The Women of the Vine & Spirits (WOTVS) Foundation, this week announced its partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), to expand access to its Hospitality Assistance Program (HAP), which offers confidential support to bartenders and food and beverage professionals in the United States. The program is made possible thanks to funding from Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Similar to an employee assistance program (EAP), the Hospitality Assistance Program will connect employees and their families to an array of free resources, including a network of confidential licensed clinicians, financial professionals, attorneys, and more.
The program was launched in January of 2021, as a direct response to the pandemic and the disproportionate impact on hospitality workers, stemming from the closure of many bars and restaurants. The initial launch was tremendously successful, offering confidential support to hundreds of individuals across the country. As on-premise operations resume, the WOTVS Foundation is excited to expand the Hospitality Assistance Program to USBG’s members, which will offer thousands of bartenders across the country the HAP as an additional membership benefit at no extra cost.
“There are over half a million bartenders currently working in the United States, most of whom do not have access to healthcare, or a traditional Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by their employer,” said Deborah Brenner, president, Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation. “It is imperative that as an industry we continue to serve those who serve us; providing the Hospitality Assistance Program will have a tremendous impact on those seeking support, and we are thrilled to be expanding the program to all USBG members.”
“As an organization, our mission is to unite and elevate the bar industry through education, community, and advocacy,” said USBG executive director Aaron Gregory Smith. “We welcome this partnership with Women of the Vine and Spirits Foundation advocating for USBG members by offering access to a wide range of professional services at no additional cost.”
The program is made possible by Love, Tito’s, the philanthropic heart of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. In 2021, Tito’s generously committed $45,000 to help launch the initial program. Over the next three years, Tito’s will grant over $90,000 to continue expanding the Hospitality Assistance Program, ensuring that hospitality industry workers are able to take advantage of the free resources.
“In 2020, we started working with WOTVS Foundation on building a program that best served hospitality workers during an extremely difficult time,” said Lindsey Bates, director of philanthropy operations at Tito’s Handmade Vodka. “The positive impact it had on industry members was incredible and we’re excited to continue expanding this program to support more people in 2023 and beyond.”
The Hospitality Assistance Program is operated through ComPsych Corporation, the worldwide leader of fully integrated EAP, behavioral health, wellness, work-life, HR, FMLA and absence management services under its GuidanceResources® brand. ComPsych GuidanceResoures core services include short-term counseling, treatment referrals, financial, retirement, legal, family, child, elder assistance, and intervention for critical incidents and more. Through a 24/7 toll-free number and best-in-class well-being portal, enrollees, and their household family members, can access confidential assistance with experienced clinicians, financial professionals, and attorneys, as well as leading self-service tools and resources.