Heineken Ireland’s ‘Fresh Beginnings’ support programme gears up

As nearly 3,500 pubs and bars prepare to re-open around the country on Monday the 7th of June, Heineken Ireland is supporting the reopening of the hospitality sector with a comprehensive €10 million ‘Fresh Beginnings’ programme. 
The dedicated in-house Heineken quality team is visiting 1,500 pubs per week,  refreshing dispensing lines in pubs all over Ireland.

The dedicated in-house Heineken quality team is visiting 1,500 pubs per week,  refreshing dispensing lines in pubs all over Ireland.

This will involve a staff stimulus fund for spending in pubs and bars involving every Heineken Ireland employee receiving funding to spend in pubs and bars across the country, supporting footfall and cashflow for publicans and a ‘welcome back’ fund for hospitality staff going the extra mile to welcome consumers back to pubs and bars.

The stimulus programme is the largest in the brewer’s 165-year history and aims to recognise the passion of people right across the sector that will power the much-anticipated hospitality re-opening after the longest lockdown in Europe.

The programme supports the safe re-opening and fast recovery for pubs and bars through a range of bespoke measures and builds on the significant support Heineken has provided to its 7,000 hospitality customers since the start of the pandemic last year (now totalling €19 million) which included credit freezing, industry training, advice on staff and customer engagement and digital innovation.

Last June, in advance of the 2020 Summer re-opening, Heineken removed 100,000 kegs from on-trade premises across the country, covering the cost of the replacement stock for its on-trade customers.

In total over 17 million pints have been repurposed in 2020-21 to produce green electricity and fertiliser through anaerobic digestion as part of Heineken’s award-winning Brewing a Better World sustainability programme.


Target supports

In detail, the targeted supports in the new programme include:

  1. a €275,000 Heineken staff stimulus spend and ‘thank you’ fund for bar staff across the country to stimulate footfall and cashflow in pubs. Heineken is deploying its own green army of ambassadors into pubs and bars by providing every employee with €250 to spend in venues all over Ireland to treat fellow customers, friends or family to a round. Heineken sales representatives will also deploy a ‘welcome back’ fund of gift vouchers to bar staff to acknowledge those going the extra mile to deliver a positive experience for returning consumers
  2. a €3 million investment supporting pubs that are enhancing their outdoor areas as outdoor service is a key feature of the re-opening phase
  3. a €2.5 million high-profile advertising campaign: To build excitement around the countdown to re-opening Heineken will launch high-profile advertising campaigns worth €2.5 million across the Summer to remind consumers just how unique and enjoyable the pub experience will be
  4. the Cork brewery will also provide strategic financial relief to its publican customers to support the re-opening through keg replenishment to the value of €4.2 million.


Unprecedented brewing and supply chain roll-out

Heineken Ireland is also deploying an unprecedented brewing and supply chain roll-out for the re-opening involving every member of its team.

The brewery team have ramped-up production in the heart of Cork City, brewing over 95,000 kegs (8.5 million pints) in May and June.

With production running at 800 kegs (72,000 pints) per hour, 60 trucks will leave the brewery each week to fulfil orders.

The dedicated in-house Heineken quality team is visiting 1,500 pubs per week,  refreshing dispensing lines in pubs all over Ireland.

The trade team have also been partnering with pubs to revamp and maximise outdoor spaces and beer gardens in line with Government guidelines.

“People will be at the heart of this re-opening which we hope marks our last Lockdown,” said Sharon Walsh, Commercial Director of Heineken Ireland, “Every Heineken Ireland employee stands in solidarity with our sector colleagues as we unveil our ‘Fresh Beginnings’.

“We’ve never been more aware that behind every closed door over the past 400 days are people and families.

“That’s why every member of our Heineken Ireland family is pulling together to be personally involved in contributing to a fresh beginning for the sector after a truly unprecedented 18 months.

“’Fresh Beginnings’ is designed to help stimulate an industrywide recovery over the crucial weeks and months ahead by getting footfall through the door, cash flowing for publicans and having 8.5 million fresh pints at the ready for consumers to enjoy in revamped beer gardens and ‘locals’ across the country.

“During the Lockdowns we’ve listened to our customers to pinpoint exactly where help was needed and to show up in the most supportive way we can.  As consumers settle down to a fresh pint this June to re-connect and reminisce with friends, we hope that with each sip they toast to the hope of a brighter future.”

Coinciding with the announcement, today also marks the much anticipated first deliveries of fresh kegs from the brewery.

Irish rugby star Conor Murray lined-out with the Heineken team today for these special deliveries.

Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free