We’re AB InBev, brewer of some of the world’s best beers, like Stella Artois, Corona and our American brand Budweiser. Read on to find out how Merve and Victor supported out partners in struggling times. 

In these unprecedented times, we’re acting quickly to support our partners in the hospitality sector.   
Our teams in Europe have created platforms that allow people to buy gift cards for beer, giving the hospitality sector much-needed funds now. Then  consumers can enjoy their beer once bars reopen.  
What is it like to work remotely on such a project and what challenges does it entail? 
We had a look behind the scenes of the launch of the Italian platform, Salva Il Tuo Bar, with Merve, Connections Manager BU South, who builds connection strategies across paid, earned, owned touch points to support brand growth, and Victor, Head of Sell Out On Trade Italy who leads a team of field sales representatives in the HoReCa channel to increase market share and distribution throughout the country. 

In your own words, how would you explain Salva Il Tuo Bar? And why is it important? 

Merve: Help your local bars and restaurants by ordering your beer in advance. 

Victor: Because of the challenging, but necessary measures on the hospitality industry, our customers are struggling to find liquidity to continue with their business. With this platform, we connect bars to consumers, so consumers can pre-pay for beers that they’ll enjoy later when their bar re-opens and bars get the funds now. 

What were the major challenges you faced? 

Merve: Time was the biggest challenge: the faster we were the faster we could financially support our partners. We checked with other markets if it would work for us to expedite the process and we quickly formed a group to plan and execute everything at the same time. In less than a week, we were live. 
Victor: We tend to work on these projects in smart teams, with very little external support, because this is our DNA and this is how we work and how we thrive. Even though it creates some challenges, we needed to push this forward. Working in a small team, we skipped a lot of bureaucracy, taking every decision together, very fast. And that’s what enabled us to launch the project in such a short time. 
Merve: I remember the website went live on April 3rd, in the last calls of that day we were like: what did we just do?! 

How are you personally dealing with the COVID-19 situation, not being in your home country?  

Merve: To me, Milan feels like home and within the company, the team has supported me. Now we just carry that relationship to digital channels. Physically we are far away from each other, but emotionally, as a team, this situation brought us even closer. 
Victor: I talk with my family and friends even more. Everything is more fluid and it’s crazy how time has gone so fast, so we just need to stay strong for a couple more weeks or months. 

You can support your local bar in Italy at https://salvailtuobar.it/

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