Spirits Platform calls Cocktail O’ Clock to support bartenders

Make a cocktail and support a bartender campaign launched in wake of COVID-19 hospitality industry mass layoffs

Spirits Platform wants out-of-work bartenders who have lost their jobs because of the hospitality shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to create simple cocktail video tutorials aimed at home consumption for its ‘Home Five O’Clock-tails’ initiative.

“We were devastated at the news that many of our customers, bars, clubs, restaurants and nightclubs had to shut down and our thoughts immediately went to all the bartenders who lost their job,” Spirits Platform digital marketing manager, Kathy Bouzios, told CMO.

Brand ambassadors are charged with the task of recruiting 100 Australian bartenders from the thousands now out of work and asking them to submit their cocktail tutorial videos to Spirits Platform.

“When brainstorming ideas on how we could do something to give back, we thought giving our bartenders a fee for creating a video of them doing what they love and do well everyday would be a no-brainer,” Bouzios said.

Bartenders will be paid $250 for their approved video submission, which will be shared and promoted on the company’s Simply Cocktails Facebook page and on the bartender’s personal social channels. This initiative allows consumers, most of whom are home-bound, to try their hand at making some of their favourite cocktails they would normally enjoy in a bar.

“Home Five O’Clock-tails” will see 100 cocktail ‘how to’ videos posted every weekday at 5pm over 100 days," she said. "We have all felt the effects of what is happening in the world today. So everyone can make a difference in making this world a better place right now, no matter how big or small."

Given the all-encompassing fallout from the virus crisis, Bouzios told CMO many of its planned activities like participating in food or drink festivals have come to a sudden stop. “Masterclasses and tastings tailored to industry and consumers are no longer possible in a face-to-face scenario.”

And like most organisations and people grappling with the current situation, the brand has made a pivot to the virtual and created online masterclasses and tastings so it can continue providing information and recipes online.

It’s Simply Cocktails Home Five O’Clock-tails will also feature a weekly Facebook Live masterclass with each of the Spirits Platform ambassadors making one of their signature cocktails, allowing consumers to follow along from home and ask questions as they go.

On the plan going forward, no one really knows what it will look like, but Bouzis conceded being adaptable is the only way to approach things.

“We are having to be agile, and adapt and change to the current environment," she said. “The plan is for us to continue supporting both our on-premise and off-premise customers in order to provide the highest standard of service that we can."

On the question of how brands will work with both real-world and digital environments post-COVID-19, it’s a case of same same, but different.

Bouzis said although many brands have already been working in parallel – real world and digital – the role of digital was to amplify what was happening in the real world.

“The difference now is that digital is driving the activity so a digital-first approach will become more prominent for many brands during this time,” she added.

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