It feels like a lifetime ago but it has only been 75 days since the global pandemic began to wreak havoc on our much-loved hospitality industry. With the easing of restrictions, and despite the challenges that current limitations bring, it is encouraging to observe a sense of cautious optimism amongst our On Premise customers. While hotels, pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants diligently focus on following the practical measures advised by governments to ensure public and staff safety, our sole focus at Asahi Premium Beverages (APB) is to support our customers through the uncertainty of the ever-changing landscape they now operate in.
Asahi Beverages Open Arms Program
Our number one goal in all of this mayhem is to ensure our actions and efforts, as a partner to the industry, are resolute in making life easier in some small way for our valued customers. Central to this ethos is APB’s Open Arms Program, with a suite of support initiatives designed to help customers reopen, recover and regrow their hospitality businesses backed by a dedicated Open Arms Program fund of over $1 million to enable the achievement of these objectives.
Driving consumer awareness
A critical component of reopening is getting the message out to consumers that venues are in fact open! With each state lifting restrictions at different stages, and with varying levels of constraints, we know social media will play a critical role in getting the message out to confused consumers. Through APB’s Third Space program, our social media partner Tiger Pistol has the expertise to help customers drive consumers back into their venues through promoting the lifting of restrictions, venue opening details, ‘welcome back’ offers, group size limitations and to encourage online & phone bookings to mention a few.
Technical and Sales support
Our technical teams are also assisting with the cleaning and recommissioning of equipment and our sales teams have been busily assisting with prioritising deliveries for initial openings. In addition to the above, the Open Arms Program includes a range of other initiatives including activation and stock support to assist with driving revenue.
Cash flow and credit
We have already undertaken a number of significant measures to date, initially focused on assisting venues with their cash flow. We know that with the sudden loss of revenue the last thing a business operator needs is a supplier banging on their door looking for payments while the survival of their business is under threat. Building on this, across the months of April and May, APB collected thousands of beer/cider kegs and post mix cases from venues that had to shut their doors with little warning. We provided full credits to all impacted customers.
Payment plan options
Our focus in recent weeks has been on supporting customers in preparing to open for business again as we emerge from hibernation. By understanding their plans for reopening, and in consultation with business owners and managers, APB has provided a suite of payment plan options that allow venues to start trading and generate positive cash flow without the fear of going on credit hold as they scale-up again. We appreciate how difficult it was for many to close their venues; we also recognise how challenging it is to reopen as stocks across all categories need replenishing, staff need training to comply with COVID guidelines, deep cleaning of venues is required – the costs soon accumulate.
We’re here to help
Underlying all this support is the need for empathy for each other; we may not get all of this right, but we will try our best and respond to changing customer needs as we embrace and reignite the hospitality community. Please reach out to your local Asahi Premium Beverages contact to discuss how we can help you get back on your feet. We look forward to assisting our partners welcome back their guests to first class hospitality with open arms!
National On Premise Group Business Manager
Asahi Premium Beverages