Even as social distancing measures ease and cities reopen, the road ahead is still uncertain, and this is an added heavy weight for the already hard-hit bar circuit.

To offer aid, Diageo has stepped in with a US$100 million (S$139.1 million) recovery fund known as Raising The Bar. The global scheme aims to support the safe reopening of bars and pubs in cities around the world, with funds going to support new costs acquired due to the pandemic. Avenues for support are sourced through surveys conducted with bar owners to find out where their needs are most pressing after a reopening. These include hygiene kits, contactless mobile devices, ventilation system for air cleaning, environmentally-friendly takeaway packages and more.

Photo credit: Diageo

To qualify for the support, bars must have run for 12 months prior to any lockdown measures in their respective countries, and have a game plan to pay it forward within their own local bar scene in time.

Outside of this, Raising The Bar also offers an education channel for bartenders to get digital support and education about running a bar during a pandemic, from experts. This is all in the name of optimising the future of the industry, and safeguarding it against further pitfalls.

The programme is slated to begin in July 2020 and will run for the next two years.

“Pubs and bars sit at the heart of every community. We have launched ‘Raising the Bar’ as so many outlets have been impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again,” said Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo.

Diageo’s gesture is one major step forward, and it remains heartening to see that the broader industry is stepping up to give back, alongside local grassroots movements. In Singapore, the Singapore Cocktail Bars Association was similarly formed this month to extend aid to our homegrown names.

For more information on the Diageo Raising The Bar scheme, click here.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.