Since the Covid19 pandemic means it is no longer possible to gather in the country’s bars and restaurants, many relationships are suffering.
Throughout the pandemic, one of the most badly-hit sectors has been the restaurant industry, be it bars hotels, restaurants or clubs. In this article, we will analyse the most striking strategies that companies have included in their course of action, all of which these establishments afloat.
Brands, such as Schweppes, have launched international appeals to have dinner at 20:00pm in major cities, hoping that the 21:30pm curfew will no longer deter much needed business from potential diners.
Heinkeken, another noteworthy example, is committed to supporting bars. As their director of corporate relationships Carme Ponce put it, they are “one of the basic pillars of the Spanich economy”. The walls of bars around Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario became advertising spaces for the brand, which told their story: “Today you see this ad, so that tomorrow you can continue to enjoy this bar “. It also launched a campaign called #Backtothebars, which was mostly focused around selling drinks via contactless.
Furthermore, this brand set up a website, www.fuerzabar.es, where users can choose the restaurant or bar where they would like to enjoy a beer or any other beverage, pay ahead and receive a QR code which can be redeemed whenever possible. Each voucher is worth 5€ and can be redeemed at chosen venue. In this sense, Heineken has acted as an intermediary, advancing the purchase amount to the bars and helping to pay the fixed costs of the restaurateur’s premises. This iniatiative was implemented in 17 countries worldwide and has sold 218.000 coupons, with 8.2 million ultimately being redeemed at point of sale.
Other companies, such as the Mahou San Miguel group, have decided to invest 20 million euros to fit out the terraces of bars and restaurants this winter. Actions range from helping with the installation of terrace enclousers, to providing gas patio heaters and sanitisation kits, all so that citizens can have safe spaces to socialise and enjoy themselves (Grupo Mahou San Miguel, 2019).
As we have seen, alcoholic beverage brands are increasingly looking to connect with their target audience, namely bars and restaurants, showing solidarity that prevails through the good and the bad.
The aim of these companies is not only to support them, but also to show that they see them as part of the team, and as such they consider it important that brands and the venues they supply work together.
In the wake of the pandemic, brands have stepped up to help the Horeca sector. Have they seen an opportunity to raise brand awareness, or are they giving back to those who originally helped them to grow? What we can say is that for the first time, brands have done their bit for this channel, the HORECA, in a way we have never seen before. While some may argue it is visibility of the people who make these business possible and the necessity to form a common front against the new adversity they are facing.Will this be the new normal?