Labor Day has come to mean the end of summer, and it’s viewed by many as the last chance to enjoy a vacation and cram in some partying before getting back to work.
This can mean an influx of tourist and local dollars for bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other hospitality industry venues.
Labor Day also presents operators with opportunities to partner with brands tied directly and indirectly to this business.
Guinness and Carhartt are perfect examples of two brands working together in the hospitality space to honor workers on Labor Day. Carhartt is synonymous with hard work, a functional brand that stands up to the rigors of labor.
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However, they’re also every bit a lifestyle brand. Carhartt also has ties to the beverage side of our industry. Founder Hamilton Carhartt’s great-grandson Mike founded a vineyard and winery on land his father Jack bought in the ‘50s, Rancho Santa Ynez.
Through hard work, Mike, other Carhartt family members, and ranch hands transformed the property into Carhartt Vineyard and Winery. The same family that started making durable clothing for railroad workers in 1889 also produces quality wines.
Two years prior to Hamilton Carhartt creating what would become iconic coveralls (and eventually entire lines of purpose-built, hard-working clothing), Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official state holiday.
In 1894, we celebrated the labor movement in America, along with the hard workers that literally powered it, as an official federal holiday. Interestingly, our northern neighbors in Canada also honor workers on the first Monday in September, just as we do, on Labour Day.
Guinness has been helping quench hard-working people’s thirst for 260 years. Last year, the iconic Irish brewer opened their only American brewery in Baltimore, Maryland. And beginning next week, workers looking to unwind with a refreshing beer can enjoy a special lager at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery.
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Guinness x Carhartt Labor Day Lager will be available exclusively at the Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore beginning August 27. But Guinness and Carhartt are doing much more than that to honor workers.
Both brands are partnering with designer and engineer Jimmy DiResta to raise money for Team Rubicon. DiResta has created three bars in support of Team Rubicon’s commitment to rebuilding communities that have been devastated by natural disasters.
Team Rubicon mobilizes a team of incredibly hard-working, experienced military veterans to deploy emergency response teams who work closely with first responders. Since 2013, Team Rubicon has helped rebuild communities and provided humanitarian relief for the vulnerable, volunteering well over $28 million of labor.
As Team Rubicon explains, there are more than 22 million veterans in the United States. They have unique and valuable skills and experience that make them an incredibly effective volunteer response team—and hospitality workers.
The bars DiResta designed and built will serve Team Rubicon in three ways. One bar is headed to the Houston Rebuild location of Team Rubicon’s Hurricane Harvey recovery. Team Rubicon volunteers are there right now to rebuild 100 homes, and the DiResta-built bar will offer them a beer and moment of relaxation.
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Another bar will be installed permanently near Dallas at the Team Rubicon National Operation Center. A few weeks after this year’s Labor Day, the third bar will be auctioned on September 21 at the Team Rubicon Salute to Service Awards.
All three DiResta bars will be on display at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery starting August 27, the same day Guinness x Carhartt Labor Day Lager will become available. All proceeds from the sales of Labor Day Lager will go to Team Rubicon.
Guinness and Carhartt have both supported Team Rubicon for the past three years, albeit separately. Through separate campaigns and monetary and product donations, both brands have given more than $1.25 million to Team Rubicon. This collaboration is the product of Guinness and Carhartt realizing they both support the same volunteer organization and pooling their resources and visibility to do even more for a great cause.
Bar, restaurant, nightclub and hotel operators are well positioned to follow in Guinness and Carhartt’s footsteps. Operators and bar and kitchen teams have access to highly visible and influential brands, and they have venue space that can hold fundraisers. A campaign to give back to communities by supporting humanitarian causes can be as simple as aligning with the right brands and donating the proceeds from a particular drink or food item.
Food for thought as we approach Labor Day and the giving season.
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