TORONTO — Two of Canada’s biggest spirits companies, Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and Diageo Canada, are partnering to donate $100,000 to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund.
“We remain committed to supporting our industry employees across Canada,” says Patrick O’Driscoll, CEO of Corby. “We’re proud to join our industry partner in an effort to make a difference by providing financial assistance to hospitality employees across Canada.”
The Bartenders Benevolent Fund offers emergency assistance to front-of-house hospitality staff who have fallen under serious financial hardship.
“We’re experiencing an incredibly challenging time in the Canadian hospitality industry,” says Jodi Rumble, VP, general manager, Diageo Canada. “Through this joint effort, Diageo Canada is proud to further our commitment to supporting the hardworking community of bartenders, bar staff and frontline workers across the country.”
The hospitality sector has been reeling since the COVID-19 outbreak reached Canada. As one of the first industries to feel its impacts, Restaurants Canada estimates some 800,000 bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff have been put out of work since March 1 as restaurants and bars across the country have been forced to shut down or, at the very least, offer patrons takeout-only options. That equates to about two-thirds of the workforce in the foodservice sector being put out of work — and does not include hotel and lodging staff who have also been laid off.
“Not only is this contribution to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund extremely generous, it’s an incredible statement that two of the biggest spirits companies in Canada have come together to offer this sum in solidarity, leading the way together. ‘We’re all in this together’ has never felt so true as it does today due to this action by our friends and partners at Corby and Diageo Canada. We’re so grateful that they’re helping us to support our hospitality industry,” says Jon Gray, co-founder of the Bartenders Benevolent Fund.