Coronavirus: Ways the UK drinks and hospitality industries are coping

Takeaway 

Following the government announcement yesterday, it is expected that more restaurants, and even tap rooms and bars, will move to a takeaway-only service.

Those already operating in this way include craft brewer Cloudwater, which is offering take-outs only at its Manchester city centre and Bermondsey tap rooms.

Restaurants are also switching up their models. London Italian Trullo has launched a takeaway menu with wine and beer for diners to take away and heat up at home.

Rick Stein Restaurants is offering takeaway menus with a 20% discount at its cafés and The Cornish Arms pub.

Others, like wine bar Sager + Wilde, are offering discounts on wine to buy and take home.

Additional ideas include ‘The Pub in a Box’ scheme, unveiled by London craft brewery Signature, for those who have to self-isolate. The box includes the brewer’s core beers, beer glasses, beer mats, a vinyl record, a pub quiz, a playlist and pub snacks.

Mathew Carver, founder of The Cheese Truck, The Cheese Bar and Pick & Cheese has also decided to mobilise his fleet of cheese trucks in London. Having closed its Seven Dials site, the team are instead bringing ‘Self Isolation Survival Kits’ of British cheese and wine to those who aren’t going out. According to a statement, these kits contain everything you need to create the “ultimate cheeseboard at home” and are suitable for 2 to 3 people to share.

Buy your meal ahead vouchers

Restaurants and cafés across the country are offering the option to buy vouchers, either for an experience at a later date, or as credit for a next visit.

Some are also using purchases at their premises to help other local businesses. For example, Pressure Drop Brewing in north London is offering a £25 credit to a customer-chosen independent pub, restaurant or retail outlet when orders of 15 cans or more are placed online.

Virtual events

With major trade shows cancelled or postponed this year, and travel restricted, it is expected that we will see a rise in virtual events and tastings.

Portugal Wine Week, an event aimed at the wine trade, was held earlier this week when ProWein was meant to have been taking place.

Organised by online wine retailer Adegga, the event consisted of a series of interviews with wine producers, hosted by Portuguese wine specialist Andre Ribeirinho.

Amber Beverage Group is also offering a series of digital masterclasses for its brands Riga Black Balsam, Moskovskaya Vodka, Cross Keys Gin and Rooster Rojo Tequila. The most active participants of the masterclasses will be rewarded with survival packages sent to their homes.

Companies such as Netherlandish-based Tubes are offering solutions to shipping wine samples, offering producers the chance to ship samples of their new releases in by-the-glass measures. Neither of these concepts are new, but demand is expected to increase given the current climate.

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