- Mindful Drinkers in hospitality invited to take part in a storytelling workshop to help shape the features of the new tool.
Club Soda, the mindful drinking movement, is working alongside brewer Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I to develop a new digital behaviour change tool for those working in food and drink. The online tool is designed specifically for those working in the hospitality sector who want to change their drinking habits, whether cutting down or going alcohol-free.
Club Soda was keen to partner with Budweiser Brewery Group UK&I on this project, as they recognised the brewer’s commitment to foster a smart drinking culture in the UK, aligned with their own mission to create a world where nobody feels out of place if they are not drinking alcohol.
The tool will be the UK’s first behavioural science-based online tool for mindful drinking and draws on successful tools in other areas of preventive and self-guided health, such as diet and mental health, as well as input from Club Soda’s 30,000 members, and the knowledge gained over four years of working online with people looking to change their drinking habits. With financial backing from Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I and research funding from the Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with Big Society Capital, Bethnal Green Ventures and Zinc, a pilot of the programme will be launched later in 2019, targeted at people working in the hospitality sector.
According to official data, the two occupations with the highest rates of harmful drinking are bar staff and publicans and managers of licensed premises. Furthermore, Club Soda members who work in the hospitality sector have said that having the confidence to change their drinking habits can often be challenging. There are also few options for the industry to signpost people to, and that are available to suit the sometimes irregular hours.
The programme will be designed to support people who want to change their drinking, by providing content, including daily articles with weekly missions and booster packs, and support such as goal setting, tracking and coaching, and by enabling participants to develop the skills and confidence to adopt a more mindful approach to drinking. The aim of the programme is that it will be used alongside other digital health tools employed by individuals themselves, like health and fitness tracking apps and via employers’ existing wellness programmes.
Club Soda co-founder, Laura Willoughby MBE said:
“A growing number of Club Soda members work in the hospitality industry and find their drinking can creep up over time. And their working environment can make it more difficult when wanting to drink more mindfully. People want to stay in the career they love, but also stay healthy and happy. We want to give the hospitality sector a solution that is tailor-made for the industry, and that everyone can signpost staff to with confidence.”
Andrew Whiting, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I said:
“This joint project with Club Soda supports our ambition to foster a smart drinking culture in the UK, as well as our focus on changing social norms around harmful drinking. We are excited about the opportunities this presents for our customers in the hospitality sector as a way to encourage mindful drinking habits among their staff.”
Club Soda has also received a grant from The Wellcome Trust to carry out face-to-face research with hospitality industry participants, including through a storytelling workshop, which is taking place in central London on 16th April. Anyone working in the food and drink sector who is interested in taking part in the workshop can register here: https://clubsoda.me/MindfulDrinkingWorkshop