Bar Experience


Brand Marketing | Corporate Reputation | Employee Engagement

In collaboration with LePub. 

Heineken® launches an on-trade platform and integrated campaign to showcase bar work as a valuable career skill.

The Challenge

Dutch hospitality faced a staff shortage crisis amid Gen Z's reluctance to pursue bar work due to misconceptions about pay and skills. 

Heineken® tasked us with reshaping perceptions of bar work to attract young talent. They wanted an integrated campaign to highlight bar experience as valuable for career growth and sought collaboration with 25 major companies to recognise it in hiring. 

The main challenges included changing negative perceptions of bar work among Gen Z, overcoming reluctance to pursue careers in hospitality, and persuading companies to recognise bar experience in hiring processes.

The Strategy

Our strategic planning focused on reshaping perceptions of bar work among Gen Z and addressing the staff shortage crisis in Dutch hospitality. 

In collaboration with LePub, we crafted an integrated campaign highlighting bar experience as valuable for career growth and how it uses soft skills: coordination, agility, persuasion, customer empathy. 

Our approach satisfied the needs of both the target audience and the client brief by reframing bar work as a valuable career opportunity and facilitating collaboration with other companies to recognise bar experience in hiring processes.

The Execution

In collaboration with 25 other hospitality companies, an online platform was created where hospitality job offers were publicised. This was known as the Horeca job platform and was supported by a full Linkedin Campaign: People entering the program and working at a bar received an official badge showcasing their Bar Experience. 

The Linkedin badge worked as a diploma and was recognised by 25 other partner companies for corporate jobs (Coca Cola,Burger King, Starbucks, Pepsico, Febo, Lipton, McDonald’s). 

We also ran a print campaign to increase awareness. Using visual of Heineken® offices front doors printed into several bar backdoors in the NL with message: “This backdoor can lead you to our front door.” It included an invitation to young people to apply.

The Outcome

  • 90% of the target (18-24 y.o) reached with the campaign. 
  • 5000 applications for bar jobs in the Netherlands on the platform in just the first 2 weeks.
  • Click through rate was 225% vs benchmark for social media ads and 100% vs benchmark on Snapchat. 
  • Strong increase in the NPS (Net Promoter Score metric) after the campaign (+ 8.7). 
  • 25 major companies joined the program and updated their hiring process for corporate jobs. 
  • 120 employees were already hired with bar experience. 
  • The campaign inspired the Dutch government to create a fund to support the hospitality sector.


Applications for bar jobs in the Netherlands in the first 2 weeks


Major companies joined the program


Employees already hired with bar experience


Cannes Lions 2024

Category: PR 
Sub-Category: Corporate Image, Communication & Reputation Management 
Award: Gold