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Cost of Living Pushes “Night Owls” to Walk Home Despite Safety Concerns

Recent findings from Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I reveal that almost two-thirds (64%) say personal safety is front of mind when deciding to go on a night out. As many as 81% of women who visit pubs, clubs and bars report that they consider their safety when getting home, and 63% of females say they plan their route home before heading out.

The findings also show that 53% of women were more likely to visit a venue that has anti-harassment and discrimination policies, compared to men (35%). In follow up to these findings, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I launched an awareness campaign encouraging people to support the uptake of safety app WalkSafe+, and is promoting this message in venues across the UK, starting with Punch venues.

Pubs and bars must take the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on consumer behaviour into consideration. Pub-goers are now reassessing the ways they travel to and from nights out, with 1 in 5 (20%) women altering their behaviour by walking more and taking fewer taxis. Over a third (37%) of women said if they had access to a personal safety app which features a crime map, live location tracking, close contact notifications, and a SOS button, they would feel safer on a night out.

Budweiser Brewing Group’s long held belief is that every experience with beer should be a positive one. As a key player in the nighttime economy, Budweiser Brewing Group has a strong platform and route into bars, pubs and clubs which it is leveraging with a number of initiatives to create a more inclusive environment in hospitality venues. With its platform and vision for a more inclusive and enjoyable social environment for everyone the brewer has collaborated with WalkSafe+, an app to empower people to go out and plan a safer journey home.

WalkSafe+ exists to make the world a safer place and is a mapping app that allows its 500,000+ users to plan their route home using the latest digital tools and information based on police data, whether that’s a live incident or a warning about a lack of streetlights. Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I and WalkSafe+ understand that everybody has the right to feel safe, wherever they are and in any situation. The cost-of-living crisis is not an excuse to jeopardise Britons’ safety and this collaboration and app will help users make informed decisions about their personal safety.

Since launching the campaign in September, a number of pubs and bars have signed up to support uptake of the app, including leading operator Punch Pubs. Through On-Trade support, the app has seen over 19,000 new sign ups since launch.

Jean-David Thumelaire, On-Trade Director at Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I said:
“At Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, we want every experience with beer to be a positive one. We are proud to be collaborating with WalkSafe+ to promote digital tools that address safety concerns disproportionately affecting women and vulnerable groups. Budweiser Brewing Group is committed to creating a more inclusive nighttime economy, which benefits communities and businesses alike. We are thrilled to be working with Punch Pubs to lead the way in this initiative and invite all hospitality venues to join the effort.”

Jackie Burn, HR Director, Punch Pubs & Co. said:
“We’re incredibly passionate in our support of initiatives to improve pub safety and the environments that surround them. We’re confident the WalkSafe+ App will help to empower and raise awareness of an issue that particularly affects women and often the more vulnerable within a community and we look forward to sharing it with our employees and pubs.”
Ali Butt, Management Partner of The Joiner on Worship pub, Shoreditch said:
“The safety of our staff and guests is incredibly important to us, so, it’s an absolute honour to be asked to be involved with this campaign and actively share this great app within the pub. We’re certain it will make a real difference and improve awareness of safety in our great community and city.”

Operators across the UK can support the use of WalkSafe+ via promoting the download of the app on social channels.