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Restaurants and bars find reopening and recovery support in industry initiatives

Anheuser-Busch and the National Restaurant Association team up to offer hospitality leaders help
Photograph: Shutterstock

As restaurants across the country reopen their dining rooms, many may be looking for community support as well as outside help to ensure their successful recovery after months of being shuttered.

One place restaurants can confidently find support is with some vendors’ and industry leaders’ initiatives. These initiatives are designed to help alleviate some of the pressure operators are feeling as they reopen their doors, as well as offer tangible solutions to problems operators may be facing.

To support the strong, safe and successful reopening of restaurants and bars across the country, Anheuser-Busch has joined the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Revival Campaign as its exclusive beer partner. Through a national advertising campaign, Anheuser-Busch’s Stella Artois and the National Restaurant Association will invite diners back into restaurants when it is safe to do so and encourage restaurants to sign the ServSafe Dining Commitment, a program aimed at giving consumers confidence that the operation is following recommended reopening guidance and is ready for business. The company has also committed $2.25 million, in cash and ad-time, to support this program through Stella Artois, one of the brewer’s top on-premise brands.

“We created the Dining Commitment for operators to reassure customers that they are taking defined steps to keep diners and the restaurant’s employees safe,” said Sherman Brown, Executive Vice President, Training and Certification for the National Restaurant Association. “We are grateful that Anheuser-Busch has joined us to welcome customers back into restaurants with the peace of mind that their restaurant adheres to the ServSafe Dining Commitment.”

“We are honored to do our part and play an active role in supporting bars and restaurants as they work to safely reopen – they are the heart and soul of our industry and their recovery is vital to our long-term national economic outlook,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO, Anhueser-Busch. “We are in the business of bringing people together, and we are looking forward to celebrating the moments that matter – together – at our favorite neighborhood bars and restaurants very soon.”

Support and recovery opportunities

To help support the broader hospitality industry on a variety of fronts, Anheuser-Busch has launched initiatives to support its wholesalers and retail partners. The company has extended date codes on some draught and packaged beer and has offered to share the cost of recovering and disposing of expired product to relieve the pressure resulting from increased and expired inventory.

Return to Business resources have also been made available to the wholesaler and retailer network. These resources include digital menu recommendations, hand sanitizer, cotton face coverings, LED ‘Open’ signs, window clings and social distancing floor decals. 

“Anheuser Busch’s support of the on premise has been tremendous. Their support reached all three tiers of our industry, from the co-op of out of code draught and on-premise package to helping retailers with signage and digital menu options to make the customer experience as safe as possible,” said Steve Economos, Chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Panel, from Eagle Rock Distributing Company in Norcross, Georgia. “Anheuser-Busch was also willing to participate with Eagle Rock on a local charity to support workers of on-premise establishments. Working alongside one another throughout the entire pandemic has paid dividends for our company, and we could not have done it without the help of Anheuser-Busch.”   

Promotional efforts and partnerships aim to elevate the bar and restaurant experience

Other Anheuser-Busch brands are also offering their support to the bar and restaurant industry. For instance, “Bud Light: Certified Fresh” is an initiative where Anheuser-Busch and its distributor partners replace any Bud Light that is past its ‘best before’ date at no cost to restaurants and bars, to ensure that when people can safely leave their homes, they are greeted with the freshest tasting, highest quality Bud Light possible. 

Budweiser also released a new advertising spot titled “Reunited with Buds” to encourage consumers to follow guidelines set by the CDC, local governments and individual establishments when reuniting with friends as bars across the country prepare to reopen.

Finally, Anheuser-Busch’s craft brewery partners across the country are working with restaurant/hospitality associations on the local level to help support economic recovery in their own backyards. David Greenwood, Karbach Brewing Co. general manager, said, “As we work towards reopening, it has been vital that we have all the tools and resources available to make the space safe for our guests and employees. Throughout this challenging time, we’ve felt prepared and supported in our reopening efforts thanks to our partnership with Anheuser-Busch.”

Of the recovery assistance efforts, Doukeris said, “Anheuser-Busch is committed to helping lead a safe and strong recovery of our industry and our economy. We have always stood by neighborhood bars and restaurants and we are proud to build on that legacy by stepping up and providing support as we work towards reopening this vibrant community.”

To learn more about Anheuser-Busch's efforts to reopen and reignite the industry, click here.

This post is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch

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