As lockdown eases in Belgium, a new national campaign is encouraging drinkers to support their bars and cafes with "Helpy Hour." That's the reverse of a happy hour, in that you pay for two drinks and receive one.
The campaign was created by FCB agency by Happiness Brussels on behalf of the Federation of Belgian cafes, and is designed to boost businesses that have been damaged by the pandemic. Bars and restaurants in Belgium will be allowed to reopen starting Monday, but under strict conditions. Diane Delen, the Federation's president, said the draconian measures will reduce attendance in bars by at least two thirds. The Federation says half of Belgium's 12,000 cafes may not survive the coronavirus crisis.
Delen told The Associated Press on Thursday that the “helpy hour" initiative will help bar owners bearing the shock of the economic crisis triggered by the virus. “I don't think the Belgians will be happy to see their beloved cafes disappear," she said. “It's a temporary measure that will help avoid an avalanche of bankruptcies. And once everything is back to normal, clients will be satisfied because happy hours will return."
Campaigns in other countries have also encouraged consumers to buy more drinks and keep bars afloat. In Denmark, Carlsberg's Adopt a Keg invited people to fill up a virtual keg online and exchange it for real beer in a real bar later on, while Heineken also asked consumers to buy drinks online to drink later in a reopened bar in a campaign across 20 countries.