Raising the Bar: our $100 million commitment to helping hospitality recover

Case study

One of Diageo’s Raising the Bar hygiene and sanitation kits

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit many of our stakeholders hard – and we've kept up the momentum of our work to support them. In addition to our immediate steps to donate masks, hygiene products, and alcohol to make more than ten million bottles of hand sanitiser, as well our initiatives to help employees and suppliers, we made sure we supported the hospitality workers and owners who play such an important part in their communities, and for our business.

Reaching thousands of bars, restaurants and staff – and their local economies

In June 2020 we launched our $100 million Raising the Bar commitment to support the recovery of the hospitality sector around the world. The programme has already reached over 39,000 venues with support such as hygiene and sanitation kits, furniture for outdoor spaces and solutions for table reservations and contactless ordering.

This support is felt in local economies. 60% of the procurement spend funded by Raising the Bar has been locally sourced. In some countries, such as India, Brazil, and China, nearly 100% of procurement spend has been local.

We're also supporting people through training and resources. We have trained over 37,000 bar staff on Covid-19-related protocols to ensure safe operations. Our Diageo Bar Academy is also helping bar owners and staff with training and content – a record 1.6 million people used its resources this year – and has added extra support for the mental health of bar employees during times of crisis through www.DBA.com.

A global approach, with a focus on the underrepresented

Raising the Bar is tackling the immediate issues facing hospitality all over the world – and it is also supporting work to strengthen the sector in the long term through inclusion and diversity. Diageo North America, for example, has placed a particular focus on small businesses in at-risk communities, as well as supporting 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities with $10 million lifetime endowments for scholarships and grant programmes.

In India, we pledged £4.5 million to provide infrastructure and equipment in support of the Covid-19 response, and Raising the Bar has supported 1,500 outlets and trained over 3,000 bar staff. In Australia, we've supported over 1,500 businesses, and reached over 4,500 people through Covid safety related training. Programmes are underway in Brazil, China, Kenya, Mexico, Uganda and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

Keeping the Lights On – supporting pubs in Ireland

In Ireland, as Christmas 2020 approached with pubs still closed, Guinness launched #KEEPTHELIGHTSON, which invited consumers to embrace their local pubs and pay a visit when they re-opened. On 20 November 2020, beacon pubs across Ireland simultaneously switched on their Christmas lights in a show of unity and to highlight their readiness for a safe reopening – a campaign captured in our film, which you can watch here