When Linda Hunt won her court case against her employer and a Barrie pub, party time changed forever. This precedent-setting court decision assigned responsibility for Linda’s alcohol impairment and subsequent accident to her employer and to the pub.

The case received much national and international media coverage because of its implications and lots has been written and said about it. Interesting, the reaction of the general public did not support the decision of the courts.

With responsibility for alcohol impairment now in the hands of hosts, business owners, parents of the bride & groom, event managers, hall owners etc., the word “party” can take on very serious meaning.

Brenda Richardson is handling the business end of “party” these days, with her new company, Sharp Shooters. With a hospitality background that includes bar tending, Smart Serve training for wait staff, and great customer service skills, it was logical for Brenda to move in a whole new direction. She’s partnered with her husband, Gord, and G&B Sharp Shooters is offering a service that virtually guarantees there will be no “drunk” leaving your event.

They’ll buy the alcohol, set up the bar, serve drinks and monitor guests, provide the DJ and VJ service, and when it’s all over, they provide a safe-ride-home program. They’ll even pick your guests up from their home location. Brenda says she came up with the business idea because she often worked with caterers to serve guests at a wedding or a corporate event, only to find people waiting for long periods of time in remote locations for cabs to get them home.

“If I can provide a ride home for every guest that needs one, I can take that load off the shoulders of the person who’s hosting the party,” says Brenda. She and Gord have hired three more DJ’s, and added a fleet of drivers to their Safe Ride Home service.

Is Barrie ready for this?

We sure are. When Brenda launched her business last year, it was with the encouragement of the federal government’s Self Employment Assistance Program. She carefully prepared her sales book, complete with statistics and pricing strategies to convince a wedding party, or the social committee of a business that Sharp Shooters is an investment rather than an expense.

Today, she’s confident that her pricing is in line and she already has 80 weddings booked for 2002, as well as a family day party for 500, Chamber of Commerce events, several Christmas parties at social hall locations. She has 10 wait staff, 4 DJ’s and her business has grown in the past year by 25%. She’s even booked weddings into 2003! In her spare time she raises money for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

She says people buy her whole service. They tell her the numbers attending and she knows which quantities, purchases the alcohol and mix, provides the stemware, and completely takes over the “alcohol” side of an event.

Now, she is a sharp shooter, isn’t she?

Thanks, Gord. Thanks, Brenda.

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