As consumers look forward to the trade re-opening and visiting venues once again, businesses need to make sure they are fully prepared to welcome their clientele back with a great experience whilst ensuring their safety in venue.

To prepare for opening, firstly, outlets must have understood the government guidelines about how they can safely re-open and are able to comply with the guidelines.

Once the re-opening government guidelines are met venues will want to make sure they have a compelling range of products to offer customers. We recommend reducing your range to enable faster customer choice and more consistent delivery of serve in outlet. To find your optimal reduced range start by ranging best sellers across all alcohol categories as these will have a high sell through rate. Next add in premium products in key categories for trade up opportunities, for example in spirits as premium accounted for 1 in 3 serves before outlets closed1. Finally add choice for consumers to drive excitement and interest. You could do this by enhancing the range in sub-categories that are seeing strong growth, such as Gin, Rum, or categories that have strong sales within your venue1.  Also, consider adding innovation into the range, where relevant for your consumer base, to offer a point of difference to their usual choice at home over the past few weeks and enhance the experience on premise.



Next, make sure to merchandise the backbar to drive sales and efficiency. We recommend making the bar operationally efficient by placing  best sellers in the speed rail or on optics to make them quick and easy for bartenders to serve and have duplicated workstations behind the bar so that staff can access everything they need within their bar section and adhere to social distancing guidelines. You may wish to consider different formats for complex serves, such as cocktails, that minimize contact and serving time at the bar. This could mean offering bottled or draught cocktails.

It is also very important to make sure the staff, who may be a little bit rusty, are ready to serve customers quickly & efficiently when they return. Having a perfectly served drink can enhance the in-outlet experience whilst we know a poorly served drink can hinder it. We recommend having some training with bartenders prior to opening to make sure all staff can serve your customers their long-awaited drink perfectly, whether that is a long missed draught pint or a classic spirit and mixer! There are lots of free online training resources you can use to support staff training such as the free Diageo Bar Academy online webinars [Click For DBA Webinar Access].




The contactless element within venues is vital to consider as consumers seek to reduce physical contact with items in outlet.  For menus, these could be contactless through single use recyclable menus, utilizing chalk boards with the drinks available or going one step further to have a digital menu. This could be as simple as listing the menu on the website for consumers to view on their own devices. Alternatively, venues could look to make the menu, ordering, and payment contactless using an app if that is feasible for your outlet. Contactless may not be possible for all outlets so if it’s not possible to go contactless on certain aspects then look to reduce physical contact where possible and ensure good hygiene practices are in place for areas/items that consumers will come into contact with.

Finally, make sure the digital offering sets the outlet up for success. For the website, make sure the menu is up to date, consider a pre-booking and pre-ordering section and make sure all communication about re-opening is available.  Use social media as another medium to connect with customers and let them know about the re-opening details. It is also vital to re-assure consumers about outlet safety and hygiene by communicating any measures that are in place across all digital channels.


  1. CGA OPMS MAT Data to 22.02.20

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