Bulleit has unveiled the $250,000 Bulleit Frontier Fund to assist the hospitality industry and struggling bartenders. Through the fund, the Diageo-owned brand will support organisations that have aided the on-trade through the Covid-19 pandemic and will explore cocktail delivery and remote bartending programs to help develop new revenue streams for bartenders.
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 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.”
Bulleit is also launching the Bar Skills content series in partnership with Sourced Craft Cocktails. Through the series, the brand will work with the United States Bartenders Guild to recruit bartenders to create content that helps consumers improve their at-home cocktail-making game. The partnership with Sourced Craft Cocktails will engage out of work bartenders to make and deliver pre-made cocktails directly to consumers.
The Whiskey brand will also continue its educational platform Frontier Bartender Labs.
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.”
Check out the Frontier Fund via its official website.