Diageo-owned Bulleit Bourbon has unveiled the US$250,000 Bulleit Frontier Fund to support the hospitality industry and help develop new revenue streams for struggling bartenders.
The Frontier Fund will see Bulleit Bourbon support organisations that have aided the on-trade through the Covid-19 pandemic and will explore cocktail delivery and remote bartending programmes to develop new revenue streams for bartenders.
To highlight the fund and outline the importance of supporting the on-trade, Bulleit has launched a creative campaign featuring an advert directed by UK-based director Lucy Forbes.
Sophie Kelly, senior vice-president of whiskeys at Diageo North America, said: “When you look at the industries disproportionately impacted by what’s happening, the hospitality industry is one of them – a major one. They are our partners and it’s time for us to really live our purpose and support the people who support us.
“We got here because we feel it’s important to support our bartender friends, celebrate their skills, make people aware of the need to keep this industry and these people pouring, and develop new channels for them to be able to do that.”
The Frontier Fund has initially launched with donations to on-trade charities that have supported bartenders and businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic. Bulleit Bourbon will make donations to the United States Bartenders’ Guild, Southern Smoke Foundation and Another Round, Another Rally.
Kelly added: “I think these charities have been very important, but we can’t expect them to carry all the weight of supporting the industry.
“Companies and brands need to do their job as well and get in the game and support the on-trade. We are working across the whiskey portfolio with a number of organisations in the US and different brands are working with different partnerships. It’s really important right now because this doesn’t appear to be a short term issue.”
In order to support bartenders impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bulleit will also launch the Bar Skills content series, a partnership with Sourced Craft Cocktails and will continue its educational platform, Frontier Bartender Labs.
Through its Bar Skills series, Bulleit will work with charitable organisation to recruit bartenders to create content that helps consumers elevate their at-home cocktail-making skills. Each recipe demo created for the series will be available for consumers to view on the @bulleit Instagram channel.
Through its work with Sourced Craft Cocktails, Bulleit will engage out of work bartenders to make and deliver pre-made cocktails directly to consumers. The brand also hopes to soon offer Bulleit tastings or cocktail-making demonstrations via Zoom.
Kelly said: “This is not a short term thing, this is a long term situation that we are facing. We’re going to be living with this for a while so it’s an opportunity to create new business models for the bartender community to serve fantastic craft cocktails to people.
“We [will] measure the impact through participation and the impact we are having on supporting individuals. Then also the impact we are having on accelerating these on-the-go, home delivery craft cocktail revenue streams and new experiences.”
Watch the advert created by UK-based director Lucy Forbes below
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Author: Owen Bellwood