With the festive season upon us, 3.3 million Brits have already booked a reservation at a pub or restaurant over the Christmas period¹. To ensure these festive celebrations could take place at local pubs – the heart of our communities – GUINNESS has donated £30million towards keeping pubs, bars and restaurants open in 2021.
To celebrate the return of Christmas fun and the people at the heart of pub culture, GUINNESS will be lighting up locals up and down the country with a dazzling Christmas light display, celebrating each pub’s role in bringing local communities together. 22 pubs nationwide have been selected as part of the display including The lock Tavern in Camden, The Queens Vault in Cardiff and The Pickled Sprout in Harrogate.
The GUINNESS Raising the Bar programme has supported over 30,000 publicans and the 500,000 bar staff throughout the UK to weather the impact of the pandemic. The fund has provided financial support, social distancing equipment, PPE and pub necessities, as well as one-on-one training sessions with the staff who play a pivotal role in bringing people together this Christmas, ensuring pubs are safe environments for communities to be in. GUINNESS continues to support the hospitality industry with further investment in the fund in 2022.
With pubs facing another challenging festive period ahead, GUINNESS aims to continue to provide financial support, staff training and equipment to help operators weather the impact of cancellation rates, currently at 10% (UKHospitality, 2021) as well as other factors. More information regarding the support available to operators can be found on Diageo Bar Academy at: https://www.diageobaracademy.com/en_zz/raising-the-bar/
Neil Shah, Head of GUINNESS GB, said, “The past 18 months has been incredibly tough for the hospitality industry, so we want to do all that we can to make sure GUINNESS supports locals. We want to celebrate pubs as the beating heart of our communities where people can come together with their mates over a pint of Guinness in the run up to Christmas. We will be underpinning this with our GUINNESS Raising the Bar programme, which has already helped a huge number of establishments during the pandemic – we will continue to support the industry through the fund and other means.”
As well as vital funding for the hospitality sector, GUINNESS has also created ‘The GUINNESS Pub Choir’ who are starring in the latest GUINNESS advert this Christmas, performing a specially composed performance of the classic ‘Always on my Mind’. The choir will feature 30 publicans and bar staff in celebration of the role local pubs play in bringing communities together and helping friends and families connect in the run up to Christmas. The track will be available to stream on Spotify.
Patrick Frawley, pub landlord for The Lock Tavern pub, said “It’s been a difficult time for us due to Covid limiting people coming through our doors and ordering pints. We feel so lucky to have been chosen by GUINNESS to have our pub lit up with these fantastic displays and we’re hopeful our unique GUINNESS Christmas lights will encourage our community to visit us over the festive season. All are welcome!”