diageo st patricks day coronavirus

Diageo launches £1m fund to help cover bartenders' wages

17 March, 2020

Guinness producer Diageo has launched a £1m St Patrick’s Day fund to help bars pay their staff during these difficult times.

Pubs and bars across the world should be enjoying a roaring trade today as hordes of revellers raise a glass of the black stuff to the patron saint of Ireland.

However, the spread of COVID-19 has forced bars to shut up shop in the US, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and many other markets around the world.

Diageo has responded by pledging £1m to help pay the wages of thousands of bartenders in Great Britain, while a similar community fund will be launched in Ireland.

The firm, which also produces Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, said it is helping to support smaller retailers, pubs and bars by providing flexibility on order size and allowing smaller customers to manage their inventory in this “fast-moving situation”.

This will be applied across Diageo’s total trade customer base in a bid to help customers access product more easily and manage their cash flow in these challenging circumstances.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director for Great Britain, Ireland and France at Diageo, said: “The British drinks trade is facing one of its most challenging times ever and we want to help our communities when they need us most. We all need to come together to support the trade and I would urge all my fellow drinks producers to do what they can to help our British pubs, bars and retailers and restaurants over the next few months.”

Diageo has already warned of a £200m profit hit due to coronavirus in 2020, but it remains committed to helping out its customers and the hardworking individuals who pour its drinks.

It has also rolled out a complimentary Diageo Bar Academy Training Course, via diageobaracademy.com, consisting of virtual training and online learning.  Training includes modules such as the “business of bar tending”, which can provide practical advice and may help to manage quieter trading periods.

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