This Cinco de Mayo, brands raise money for the struggling restaurant industry
This Cinco de Mayo, branding around happy hours and celebrations come with a side of purpose. The restaurant industry has been one of those hardest hit during the pandemic, and brands are taking the opportunity to help by enticing people to order from restaurants and to tip their servers and delivery drivers.
Cinco de Mayo coincides with dining restrictions being lifted in cities across the country. But restaurant reopenings come after a loss of 8 million jobs and $280 billion in sales in the industry in 2020, according to the National Restaurant Association.
As such, Cinco de Mayo—the commemoration of a victory by the Mexican army over French troops in 1862 and usually a laid-back holiday—has become a way for brands, and especially alcohol brands, to support the struggling restaurant industry, one they also depend on for business.
Tequila brands Jose Cuervo and Teremana Tequila are reimbursing people who order from restaurants, while tequila brand Don Julio is serving up vouchers to spend at local eateries. Meanwhile, Estrella Jalisco takes on a separate cause and Tostitos has a fun push with actor Danny Trejo.
To encourage customers to return to local eateries and help struggling restaurant workers, Diageo-owned tequila brand Don Julio has released $125,000 of “Don Julio Cincos,” digital and physical vouchers that unlock $5 consumers can then spend at local bars or restaurants in Los Angeles on Cinco de Mayo. The vouchers are designed by Mexican artist Claudio Límon. Customers can win the vouchers in a sweepstakes on Instagram or at an “Automated Tequila Machine” which has been set up in LA.
The tequila brand is also setting up The Tequila Don Julio Fund to help bartenders and restaurant workers negatively affected by the pandemic. Over the next four years, the fund will distribute $1 million to charities with missions that support the hospitality industry. To especially honor the Mexican workers who the brand says “continue to keep this industry going year after year,” the fund is making its first contribution on Cinco de Mayo. Nonprofits No Us Without You LA and the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation will both receive $125,000. The brand is sharing a film showcasing Mexican workers behind the hospitality industry as part of the fund’s announcement.
Finally, the tequila brand is bringing trendy NFTs to everyone’s favorite drinking holiday for a good cause. A “NFTequila,” inspired by the “Don Julio Cincos” and designed by Límon, will be auctioned on Rarible.com with proceeds going to The Tequila Don Julio fund.
Last year, as the pandemic devastated restaurants, tequila brand Jose Cuervo launched its Cinco de Mayo campaign “Cinco To Go,” to encourage customers to order from independent Mexican restaurants that needed their business. This year, the brand is zeroing in on helping delivery drivers with its “Tipsy for Cinco” campaign, urging people to tip delivery drivers at least 20%. Those who do so on Cinco de Mayo could get their whole check paid for. The brand points to the fact that while the pandemic has doubled food delivery apps’ business, the drivers themselves are not seeing any of the benefits.
To take part, customers can tweet a photo of their delivery receipts with the 20% or higher tip with the hashtag #TipsyForCinco until May 9 or on Cuervo.com/tipsyforcinco until the end of the month. The brand will select thousands of winners and reimburse them for their meals through Venmo. Jose Cuervo has partnered with rapper J-Kwon, known for his 2004 single “Tipsy,” to promote the campaign in a spot from independent creative agency Mekanism.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s tequila brand Teremana Tequila is doing its part in helping local restaurants. From May 1 to May 5, the brand is reimbursing anyone who buys a Teremana cocktail with an order of guac up to $10. The brand will spend up to $1 million in giving away free drinks and guac. The idea is to get people ordering from restaurants again and generate more tips for restaurant servers. On a lighter note, it’s also to celebrate Dwayne Johnson’s own birthday on May 2. To participate, consumers upload a photo of their receipt on the dedicated webpage GuacOnTheRock.com and “The Rock” will reimburse them through Venmo.
For this Cinco de Mayo, Corona is partnering with chefs Rick Martinez and Sohla El-Waylly for a social campaign called #CincoForGood, which supports local restaurants across the country. Through giveaways, a partnership with restaurant recommendation site The Infatuation, a sponsored Twitter hashtag and an Instagram Live, the chefs are encouraging people to eat local and order takeout on the holiday. Corona is also donating an additional $1 million to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation which aids in the recovery of the restaurant industry.
As part of Anheuser-Busch-owned Mexican beer Estella Jalisco’s $1 million five-year commitment to invest in art and artists, the beer brand is partnering with the “world’s first” LGBTQ+ mariachi band, Mariachi Arcoiris. Along with a film showcasing the band, Estrella Jalisco is hosting a sweepstakes on social media where five fans can win complimentary virtual performances from the band. Fans can comment on the brand’s posts on social with a song they think needs a mariachi overhaul. The idea is based on a University of Chicago survey which found that although one in five Latinx millennials identify as LGBTQ+, 61% say there’s still a lot of discrimination against LGBTQ+ members in their community.
In a fun-loving effort, chips brand Tostitos has partnered with actor Danny Trejo for a campaign that promotes a new margarita-inspired flavor—sweet lime and sea salt—now available at grocery stores. The actor stars in a new action-packed digital spot called “Five Ways to Cinco,” which promotes the new flavor and a Cinco De Mayo online hub at Tostitos5WaystoCinco.com where fans can find everything from recipes to party playlists. On the site, visitors can also enter for a chance to win a “virtual fiesta” with Danny Trejo.