Tuesday 7th April 2020: AB InBev, the global brewer, has raised €6m* to date for restaurants, pubs and bars across Europe through donations, business support and “prepaid pints”.
As restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs in many European countries have closed their doors, as part of government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, AB InBev has acted quickly to support the on-trade sector. In addition to offering deferred rent payments, free tap cleaning services and keg restocks, the brewer has developed a series of online voucher platforms in key markets, which allow individuals to pre-pay for beers in their favourite bar to redeem once reopened.
AB InBev has also pledged to match each donation**, so pubs and bars get double the immediate cash injection. So far, almost 500,000 beers have been ‘prepaid’.
AB InBev launched Café Courage in Belgium on March 21st, with nearly 2,000 hospitality outfits signing up in the first few hours. Since then 75,000 beers have been bought by Belgians to enjoy after social distancing and quarantine measures ease, giving individuals cafes and bars a much-needed financial boost in the meantime. For every order made, AB InBev Belgium will donate the same order in free goods of up to 3.6 million pints of beer.
In the UK, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, part of AB InBev, kickstarted Save Pub Life on Friday March 27th. The programme, open to pubs, bars and restaurants across Great Britain, encourages pubgoers to buy a gift card now and spend at their local once it re-opens. In the first few days alone, consumers have raised €124,000, which the UK team is matching to the combined amount of €1.1m (£1m).
For the hospitality sector in the Netherlands, the #HelpDeHoreca movement, organised by Koninlijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), the national hospitality industry association, with among others the support of the Dutch Brewers Association, is also offering consumers the opportunity to buy beer vouchers for the future. To date, €1m has been raised. AB InBev is further supporting its Dutch on-trade customers through postponing rent payment for the month of April and replacing barrels and tank beer with free replacement by full barrels when bars re-open.
AB InBev’s e-commerce business is also getting involved through Beer Hawk and Master of Malt in the UK. The sites are donating £1 for every order placed to the Hospitality Support Alliance, supporting hospitality workers who are struggling to make ends meet. Over €20,000 has been raised so far, with the charity Hospitality Action administering this fund and giving grants to 75 individuals to date. All other online retailers have been invited to join the Alliance and help support the hospitality industry.
“Beer has always brought people together and often in the local pub, bar or restaurant, so these places are hugely important to local communities.” Jason Warner, President of AB InBev in Europe said. “During these unprecedented times, we are working closely with the sector to support with rent and services but we also wanted to lead a wider movement – encouraging as many people as possible to buy a gift card for their favourite pub to enjoy later. We’ll match the amount and donate the cash now, when pubs need it most.”
The initiative follows the recent announcement from AB InBev that it had started producing ready-to-use disinfectant and hand sanitizer from the surplus alcohol from the brewer’s alcohol-free beers. An initial run of 50,000 litres of disinfectant and 26,000 bottles of hand sanitizer have been produced and distributed across hospitals and frontline key workers in Europe. A second batch of 26,000 bottles of hand sanitizers is also now in production.
*€6m is based on €1m pledged in both the UK and Belgium to support the on-trade, the value of rent deferrals, keg restocks and line cleaning services, as well as the amount raised through vouchers so far.
**Funds will be matched up to total amount of €1m in each market.
For more information please contact:
Louise Fernley, Communications Director for Europe, AB InBev
Louise.firstname.lastname@example.org / +44(0)7961406684
About AB InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s leading brewer and is a publicly traded company based in Leuven, Belgium. Our Dream is to bring people together for a better world. We are committed to brewing the best beers using the finest natural ingredients and to be enjoyed in a responsible manner. From our European roots at the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, we are now a geographically diversified brewery with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, we leverage the collective strengths of approximately 175,000 employees, including 12,000 in Europe. We have offices and breweries in 18 EU Member States and our Global Innovation Centre is also based in Leuven, Belgium. Follow us on Twitter at @ABInBev_EU For more information about Anheuser-Busch InBev, please visit www.ab-inbev.com
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