Spotlight Series: From Beer to Hand Sanitizer

By | April 3, 2020 | Spotlight Series

As the restaurant industry deals with massive change, we’re spotlighting the brands that are spreading positive messages and uplifting their customers during this isolating time. Many have lessons to teach us all as they work to foster a deep emotional connection with their community.

Dogfish Head

It was the first thing to disappear from the shelves when the coronavirus started spreading westward, before the flour, the milk and even before the toilet paper.

Hand sanitizer in every form and scent has become a precious commodity, and our typical supply chain couldn’t seem to make enough of it.

Enter Dogfish Head, a brewery in Delaware. Though they’re best known for their ales, Dogfish Head has been distilling spirits in the First State for close to 20 years. Seeking a way to support its local community, the company committed a portion of its operation to making hand sanitizer with gin and Aloe Vera gel.

“I never thought Dogfish Head would be in the sanitizer business. But this is a time of crisis, and necessity is the mother of invention,” says Dogfish Head founder said Sam Calagione. “It is our duty to do what we can to keep as many people safe and healthy in our community.”

As the company ramps up production, it will sell bulk shipments of sanitizer to the state at market price. All profits, the company said, will go to a fund to support Delaware residents who had been affected by the outbreak – specifically, the Delaware Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry E.A.T., or Emergency Action Trust. The trust will provide direct cash infusions to industry employees who were laid off as a result of the pandemic.

Additionally, the company’s Beer & Benevolence Foundation will donate $50,000 to the E.A.T. and have promised another $50,000 once the fund reaches $150,000.

These donations won’t change the course of the restaurant industry shutdown, but they will surely make a notable difference in hundreds, if not thousands of lives. And Dogfish Head didn’t only set out to help those struggling financially: the company announced on Wednesday a campaign of content creation on its blog, intended to keep its guests “feeling connected.”

“Our hunger for venturing off the beaten path is as strong as ever, and we’re still motivated by non-conformity. By spontaneity. By experimentation. And by the connections with each and every one of you,” they wrote, providing a much-needed respite from the daily anxiety while maintaining their unique Dogfish charm.

To learn what other creative brands are doing to build customer relationships during this time, connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and check out our site for more COVID-19 related resources. 

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