  • Bulleit kicked off #TipsFromHome, a make-it-yourself portfolio-wide mixology series and social pledge movement, in which $1 will be donated to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund every time someone shares a cocktail using the #TipsFromHome and #DiageoDonation hashtags. An initial $500,000 pledge was committed to kick off the movement, and Diageo NA and its brands will donate up to $500,000 more (for $1 million in total #TipsFromHome donations).
  • Johnnie Walker, along with Crown Royal and Bulleit donated $100,000 to Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Fund, a Texas-based organization supporting local food and beverage industry professionals in crisis.
  • CÎROC teamed up with Diddy for a 12-hour Instagram Dance-A-Thon celebration to raise funds for healthcare workers and encourage consumers to stay indoors and remain united. CÎROC and Diageo kicked off the event with a $1 million donation to Direct Relief.
  • Captain Morgan pledged $500,000 to support Major League Soccer's MLS Unites for Those in Need across the U.S. and Canada. As part of this effort they have also launched "The Captain's Challenge" on Instagram, which features fans "nutmegging" at home and tagging #CaptainMorganDonation in order to raise up to an additional $50,000.
  • Copper Dog hosted the first-ever Thank Your Dog Day, culminating in a virtual fundraising ‘Yappy Hour.’ The brand kicked it off with a $50,000 donation split equally among their partner animal shelters, and then donated an additional $1 up to $50,000 for every photo shared with #athomewiththedog and #copperdogdonation.

Alongside the financial contributions, Diageo is also deploying the time of their field employees to aid the USBG in processing the tens of thousands of applications that have already come in from bartenders for financial assistance.

Diageo has also pledged to enable the creation of more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser, by donating up to two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners, to help protect frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. More detail here .

Visit  www.usbgfoundation.org/beap for more information on the relief efforts, and stay updated by following Diageo's brands on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, or @Diageo_NA on Twitter and Instagram.

“The spirit of our business and our brands is about fostering connections and bringing people together, and that’s what we do with the help of our amazing community of bartender and hospitality professionals. During this time of uncertainty, these donations will go straight to helping the individuals who serve us, and we want them to know that there is help and support when they need it most.”

Jon Pageler

EVP Corporate Relations, Diageo NA