Your Driver: Keeping Partygoers Safe in the Okanagan
“Nobody ever goes to a party and just has one” says Joel Kutschera, owner of Your Driver, the Kelowna-based, designated driver service. A pick-up service that guarantees door-to-door assistance for you and your vehicle for about the same price as a cab. The perfect solution for those who want to arrive on the town in their own car, but can’t drive home because they’ve had one too many.
A born entrepreneur, Joel began his first company at twelve selling collectable coins. He started Your Driver in November 2017 and it’s already making a name for itself, beating out the competitors with steady five star reviews and a reputation for personalized service.
Your Driver is the upshot of Joel’s experience as a cab and limo driver. He enjoyed the work, but felt both enterprises were lacking—often clients had to wait around for cabs, and limos had to be pre-ordered. He wanted a community-minded endeavor with flexibility, where he’d get to know his clientele. Your Driver was born.
It works like this. When a client calls, the driver and their co-worker set out in one of the fleet’s new Chevy Malibu’s to the location. Clients rarely wait more than twenty minutes—unlike most waits for a cab. They can even pre-book a pickup time, receiving a twenty-five percent discount in the process. In addition there are giveaways for regulars, special five-dollar coupons they can pass onto friends. The driver then takes the customer home in their own car, while his co-worker drives the company car back. Essentially the customer is paying to transport his or her car home. Which means there’s no extra charge for taking friends home. “Move ten for the price of one.” says Joel.
As one can imagine, the service is incredibly popular for those celebrating special occasions like office parties, weddings, girls night out, and female party-goers can always book a woman driver. This is personalized service in an age that’s becoming more and more impersonal.
There’s also a 24-hour emergency service. No matter what time of night, it’s a guaranteed pickup. They’ll travel throughout the Okanagan to retrieve clients, and they’re reliable —name the place and they’ll be there.
And, it’s not easy to become part of the team. Not only are drivers required to have a flawless driving record, they must pass the company’s stringent driving exam. Even so, it’s not just about driving. Not everyone has a personality suited to this line of work. Drivers, like bartenders and hairdressers, are frequently required to play the role of psychologist as clients often confide in them. For this reason drivers keep a strict Vegas-style policy of “What happens with your driver, stays in your car.” says Joel. Clients never have to worry about their privacy or their safety. They’re in good hands.
Your Driver contractors are well compensated for their hard work, earning commission instead of an hourly wage, and although they’re self-employed, the company atmosphere is collegial, and everyone is encouraged to gather advice and tips from one another.
Visitors are raving about their wine tours—inexpensive compared to the majority—at forty-five dollars an hour. It’s the same price whether there’s ten wine lovers or two. Parties are teamed up with a wine expert/driver who’s able to offer expertise, help design a tour, or just lend a hand taking photos. It’s completely under the customer’s control. This tour has no scheduled stops and no minimum stays. If the customers wants to add more time to their adventure these drivers are flexible and will do their best to accommodate.
In addition to wine, distillery, and beer tours Your Driver also offers a professional chauffer service. Ultimately, they plan to do weed tours as well. Their chauffer service is a wonderful way to take the worry out of a pub crawl, stag night ,or bachelorette. You can relax knowing your driver will be there, ensuring everyone returns home safely.
The company’s philosophy is summed up by their theme song, Eddie Money’s Take Me Home Tonight which plays on their answering service. (An App is in the works.) In the future when it becomes legal, Your Driver hopes to expand into an Uber-style transportation. Until then, they’re making a name for themselves helping party-goers stay safe.
Visit YourDriver.ca for more information.