London Cocktail Week 2020 has been deemed a huge success in helping to support the hospitality industry this October, welcoming just under 10,000 wristband wearers and driving much-needed footfall into 250 of London’s best cocktail bars.
Anecdotal feedback from the capital’s leading bar owners has confirmed that the festival has had a positive impact in encouraging people back into bars, who would not have otherwise been there. Some bar owners have even said quite simply that this year’s festival has saved their business.
As soon as the crippling effects of Covid-19 on the London hospitality scene became apparent back in March, Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne, the co-owners and organisers of London Cocktail Week, adapted the festival’s structure.
The revised core objective in 2020 was to use the event to support as many venues as possible in surviving the crisis, with the mission statement of ‘Every Cocktail Counts’.
As part of this, London Cocktail Week was extended to the whole month of October and the decision was made to not run The Cocktail Village – instead focusing all efforts on driving footfall and brand support into the venues involved.
Five leading spirits portfolios – Brown-Forman, Diageo, Edrington Beam Suntory UK, Moët Hennessy UK and Bacardi-Martini Ltd – united, alongside 30 independent brands, committing to boost the bars through the £6 Cocktail Tours, alongside in-venue brand activations.
This year also saw the introduction of London Cocktail Week at Home, in partnership with The Drinks Drop, making the serves from 30 of the participating venues available for nationwide home delivery with a kick-back on cocktail sales to those venues.
Hannah and Siobhan said: “Every decision we made for London Cocktail Week this year was to support the bars and give as many consumers as possible the confidence to get out and about in hospitality venues safely.
“To drive nearly 10,000 people into the London on-trade during a global pandemic is an incredible feat, and response from the venues involved about what a positive impact the festival has had on their businesses has been truly heart-warming.
“We are incredibly grateful to the sponsors of London Cocktail Week, who went over and above to create activations and partnerships that genuinely helped venues in their fight for survival, and we are so proud that we were able to bring everyone together to demonstrate what can be done when an industry shows a united front in the face of adversity.”