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More Than Half Of Bar-Goers Actively Avoid Venues Without Inclusivity Policies After Experiencing Discrimination

The UK’s biggest RTD brand in the on-trade category, VK, has announced a partnership with charity Ask For Clive, in an effort to support venues in creating welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ customers.

Founded in 2019, Ask for Clive is a charity that partners with venues to promote inclusion and to create welcoming environments for the LGBTQ+ community. The charity notably launched ‘Pub Pride’, to give venues the opportunity to celebrate Pride locally.

As part of the partnership, VK’s has commissioned research on the topic of inclusivity in venues, revealing just how important embracing LGBTQ+ policies are for venues, in terms of both customer footfall and spending.

One of the key findings was that members of the LGBTQ+ community prefer to visit establishments that actively embrace diversity, with over 70% reporting feeling safer and more welcome in such venues, and 80% indicating a preference to spend more money in bars that actively prioritise inclusivity [1].

Unsurprisingly, over two thirds of respondents who identified as LGBTQ+ state that they would actively recommend a bar that introduces inclusivity policies to a friend; these venues will ultimately reap the benefits of repeat custom, with patrons returning to spend more following a positive experience.

The stats also revealed the challenges encountered by LGBTQ+ patrons, and how incidents of discrimination are leading to a reduction in spending in pubs and bars, with a staggering 1 in 4 people reporting experiences of discrimination on a night out. As a result of this experience, 59% of those now admit to completely avoiding pubs and bars that do not have inclusivity policies in place.

These findings demonstrate a critical need for the implementation of initiatives aimed at fostering diversity and inclusivity within the hospitality sector.

As the official RTD partner of Ask For Clive, VK is sponsoring 1,000 venues to become part of the Ask For Clive programme, with those who sign up receiving the Ask For Clive training pack and in-venue display items.

The resources made available to pubs and bars will ensure they are able to showcase their support for LGBTQ+ staff and customers, as well as openly communicating that they do not tolerate any form of discrimination.

Daniella Mulvey, Senior Brand Manager at VK, commented on the brand’s commitment to driving positive change in the hospitality sector: “VK’s mission is to bring people together to share unforgettable experiences, and we want to help create a more inclusive experience for pub and bar goers across the U.K. We’re working with our customers to help create spaces free from discrimination through our partnership with Ask for Clive, and are dedicated to championing inclusivity within the on trade industry.”

“The research results are clear, a huge percentage of LGBTQ+ drinkers are both visiting, and spending more in venues that actively support diversity and inclusivity. By implementing LGBTQ+ inclusivity policies, bars and pubs not only foster a sense of belonging, but also cultivate a loyal customer base. Those that don’t, risk losing custom both now and in the future.”

Danny Clare for Ask For Clive added: “We are delighted to partner with VK in our mission to promote inclusivity and combat discrimination within the hospitality industry. Together, we can effect positive change and create environments where all bar goers feel respected and valued.”

Recently, the RTD brand achieved a Foundation Level Accreditation from the All Equals Charter, created by Manchester Pride’s programme, to help businesses and organisations recognise and challenge any form of discrimination in the workplace. This confirms VK is striving to champion equality and diversity for all members of the LGBTQ+ community not only in venues, but within its workplace too.

To find out more about VK’s partnership with Ask For Clive and to sign up a venue, simply click here