Kenya Breweries Limited through its brand Tusker has kicked-off the second phase of the Raising the Bar recovery program. The Ksh. 220 Million program will target 850 bars and eateries across the country by the end of November 2021. 

The outlets will be provided with Covid safety equipment, merchandise, training and other incentives as they seek to create a safe environment in line with the Covid-19 pandemic safety measures and protocols.

The launch comes at a time when the hospitality sector continues to reel from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as recently seen in the released statistics by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) that showed the tourism & hospitality sector shed more than Sh71 billion in 2020 under the weight of the Covid-19 containment measures, representing a 43.9 per cent decline compared to 2019.

The second phase follows a successful phase one that saw the onboarding and retrofitting of 169 outlets around the Nairobi Metropolitan area with Covid-19 safety elements and equipment with a further 100 outlets being targeted by end of September 2021. 

The prequalification criteria for an outlet includes; a valid liquor license, business registration certificate, current business permit and proof of business existence before Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at Castle Garden in Nairobi during the launch of the program, East African Breweries Limited Commercial Director, Joel Kamau said that the initiative’s second phase is aimed at enabling more outlets to get enrolled into the program as they work towards the full resumption of activities in the hospitality sector.

“As the government continues to ease Covid-19 measures, people want to come together again to connect with their community and socialise safely. By bringing international best practices, providing access to training and Covid safety equipment, KBL aims to help bars, pubs and restaurants to open their doors again and to do so in a safe environment for everyone,” said Kamau.

He added:

“The hospitality industry has witnessed unprecedented loss of revenues and in the process affected the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on it. Pubs, bars and restaurants are an integral part of our communities, bringing people together to socialise and celebrate and this is something we have all missed during this period where gatherings have been limited. The revival of this sector is vital to the economy and to the success of our business. Raising the Bar two is a further commitment to the industry as we want to ensure all these businesses are revived and our consumers are able once again to feel confident to socialise and lead normal lives.” 

On his part, Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association of Kenya (BAHLITA) Chairman Simon Njoroge, urged bar and restaurant owners to apply for the program, noting it will go a long way in ensuring the revival of the sector..

“I commend EABL for their continued support of the hospitality sector. This program will go a long way in ensuring the revival of the sector. So far, several outlets have already benefited and more are now targeted in this second phase. We urge our members to apply for this initiative as we work towards bringing the sector back to life,” said Njoroge. 

According to KBL, the full recovery of this sector will also boost its expansive value chain supporting over 47,000 farmers, over 100 distribution networks consisting of 105 distributors and 44,000 retailers, all of whom have been affected by the pandemic.