Breakthru News

Breakthru's COVID-19 Response and Updates

COVID-19 Updates Header

Apr. 1, 2020

This page will be updated when Breakthru Beverage Group leadership has additional statements to make on the coronavirus crisis.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Once the coronavirus emerged as a threat, we assembled an internal task force to monitor the developing crisis and manage our response accordingly. We have been closely following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization (WHO), and we have implemented policies and precautionary measures to best support the safety and health of our associates, partners and their respective families.

We will continue to operate with your safety and well-being in mind and provide the highest quality of service. By working together, we will get through this challenge and emerge stronger as an industry.


Friday, May 15 Update

To our customers,

Consistent with our core values, Breakthru prioritizes the health and well-being of our associates as well as our customers’ employees. As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, we have aligned our Company’s protocols with the guidelines from applicable health authorities, to include the CDC, WHO and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and we also have carefully monitored any local guidelines and updates. We want to emphasize our deep commitment to operating efficiently and responsibly as we support you, our valued partner, in a safe and mindful way during these uncertain times.

As several of our markets begin to reopen for dine-in business, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to taking appropriate steps to help safeguard the health of your team and your customers.

Along these lines, we are promoting social distancing by advising our associates to maintain a minimum of six feet of distance between themselves and others, requiring our associates to wear face masks when working in the presence of others and implementing other preventative measures recommended by the health authorities, including the frequent washing of hands and use of sanitizer. We also continue to minimize opportunities for direct personal contact between our associates and the public by employing measures such as “drop and go” delivery and, to the extent possible, visiting your accounts during non-peak hours. Additionally, we have increased our cleaning protocols across the supply chain, starting in our own warehouses and trucks and continuing all the way to your doorstep. These protocols include stringent and thorough facility and equipment cleanings on a daily basis and increased sanitation in high-touch areas.

By working together, we are confident that we will weather this storm and emerge as a stronger and more resilient industry. Please let us know if there are things we can do to help you navigate this situation more effectively and, most importantly, we extend our wishes for good health to you and your team members. 


Monday, April 20 Update

Breakthru Beverage Development Manager Mike Henderson and Content Manager Kyle Trompeter give a status update on how businesses are adapting to the coronavirus, what's working for bars and restaurants, and how bar managers are continuing to serve signature cocktails to their customers.


Monday, April 13 Update

Now more than ever, Breakthru Beverage Group is committed to being a responsible and attentive business partner to you. In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we are enhancing our business protocols and taking additional precautions to maximize social distancing principles and further limit person-to-person contact for the safety of our Breakthru associates as well as your employees and customers. Specifically, we are implementing the following protocols effective immediately and until further notice:

“Drop and Go” Deliveries

We have adopted a “drop & go” policy for all deliveries. Our drivers and helpers have been advised to deliver only to designated receiving areas and to limit interaction with receivers and other account personnel. Please note that this means that our drivers will not be delivering product to basement areas or into store aisles, irrespective of whether the store is open or closed at time of delivery.

Accounts are asked to make the designated delivery area one that is not generally accessible to the public. We also ask that accounts prop open delivery doors for drivers to limit surface contact.

If a Breakthru associate must obtain an executed invoice while visiting an account, he or she will follow the below process when doing so:

  • Breakthru associate places the customer’s copy of the invoice where the customer representative has easy, isolated access to it;
  • Breakthru associate allows the customer representative to review the copy of the invoice and make any adjustments to it with his or her own pen;
  • Breakthru associate then notes on the Company’s invoice copy any customer adjustments to the invoice and provides the Company copy of the invoice to the customer representative for signature, again with the customer representative’s own pen; and
  • If desired, the customer representative can take a photo of the adjustments noted on the Company’s copy of the invoice for proof of adjustment.

Store Resets

We are temporarily suspending all participation in store resets until further notice as we have determined that the nature of this activity would make it difficult to comply with state law mandates and CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.

Merchandising Activity

Until further notice, we are limiting all merchandising activity – whether such activity is undertaken by merchandisers, sales associates or drivers – to occur at times when accounts are closed to the public. If this is not feasible for any reason (for example, if a store services customers 24 hours a day), Breakthru associates may only merchandise in an account during non-peak hours and with the advance approval of the customer and the Breakthru Executive Vice President for the applicable market.

In addition to the above, all Breakthru associates have been reminded to adhere to the social distancing and other preventative measures recommended by the health authorities, to including avoiding person-to-person contact when possible, frequently washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inner elbow or sleeve, avoiding touching one’s face and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between the associate and others.

We recognize that continuing to visit accounts and meet our business partners’ expectations remains essential, and we believe these protocols will enable us to continue to serve you at the highest levels while also promoting associate safety during this unprecedented and difficult period. We sincerely appreciate your support and commitment to safety and your cooperation in these efforts. We will continue to monitor the situation across all Breakthru markets, and we will provide updates to our protocols and guidelines as necessary.

Wednesday, April 1 Update

To our customers,

Below you’ll find a downloadable PDF to a business guide from the U.S. Department of Congress regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The U.S. Government allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. The administration will soon be sharing additional information including a list of lenders, but the PDF is a guide of useful information for your evaluation.

As your trusted partner, we are here to support you as you navigate this unprecedented business disruption.

Download the CARES Act Guide

Tuesday, March 31 Update

As the COVID-19 situation has bars and restaurants adjusting their business model to comply with social distancing orders, bar managers are finding creative solutions to be able to continue to serve their customers the signature cocktails patrons expect from them.

The solution, in this case, is batching cocktails for at-home consumption. It’s a topic we’ve covered before, but of course, not under these types of circumstances. At-home consumption is the only option during the coronavirus crisis, and bar programs are doing incredible work on the fly to adapt to this ever-changing environment, so they can deliver a familiar source of comfort during an otherwise unprecedented reality.

If your business is currently in this position and would like some tips on the basics of batching and bottling a to-go cocktail program, our own Beverage Development Manager Mike Henderson has some helpful best practices.

Wednesday, March 25 Update

As everyone in our industry continues to navigate the evolving COVID-19 situation, we want to re-emphasize our commitment to serving our customers in a safe and responsible way. We have implemented measures to safeguard our associates, as well as our customers, during this difficult period. We’d like to extend a sincere thank you to all our customers who are doing outstanding work in being advocates of social distancing while continuing to operate during coronavirus. Employing “distancing measures” with your patrons takes a lot of organization, and we appreciate your efforts to help flatten the curve. We are here to help you navigate this situation. Thank you for your commitment to serving your customers responsibly.

For more information regarding responsible alcohol sales, check out this helpful infographic from the WSWA.