In response to the increasing self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, various operators and suppliers from across the hospitality industry have launched community support initiatives to alleviate pressure on health workers and assist the most vulnerable.

Starting today (23 March), Brewdog will be using its trucks and drivers, usually used for beer distribution, to carry out free home deliveries of school lunches.

Brewdog co-founder James Watt said on social media: “Starting today, we are using our trucks & drivers to do home deliveries of school lunches to those in isolation in our local community. For free.”

The move follows the launch of its ‘Punk Sanitiser’ last week, which the brand developed in-house and has been distributing for free for those who need it.

Restaurant supplier Reynolds sent out a message via social media yesterday offering free produce box deliveries for those most in need.

“We have a workforce of 1,300 fantastic employees that are willing to help the nation get through this crisis,” said managing director Tony Reynolds in a video posted to Twitter. “I’m appealing to everybody out there to contact us to see how we can help you.”

Spirit and beer supplier Diageo has pledged to donate up to two million litres of alcohol to enable the creation of more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser.

The Smirnoff distributor will make a 96% ethyl alcohol available for free to its manufacturing partners in multiple countries to help overcome shortages in healthcare systems, with 500,000 litres being donated to the UK and Ireland.

“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them,” said Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo. “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitiser around the world.”

Budweiser UK and Ireland has also announced its decision to try and alleviate pressures on limited healthcare resources.

The brand has converted the surplus alcohol from its no-alcohol beers into 50,000 litres of ready-to-use disinfectant for use in hospitals across Europe, in addition to developing 26,000 bottles of hand sanitiser.

“Our people and our breweries are deeply rooted in local communities,” it said in a statement on its social media, “which is why when times get hard, we do what we can to support.”

Bakery chain Paul UK has announced the launch of an all-new bread market in its central Acton bakery.

To alleviate pressures on supermarkets and meet the increasing consumer demand for fresh bread during the crisis, it will open daily from 7am to 7pm, and will offer a ‘buy one get one free’ on all 400g and 800g loaves both online and in store.

Gastro-pub operator The Yummy Pub Company has launched a #StaySafe campaign, whereby people can pay £10 to donate a meal to a vulnerable stranger.

On weekdays, the donation scheme will extend to groceries and provide a chance for the loneliest in society to have a degree of personal - albeit distant - contact.

“Let us make life better for some, even if it is just for a handful of the most vulnerable,” it said on a statement on its website. “We’re offering to deliver a gastro meal to our most vulnerable in society, donated to them by total strangers, you. As well as a meal we will also donate cash to Only A Pavement Away who are there to help homeless in these horrific times.”

The 11-strong restaurant and pub operator Chestnut Group has launched a number of initiatives to support its local East-Anglian community throughout the pandemic.

Hosting dog walks, offering free hot drinks and soup to the most vulnerable, and converting two of its sites – The Globe Inn and The Three Blackbirds – into pop-up shops, the group has said it is “adapting our business to ensure that we still remain at the heart of our towns and villages.”

Independent brewer and pub operator Wadworth will be launching a virtual pub, The Henry, through Facebook.

The ‘pub’ will feature live music from local musicians streaming online, Wadworth beer tasting, a weekly quiz, weekly store cupboard cooking sessions and more.

“We don’t want customers to forget what coming together feels like in a pub,” said Chris Welham, Wadworth CEO. “All the fun things happening at The Henry will help bring a pub community together in a virtual way.”

 

 

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