What started as a fun toast between two franchise industry veterans has evolved into a viral Happy Hour phenomenon as hundreds of businesses coast-to-coast raise a glass each week to toast to “#WhiskeyWednesday.” Now, the bourbon drinking business buddies who started the Wednesday night trend during the COVID-19 lockdowns are inviting companies worldwide to lift a glass of their favorite beverage – and lift spirits – to join in the weekly Happy Hour fun.
“We craved a simple way to connect each week because we’re missing our colleagues and business friends nationwide who we see regularly at meetings and conferences but can’t now because of the lockdowns,” says Whiskey Wednesday co-founder David Chapman, CEO of 919 Marketing, a leading national content marketing agency located just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.
“One Wednesday night in February, a buddy and I shared a virtual toast with our favorite bourbon on a zoom meeting that sparked our idea to invite the world in to celebrate.”
That buddy is Pete Baldine, a beloved figurehead in the franchising industry and the President of Moran Family of Brands, a nationwide franchisor of automotive repair services. When he and Chapman posted their #WhiskeyWednesday toasts on their social media channels, folks started joining in from franchise businesses all over the country. Thanks to so many throughout franchising (and beyond) the #WhiskeyWednesday trend has gone viral (check out some of the latest videos here).
Now, every Wednesday night, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds are full of #WhiskeyWednesday videos of people toasting with their drink-of-choice, challenging others to join in the #WhiskeyWednesday fun. The videos have become a fun, creative outlet with folks toasting while sharing war stories of survival during the pandemic. No surprise, drinking with friends is a national pastime of sorts, as folks toast while giving their kids a bath, riding a horse, and even building a chicken coop to relieve the coronavirus crazies.
A Positive Pour
“Whiskey Wednesday started as a little morale boost for folks in franchising and has grown into a cultural craze as folks from all business sectors join in to relieve the stress from this pandemic,” says Baldine, who favors bourbon straight up, no ice. “We don’t care if you drink whiskey, wine or water. We invite everyone to the virtual party because life is too short, and this crisis has gone on too long.”
Fill Your Glass, Then Fill Your Feed
To join the #Whiskey Wednesday fun, folks simply shoot a video of their toast and post it to their Facebook and LinkedIn pages with the hashtag #Whiskey Wednesday. They can challenge friends, family, and colleagues to post. The goal is to reach as many people as possible with a positive message that we’re all in this together so we might as well have some fun.