IN FOCUS Excellence Awards Interview

Just Drinks Excellence Awards 2023: HEINEKEN UK

Raising the Bar: HEINEKEN’s support for a thriving, sustainable on-trade

Just Drinks: How is HEINEKEN helping operators during the current challenges?

Lynsey Reid: It goes without saying that the hospitality industry has shown enormous resilience in the face of increased energy costs and staff shortages, to name just a few, over the last year.  At HEINEKEN, our aim is simple: we want to make business easier for our customers. We want to see a thriving, sustainable on-trade so are looking to support publicans in both the running and growth of their business.

Lynsey Reid, Customer Experience Director at HEINEKEN UK

As such, we launched our new online global platform, eazle, last year. Combining our 40+ e-Commerce shops and existing 500,000 customers under one international roof, eazle is designed to make it easy for independent shops, restaurants and bars to manage their business and drive sales.

More than just an ecommerce website, we also introduced eazle Club for our customers. Offering a range of exclusive discounts on everyday essentials plus added value services to help boost revenue, footfall and profitability.

Just Drinks: What type of discounts and services are available through eazle Club?

Lynsey Reid: Through eazle Club, our customers have access to a range of tailored discounts and services to support them not only with their beer and cider offering but in all aspects of running their business.

Using the buying power of both HEINEKEN and Star Pubs & Bars, we have been able to negotiate exclusive savings on a variety of everyday essentials from leading and sustainable hospitality suppliers, tapping into their great customer service and helping operators save money and time.

For instance, through commercial waste management company, Biffa, our customers have saved approximately £1,200 per venue annually with 44% waste recycled and 92% diverted from landfill1. Likewise, by purchasing catering supplies and equipment through Nisbets, they have calculated operators save on average around £1,400 per venue each year2. To make navigating the discounts as easy as possible, we created specific packages of the most relevant suppliers and savings, including food, sustainability and sports offerings. All savings shown on eazle Club are based on the typical annual purchase volumes and clearly illustrate the potential yearly savings for customers. With unlimited access to these savings, operators can continually save money and time as supplier contracts come up for renewal or with frequent purchases.

In addition to eazle Club Discounts, we offer a suite of added-value services to help operators grow revenue and footfall; promote their business; boost customer experience, and profit from professional support. Many of the services we offer are free of charge and include training for bar staff, social media upskilling, drinks menu design and print services as well as point-of-sale marketing materials.

All suppliers are carefully selected based on attributes such as the company’s customer service and sustainability credentials to offer discounts and services that align with HEINEKEN’s values.

Just Drinks: Why is sustainability important to HEINEKEN and how are you helping customers make sustainable changes?

Lynsey Reid: Sustainability is a major focus for us at HEINEKEN. We are wholly committed to reducing our own environmental impact and want to help our customers be more eco-friendly in line with our sustainability strategy, Brew a Better World. In 2021, we announced our 2030 Brew a Better World programme, a new set of ambitious commitments aimed at driving a positive impact on the environment, social sustainability and the responsible consumption of alcohol.

Sustainability is widely regarded as key to a successful business in the 21st century. From April 2027, all commercial buildings in England and Wales (including pubs and bars) will be required to meet a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C, rising to B by April 2030. Those that don’t comply could face fines of up to £150,000 which would be devastating for the industry, so it’s important to act. What’s more, implementing measures now can help make savings.

Last year, we launched a £3M sustainability fund in the UK market to help publicans make improvements to the energy efficiency of their venue, save money and work towards sustainability targets such as the upcoming EPC legislation changes in England and Wales.

The sustainability support scheme covers the cost of qualifying venues’ initial EPC Audit and provides up to £5,000 per site towards the cost of any improvements needed. By pinpointing areas of high energy usage and identifying no and low-cost changes to improve energy efficiencies, the Audit advises on implementation with minimal disruption to the running of the business and is proven to save operators an average of 25% on energy bills3.

We are also proud to support thousands of operators using our industry-leading draught solutions, SmartDispense®. These customers collectively save 60 million pints of water, beer, cider and cleaning materials and 273 tonnes of CO2 every year through the system4. HEINEKEN SmartDispense® offers a combination of consistent quality beer and cider while reducing an outlet’s environmental impact.

To help boost savings even further, we have launched SmartDispense® Cellar Manager and Remote Manager which improve the energy-efficiency of a pub’s cellar – one of the highest areas of energy usage. By helping pubs control their cellar cooling, SmartDispense® Cellar Manager can reduce energy usage by 36% a year5, whilst ensuring the beer stays at the right temperature. Equally, SmartDispense® Remote Manager supports the energy efficiency of remote coolers, allowing the cooler to power down during quieter times, saving over 33% of the energy usage6.

We believe the hospitality industry as a whole has a responsibility to help create a more sustainable future. Historically, the industry has had a dramatic impact on the environment, particularly through energy, water consumption and the use of consumable goods. The pressure is mounting for all businesses to reduce and eliminate emissions, and social responsibility is fast becoming a prime concern as we enter a crucial phase in dealing with the climate crisis. It is only by working together that we can demonstrate the leadership and ambition required to reach net zero and limit warming to 1.5°C.

Contact information

Heineken UK
3-4 Broadway Park
South Gyle Broadway
Edinburgh, EH12 9JZ
United Kingdom

Eazle Club by HEINEKEN UK:

  1. Biffa internal savings data, average saving (January - August 2023)
  2. Nisbets internal savings data, average saving (January – September 2023)
  3. Compliance365 internal data, average  savings
  4. HEINEKEN UK data, Calculations based on SmartDispense® active accounts each year since 2015 with 10 lines
  5. Independent test results based on subterranean and ground floor pub cellars of varying sizes
  6. Independent test results based on subterranean and ground floor pub cellars of varying sizes