‘Raising the Bar’ is a booster shot to revive the sector

New Update


The impact of COVID-19 on the alcobev and hospitality industry has been widespread in India and elsewhere. The industries are facing a tremendous liquidity crisis owing to lockdown closures, high rentals and additional pressures of securing hygienic equipment. It is in this dismal scenario that Shweta Jain, Vice President – Luxury Commercial, Diageo India, talks to Shalini Kumar about how Diageo India is doing its bit to revive India’s F&B industry, which runs throughboth alcobev and hospitality industries.

As governments begin to ease lockdown measures, people are wanting to come together again to connect with their communities and socialise safely. “By bringing international best practices, providing access to free digital support, technology, training and equipment, Diageo aims to help bars, pubs and restaurants serving alcohol in India open their doors again,” says Shweta Jain, Vice President – Luxury Commercial, Diageo India.

She points out that “Restaurants, bars and pubs in India are an integral part of our communities, bringing people together to socialise and celebrate, something everyone has missed during the lockdown. Diageo has always had strong linkages with the F&B industry; jointly curating unique experiences for our consumers.” 

The New Program

Divulging details about Diageo having set aside Rs. 75 crore for ‘Raising the Bar’ program, she says it was designed following a global survey of bar owners to identify what they needed to reopen after lockdown. According to the survey findings their top priorities included hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment to transform how their outlets will work, she adds.

Quoting industry figures, she says that the F&B industry has been severely impacted. The F&B industry in India plays a crucial role in GDP contribution, and according to NRAI, 7.30 million employees in the industry were at risk of losing their jobs.

The F&B industry has been severely impacted across the country during lockdown and since the F&B outlets operate with high proportion of fixed operating expenses, they have been hugely affected due to loss in revenues. ‘Raising the Bar,’ she says, “is our commitment to the F&B industry to support when the outlets resume operations with enhanced safety measures, so that our customers feel confident once again to socialise and lead normal lives.” “The funding is our commitment to support the F&B industry to implement varied measures, tailored to local circumstances
and needs, in three principal areas,” Shweta explains.

Safety provisions

Under the ‘Raising the Bar’ programme, eligible restaurants, pubs and bars will be supported with safety equipment like sanitisers and dispensers, perspex screens, route flows, ventilators, outdoor heating and furniture, thermal temperature scanners, digital or disposable menu solutions, new reservation systems, etc. to ensure impeccable safety standards for employees and customers.

There will be a training program which will provide professional training on implementation of social distancing measures, ‘performative’ hygiene measures, recommendations on how to communicate effectively with staff, suppliers, customers and consumers about safety measures

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