City caterers applaud changes to liquor rules
As if a mother of the bride doesn’t have enough to worry about, she has had to get a Serving It Right certificate to put on a bar at the wedding reception.
That’s why a planned change to the province’s liquor rules to allow caterers to have liquor licences is welcome, said Shawn Harnett of At Your Service Catering.
The certification is needed now to obtain a licence and, with that came liability to the mom or whomever was the official person handling the bar, even if they’re not actually staffing it.
“We should be liable because we’re the ones serving,” Harnett said.
The new rules, introduced last week by Energy Minister Rich Coleman — who also oversees liquor legislation — are designed to help the catering industry and boost the province’s tourism appeal.
The changes will also apply to restaurants, hotels and conference centres when liquor is served at catered events outside their establishments.
Donovan Cavers of Conscientious Catering said he welcomes the changes — “a great part of the election goodie bag the Liberals have” — because he has also dealt with clients who have had to do all the steps to provide a bar at an event he caters.
“It’s going to make life a lot easier,” Cavers said.
Judy Basso, who runs her own event and decor company in the city, agreed.
“It will be so much easier for the client,” Basso said.
“There really was no good reason to have had it that way.”
She also encouraged her clients to get temporary insurance to cover any potential liability.
With the change, the liability falls under the caterers’ insurance policies.
Years ago, Basso said, caterers and similar establishments were allowed to have liquor licences but the rules were changed.
There has been a strong advocacy group lobbying the government in recent years to change things back, she said.