Stella Artois gives back to bartenders with £500,000 support scheme

Initiative set to give an extra £42 to bar staff.

Stella Artois is celebrating the hospitality sector's grand return with a campaign providing an extra £500,000 for bar staff.

Created by Draftline - the in-house agency of AB InBev that launched in 2019 - “Stella tips” shows a thirsty local patron as he celebrates the pub’s return with a nice cold pint, while a narrator explains that “for every pint served Stella Artois will give one pound to bar staff tips so everyone feels welcome to be back”.

The TV ad launched today (6 April) and is backed by celebrities including model Jodie Kidd and musician James Blunt, who own the Half Moon Inn and The Fox & Pheasant, respectively.

The initiative is available for Stella Artois drinkers in participating pubs until 9 May, and expects to give an extra £42 to more than 12,000 hospitality staff across the UK (excluding the North of Ireland).

“Britain’s pubs are the cornerstones of our communities, and it’s the people behind the bar who bring this community together with a welcoming smile and pint in hand,” said Ali Humphrey, European marketing director of Stella Artois.

Humphrey added that the pandemic has been “particularly hard” on his staff as they have missed out on customer tips.

“We want to put tipping back on the agenda, so we’re proud to be working with our largest beer brand, Stella Artois, to launch 'Stella tips' as our way of showing gratitude to those behind the bar. 

“When the pubs re-open we’ll be raising a Stella, and a tip, to those who make the return of the hospitality industry possible.”

According to a report from CGA and AlixPartners in January, 10,000 outlets have closed their doors for good last year as a result of the pandemic, while more than a third of the workforce are concerned for their long-term job security amid frequent lockdowns.

Paul Scully, the government's small business minister, said: “Pubs are integral to communities across Britain and their hardworking staff make them the dynamic and welcoming places we know and love – they earn every tip they get. 

“Following such a tough time for the hospitality industry, it is fantastic to see the government’s work to support the sector complemented by this generous offer from Stella Artois.”

During the first leg of the pandemic, Budweiser UK & Ireland launched a gift-card initiative that allowed beer lovers to pre-purchase their post-lockdown drinks, “Save pub life”, which contributed  £1.5m to the hospitality sector last year.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We’ve all missed the great British pub and want to support its reopening and recovery. 

“As we start to enjoy a pint in the beer garden once more, it’s important to recognise the pub staff who’ll do a great job of looking after us.”

In July last year, Stella Artois launched an artistic campaign encouraging people to savour moments of pleasure and those who matter most, “The life Artois”.

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