After almost one year of shut downs and restricted trading, there’s been a 41% surge in patron confidence about visiting Australia’s pubs, clubs and bars.
A national, independent market research conducted for Bundaberg Rum’s Raising the Bar initiative has found 82% of Australians feel confident about returning to their local pub, club or bar in January 2021, compared with 58% in August 2020.
However, two thirds of Australians (67%) said they think about COVID-19 when out in a pub, and 34% said they would either leave a venue or ask staff for sanitiser if they don’t see any COVID-safe supplies.
The $11.5million Raising the Bar initiative has so far provided more than 1300 venues across the country with free COVID-safe supplies including hand sanitiser and dispenser stations, masks, gloves, floor demarcations (stickers) and digital
Angus McPherson (above, left), Managing Director at Bundaberg Rum’s parent company Diageo Australia said: “It’s encouraging to hear that two thirds of people (67%) now feel more confident visiting their local thanks to COVID-safe measures like the Raising the Bar initiative being implemented across the hospitality industry.
“When we decided to make this investment, we knew that hospitality venues needed a helping hand to recover from the pandemic, to ease the cost burden of maintaining a COVID-safe environment for their staff and their patrons.”
While there’s been a significant upswing in confidence, only one in three Australians (36%) are visiting the pub as frequently as before COVID-19, underlining how challenging it’s been for hospitality through the pandemic.
Earlier this month, for example, bars in Sydney took an 80% New Year’s Eve revenue hit following the COVID-19 outbreak on the Northern Beaches and the sudden restrictions for New Year’s Eve. Justine Baker, chief executive at Solotel, which operates venues including Sydney’s Opera Bar and The Golden Sheaf Hotel, told the Australian Financial Review: “Essentially the last two weeks – we’ve received almost 2500 cancellations across our venues. [New Year’s Eve] is traditionally one of our biggest nights of the year. However, in 2020 we’re expecting to be at 20% of our normal revenues.”
McPherson added: “Our pubs and clubs have been really doing it tough throughout the pandemic. We are determined to
support them and ensure their loyal patrons feel confident that they can return to their local and socialise as safely as possible.
“Any licenced venue can apply for this support and we really encourage all hospitality venues to get involved because we want to help pubs, bars and clubs across the country emerge stronger out of this pandemic.”
Pubs, bars and clubs have shared their gratitude on Facebook. The Ravenshoe Hotel (above) said: “[We] wish to sincerely thank Bundy rum – Good on ya mate – for Raising the Bar. We are absolutely chuffed receiving such a generous gift to keep our much appreciated patrons safe our new hands free sanitising station is up and running with enough supplies to keep us COVID safe for many months to come.”
The Family Hotel (above) said: “Thanks to Bundaberg Rum and Diageo for the raising the bar promo. We now have our sanitiser stations at both bars, all part of our COVID plan to keep our valued customers safe. And some new barrel tables to enjoy a nice Bundy and coke at.”
Pictured main (from left): Bendigo District RSL, Court House Hotel, Centennial Hotel Gulgong.
Applications remain open for venues – apply for the Raising the Bar support package by clicking here.