Global brewer Diageo, owner of the Guinness brand and many other famed international social lubricants, has revealed a plan to support pub groups across the world with as much as $100m (£80m) in investment. The money is to assist in the installation of plastic screens, hand sanitiser pods, and all the other new ways pubs are about to transform into places as comfortable and welcoming as an emergency dental surgery but at least more hygienic places to get your teeth smashed out in at closing time.
Diageo is calling the investment the Raising the Bar fund, and you can see what is has done there. Bar is like posh people for pub, and raising is like lifting, and raising the bar means making something better for everyone. So many levels to that slogan. Well done whoever came up with it, hope some sort of bonus is on the way or at least recognition in the Q3 in-house magazine.
The fund really is a global effort to help get people back in the habit of spending more money on booze than the supermarket prices we've been enjoying for the last three months, with "major hospitality centres" as disparate as London, New York, Sydney, Nairobi, Sao Paulo and Shanghai singled out for particular attention. In the UK, for example, the brewer will help pubs pay for sanitiser dispensers, personal protection equipment for staff, cashless systems and outdoor equipment.
Diageo boss Ivan Menezes said: "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, which provide a first foot on the employment ladder for young people." [Diageo via Irish Times]