Molson Coors Beverage Co. has started a social media campaign to raise funds for laid-off bartenders after bars and restaurants around the United States were forced to shut down in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The company has started the campaign which is dubbed “Taps are off. But tips are needed” by pledging USD 1 million to the United States Bartenders' Guild (USBG), a nonprofit organization that supports bartenders and other service industry professionals.
The company encourages people to follow suit and donate money to the USBG National Charity Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, a relief campaign that aids bartenders and other service professionals.
The USBG National Charity Foundation, the charitable arm of the USBG, is offering emergency grants to bartenders and others who serve alcoholic beverages at bars, taverns and restaurants that hold full liquor licenses nationwide. The grants aim to help ensure workers, their spouses and children are able to purchase food and other necessary supplies; pay for rent and utilities; and medical bills.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 37 years in the beer business it’s that bartenders have always played a key role on the front lines selling our products,” said Kevin Doyle, president of U.S. sales for Molson Coors. “Over the years they’ve helped make our brands successful and it’s only right we give something back.”
“At a time when we can’t connect in person, we want to show that we’re still connected to, and supportive of, our bar and restaurant community. Bartenders and service workers are essential to bringing people together, and Miller Lite is proud to support them as they’ve supported us for so many years,” Anup Shah, vice president of the Miller family of brands said. “We want to do our part to support the great people who make the industry what it is.”
The USBG relief campaign is one of dozens of national, regional and local efforts across the country to help workers affected by the suspension of dine-in services at bars and restaurants in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 desease, caused by the coronavirus. Thousands of service industry employees have had their hours cut, been furloughed or laid off within the last two weeks.
Samuel Adams-maker Boston Beer Co. is donating USD 100,000 and will match donations up to an additional USD 100,000 through March 31 to benefit the Restaurant Strong Fund, a Massachusetts charity meant to help hourly and tip-supported restaurant workers.
Global spirits company Beam Suntory and wholesaler Southern Glazer’s also combined to pledge USD 1 million to the nonprofit, and Jameson, the Irish whiskey brand, earlier last week pledged USD 500,000. Spirits conglomerate Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Ketel One vodka, has donated USD 100,000, and SipScience, an analytics company focused on the hospitality industry, launched its own GoFundMe to raise USD 100,000 for the USBG.
Dozens of smaller distillers and brewers also have jumped into help during the pandemic, both via donations and other efforts.
This campaign adds to the aid of Molson Coors, AB InBev and other brewers and distillers which have started to produce hand sanitizers and disinfectants from distilled alcohol to fight the coronavirus (inside.beer, 23.3.2020).