Giving the Homeless a Good Night’s Sleep Is Good for Business

Doing Good Is Good for Business: Safe Parking for Homeless

There’s nothing wrong if the way you give back is also tied to your business. So, there’s no reason to feel guilty about it. We’re talking about cause marketing. It refers to a type of program in which a for-profit company partners with or donates to a nonprofit organization. It’s a win-win for both partners as these initiatives benefit the greater good by increasing donations to the nonprofit while boosting brand awareness, engagement and potential revenue for the for-profit company. 

Customers Care About Brands Who Care

Not convinced doing good is good for your business? The Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report recently dove into how business ethics and corporate social responsibility impacted a customer’s perception of a brand. According to the results, 68% of customers said they wouldn’t buy products from a company with poor ethics and 56% of customers actively seek philanthropic businesses to buy from. What’s more, 67% percent of customers said they thought companies were responsible for giving back to the communities where they do business. With these stats in mind, it’s clear that cause-related marketing can boost customer engagement, revenue and brand awareness via increased word-of-mouth marketing and social media.

Types of Cause Marketing

There are two primary types of cause marketing: collaborative partnerships and corporate social responsibility. Collaborative partnerships occur when a for-profit company partners with a non-profit to raise money and awareness for their cause. Think Walgreens’s Red Nose Day campaign. The pharmacy chain sold novelty red noses nationwide during the month of June to raise awareness for childhood poverty, plus partnered with celebrities on social media. Corporate social responsibility refers to a company’s self-imposed set of programs. This might include corporate giving, volunteer time off, gift matching or a brand site that encourages visitors to donate to non-profit partners.

Safe Parking: A Great Cause for Garage Owners 

Wondering what causes would perk up your business? The most successful cause marketing campaigns are those that align with your brand. Since we know you’re in the parking services industry, we’ve got a great idea. Safe parking for the homeless. More than 553,742 people are currently homeless in America. In Los Angeles, a quarter of the population is living out of cars, vans, campers and recreational vehicles. 

Parking vs. Shelters

Why cars instead of homeless shelters? Cars provide a sense of control and privacy while shelter beds are often in short supply. Or sometimes, the shelters themselves are unsafe or located in unsafe neighborhoods. 

The Safety Struggle

However, finding safe parking is often a challenge when many residential streets have laws that prevent people from sleeping inside their cars. Plus, those that do park on the street risk theft and vandalization. So for the unsheltered homeless, finding a place to rest for more than just an hour or two can be a struggle. 

Homeless but Hardworking

It’s also important to note that many of these homeless individuals are employed and have a stable job, but financial burdens like student loans and exorbitant rent leave them living in a car. “These people are not going to be prioritized in the homeless service system because they’re not able to advocate for themselves, and they don’t have severe healthcare needs,” says Uyeda Kantrim, program director of Safe Parking L.A. “This is a poverty issue”. 

California Takes the Lead

To help solve the problem, California nonprofits have partnered with cities and counties to fund safe parking programs that provide lots that grant people and families living out of cars a safe and legal place for an uninterrupted night’s rest. Individuals apply online and submit their vehicle’s registration, insurance, and driver’s license. After interviewing and getting approved, they gain access to a lot. Each evening, lots open and the individuals sign in, sleep and leave the next morning. However the programs do more than just provide a place to sleep, they also connect the homeless with resources that may help them acquire permanent housing and gain stability.

Lot Logistics

Wondering how these lots work? Families might be at a lot for a few weeks, while a person under 30 with a job might stay six weeks. The average length of stay is about six months. Each program also has different logistics. Some lots offer restrooms with running water, while others only provide portable toilets. Most operate during the nighttime hours, while some are open 24/7. Most locations have an element of security on site, like a guard or case manager. Small lots are also ideal because they’re more palatable to residents plus prioritize people within the area, so they directly support the local community.

Do Good, Drive Business

Ready to join the safe parking lots for homeless movement? Reach out to an organization like Safe Parking L.A. Even if they aren’t in your area they may be able to connect you to other local organizations that will help you put your garage or lot to good use for a good cause, helping the homeless find safe shelter and get back on their feet. Want more ideas on how to drive your business? Sign up for The Valet Spot newsletter. We’ll keep you up to date on the lastest valet business trends and best practices.

5 Ways to Wow Customers in Any Business

The Internet. Social media. With the advance of digital technology, customers have changed. Today they can connect directly and faster, publically broadcasting their loyalty to your company, or their complaints. But, whether you own a valet company, parking garage or any other type of business, you can still delight your modern customer with five customer service tips that combine tried-and-true best practices with a few digital-age updates.

#1 Hire the Right People

Sunshine Valet

Having a great customer service team isn’t enough. Great customer service happens when you maintain a high level of customer service across all departments and points of contact with your business. To achieve this, you’ll need to take the time to hire the right employees. Your agents are your company’s ambassadors. Once you’ve hired them, make sure they’re well trained so they feel empowered to make on-the-spot decisions. Then keep them happy by treating them as well as your customers. Offer competitive pay and benefits. Provide a clearly defined path of promotion. Make the job fun through rewards. If you hire and retain exceptional staff, they’ll deliver exceptional customer service. 

#2 Make a Great First Impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is even more true as customers have become more connected. So give your agents the support and incentive to wow new customers. A relationship that starts off strong will be much more likely to stay strong. Customer engagement company found that 20% of customers stop trusting a company after one bad experience, and a 1/4 of them will instantly switch brands. If you’re in the valet or parking business, this is even more crucial as your staff may be the first, and final, encounter a customer has with a business. Two very memorable moments that can make a lasting impression.

#3 Manage and Exceed Expectations 

Bridge City Parking

Let customers know what they can expect. Then, exceed those expectations. Customers will know you’re willing to go the extra mile, and you won’t have to worry about unmet expectations. If you offer a guarantee, honor it. If you say you’ll respond to emails in 24 hours or tell a specific client you’ll call them by Monday, then commit to that. You can’t earn the trust and respect of your customers unless you deliver on promises. Also make sure you’re accessible. Today’s customers expect instant access and fast responses. So offer plenty of ways to contact your business like phone, email and social media. Then make sure these channels are easy to manage and well staffed.

#4 Always Take the High Road

Even if you’re dealing with an angry, rude, complaining or demanding customer, treat them with respect. Instead of arguing, train your employees to focus on what’s occurred and how to best resolve the situation. Scripted dialogue and emails can also provide your staff with the right tone and tools for tough conversations like these. If your business did make a mistake, admit it, apologize and do whatever it takes to make the situation right. Your customers will appreciate it and stay loyal.

#5 Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Peninsula Parking

Too often, customer service is reactive. This happens when a business only communicates with customers when they reach out with complaints. “When customer service management systems operate proactively with customer experience solutions and are able to anticipate customer needs before they occur, you’ll have a more satisfied customer.” says Rita Tochner, head of corporate marketing at Pontis. Utilize big data, customer suggestion cards, or input from staff to proactively address issues before they become problems. You might also offer your employees incentives to brainstorm ways to impress and better serve customers. 

Want More Business Insights?

Follow us on social media for more customer service best practices, insights, updates and inspiration that will help your business grow and thrive in today’s market. If you’re a valet company or parking service looking for a professional kiosk to greet and serve your customers, we can help with that too! Contact The Valet Spot today at 877-977-8733 and we’ll work with you to create a custom valet or parking station that’s perfect for your company.

Valet vs. Rideshare: We’re Betting on Valet

How Valet Can Take Back the Night, and Day

Are Uber and Lyft driving down your profits? Well, you’re not alone. Industry giant Ace Parking told the San Diego Union-Tribune that, in the current battle of valet vs. rideshare, rideshare competitors are cutting into the parking business with as much as 50% less traffic at nightclubs and a 25% drop at restaurant valets. We believe parking services can come out on top with partnerships, smart marketing strategies and tech tools!

Reasons for Your Customers to Drive Instead of Rideshare

Rideshare with pets Photo by Raoul Droog on Unsplash

First of all, the truth about valet vs. rideshare is, ridesharing is not always the cheapest or most convenient option. Additionally, customers with a service animal or those who want to visit a pet-friendly place may find themselves in a predicament if their Uber or Lyft driver arrives and refuses to transport their pet. Lastly, for people heading to mall, there’s no guarantee a rideshare vehicle will have room for all their purchases.

Driving is Good for the Neighborhood

Digital parking management via pay-ahead parking websites, parking locator apps, and space-saving automated garages, enables more sustainable parking and valet services. This takes up less valuable real estate and makes room for denser, more walkable neighborhoods. It also eliminates the wasted time and emissions that come from circling for a spot and better utilizes parking inventory, improving profits and reducing the need for parking expansion. Plus, says Mark Lawrence, CEO of parking app SpotHero, “lots of people say, well, autonomous cars will simply drop us off then go to the outskirts and wait. Where is that? How will, say, two million vehicles go to the edge of Los Angeles, and then come back to where they’re needed?” Idling Ubers and Lyfts only add to traffic congestion and toxic emissions.

Dependability, Freedom, & Four-Wheeled Zen


Driving Zen Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash

Dependability, freedom, privacy . . . aren’t these the main reasons we love cars, and driving them? But what happens to these vehicular virtues when we switch to rideshare? How dependable are rideshares when people are late for a meeting and there are no drivers available? Plus, how can someone stick to a transportation budget when rideshare companies can add surge pricing to their trips, whenever they like? And what about freedom? Road trips. A spontaneous journey to surprise a long-distance love a state away? All at a moment’s notice or with little planning. Lyft has a maximum range of 60 miles. Though Uber technically doesn’t have a trip limit, it does require passengers to “notify the driver” of a long drive, and hope they’re willing to go the distance. Then there’s the four-wheeled zen of being on the open road and blasting a favorite playlist. Or the ability to zone out on a drive and not engage with a chatty Uber driver. Andintimate conversations? There’s no way anyone can have a heart to heart with their husband, or even call in a pharmacy prescription without a driver hearing every personal detail.

Why wouldn’t everyone pick driving over rideshare if they didn’t have to worry about parking?

Smarter Parking

If you own a parking lot or garage, you can now park smarter, thanks to the latest 21st-century tech advances. Parking expert Casey Wagner, who hosts a National Parking Association webinar, says that, in valet vs. rideshare, parking and valet chains are competing by offering “parking reservations, parking on demand” and smart parking apps. Ace Parking’s leadership envisions a parking website that displays the locations of available spots, plus prices. Drivers would pay online and scan their cell phone when arriving at the garage. Somerville, Massachusetts is working with Audi and the Federal Realty Investment Trust on a garage design that stores cars in a tight grid instead of rows with space for humans to maneuver. Mercedes-Benz and Bosch also have a trial smart parking garage in Germany. Museum guests leave their vehicles at a drop-off area and send them off to park using a smartphone app. Technology in the garage and car will get the vehicle to a designated spot. When visitors are ready to leave, they summon the car to a pick-up area using the app. Take advantage of this tech and University of Toronto study predicts the capacity of parking lots and garages could increase by 62%.

Give Your Business a Lift, With the Perfect Podium


compact podium shoreline valet

So now that you know all the reasons parking services win in valet vs. rideshare, don’t keep it to yourself! Devise a marketing campaign that lets customers know why you offer a better alternative to rideshare. Once you’ve come up with that campaign, we know a great place to promote it—on your valet podiums.

Let customers know the name of your website, app, contact info, or the locations of your garages and valet services by investing in a Custom Deluxe podium from the experts at The Valet Spot. It features brand-able panels that allow you to add custom graphics and signage. Have your valet or parking manager contact us today to learn more!

Want to Boost Your Valet Business? Head to the Mall.

It’s no secret that old-school malls have been losing sales to online stores. But the good news, according to a new report from AT Kearney, is that the modern mall’s future looks bright!

Younger consumers seek experiences over products

Ski While You Shop

Cleveland Mall Photo by Ron Dauphin on Unsplash

Forward-thinking shopping centers are viewing retail spaces in a new way. According to a recent Forbes article, that means becoming a “Main Street” that focuses less on selling people products and more on engaging them with experiences that create a sense of community. So in addition to retail stores, modern malls are adding restaurants, theaters, event spaces, museum exhibitions, plus attractions like theme parks, skating, ski slopes, and water parks. Some current examples of this trend include the Minneapolis Mall of America and the American Dream Centers in New Jersey and Miami.

Curbside Service

To tempt visitors to leave home, and truly enjoy the modern mall experience, shopping centers are also removing one of the biggest annoyances of yesterday’s malls—having to park. And then schlepping all your purchases back to that spot you circled for 30 minutes to find, at the far end of lot. The solution is valet parking and curbside pickup.

The president and managing partner of The Forbes Company, which runs luxury shopping centers, believes curbside pickup will compliment shopping. In a CNBC interview he says, “They’ll come to the mall. They’ll buy their stuff. We’ll have it picked up.” Then, “we’ll have it available for you at the valet outside the shopping center at the curb when you’re ready to leave the shopping center.”

The Modern Valet Station

So if you own a parking service or valet company you’ll want to make sure your valet stations are stylish, modern, and versatile enough for the malls of the future. But don’t worry, The Valet Spot has a wide selection of valet stations and valet podiums that will help you take advantage of this lucrative shopping center trend.

Shop Valet Stations & Podiums

Find the perfect valet station or podium for your parking business.

Classic Podium

Classic Valet Podium features

The Classic Podium is sleek, modern, and simple enough to match any exterior. 

  • Scratch-resistant white finish
  • Rounded aluminum corners
  • Curved side panels

Custom Deluxe Podium

Custom Deluxe Valet Podium

The versatile Custom Deluxe Podium has customizable panels. Change them out to display a schedule of mall events, featured mall attractions and shopping services.

  • Countertop with brushed stainless steel trim
  • Electronic compatible
  • Tip box installed
  • Locking security bar

Why healthcare needs valet services more than ever

Volume to Value Healthcare

The healthcare industry is rapidly transitioning into value-based care (VBC) models that focus on outcomes rather than volume. More attention and budget are being spent on balanced care that treats and helps prevent illness while providing excellent patient experiences. In fact, in a Forbes article titled Top 8 Healthcare Predictions for 2019 the #1 prediction is that global healthcare spending on value-based models will increase by 5% in 2019.

Hospital front entrance

Modern Hospital(ity)

Thanks to Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores, healthcare professionals know exactly how to provide the best patient experiences. The assessments evaluate hospitals based on standardized criterion that include service quality, environment, communication, discharge information, and food services. By these standards, quality means addressing patient wants and needs in a timely manner with respect and dignity.

What are healthcare support services?

Healthcare facilities outsource to specialty providers who design and implement best-in-class hospitality inspired services. These specialty services are collectively known as healthcare support services. The category includes clinical services such as nutrition, music therapy, occupational therapy and laboratories. It also includes non-clinical services like back office, housekeeping, culinary, systems maintenance and transportation. That’s where you come in.

Valet Services & Patient Experience

Often the parking lot gives patients and their families their first impression of a healthcare facility. Working with the right parking services company helps any facility put their best foot forward. For hospitals it can also help ease patient stress. If you’ve ever driven an expectant mother in labor or a badly injured friend to the hospital, you know stress. Additionally, knowledgeable valet staff may direct patients to appropriate starting points or information kiosks, improving patient flow.

Valet healthcare support services

Valet Stations

Whether you work directly with a healthcare support services department or indirectly through a provider network, healthcare facilities need your valet services.

The Valet Spot’s extensive line of podiums and kiosks come in a variety sizes with customization options and accessories that let you match the branding and décor of any client. Designed with versatility in mind, our valet stations are equipped for both low and high-volume areas. Kiosk key boxes that can hold anywhere from 24 up to 400 key hooks.

Two Great Ways to Start

  1. Use our Designer Series Podium builder to mock up a customized podium for a proposal
  2. Give us a call at [Number] and we’ll work with you to build a custom valet station that’s perfect for any modern healthcare facility.

Valet Systems in Airports are Successful!

These valet services are already successful for a number of airports and airlines across the world. Travelers at O’Hare International Airport can get valet for a fee of $61, while Virgin Airlines in Australia is doing it at $63.  In Philadelphia, Pacifico Car dealerships has Pacifico Airport Valet, aiding patrons with parking issues and cross selling their auto servicing and detailing services at the same time. These services cater even more to travelers’ needs; they valet your car, service it, pick you up when you return and drop you off all for a nominal fee.

What about Airline Valet Systems?

Airlines can benefit by offering passengers the value of a valet service in a different manner. They can offer it complementary to business clients and premium airline mile-point holders.

Valet is a unique area that airlines can utilize to their benefit. Most travelers are looking for services that make their journeys easier. A private valet service gives their clients a personalized experience and keeps fliers coming back.

Making Valet Your Next Business!

Valet can be offered almost anywhere that a business operation permit can be obtained. Find equipment that works for your new business from The Valet Spot. The Valet Spot offers portable valet podiums and kiosks to help you get your business model off the ground. Additionally, you can find all the accessories you need to make sure your valet service thrives.

Do you want to stand out in the crowd?

A great valet company invests in a professional podium.

Options at The Valet Spot

The Professional Kiosk

Integrated LED option w/ rechargeable sealed battery
The Professional Valet Kiosk with LEDs

One of our most popular choices is the Professional Kiosk. This podium is perfect for high traffic areas, such as airports. This sleek podium was designed with a stainless steel front panel and a modern, curvy appearance.

The optional integrated LED kit lights the front panel of the kiosk and the kiosk’s working surface and storage area below. This LED feature helps with visibility at night which is important in an airport setting where travelers are coming and going at all hours of the day and night.

The professional kiosk is a smart choice for your new business because it includes:

  • 400 key capacity
  • Modern curved appearance with stainless steel accents
  • LED options
  • The kick plate conceals the casters from view making it look more permanent
  • 2 locking casters to help the podium stay in place

The Key Box Stand

Keybox with keypad and stand
Keybox with keypad and stand

Often, the parking staff is set up with a reception kiosk or has a built-in reception counter already. To get a valet service set up, all they require is the valet equipment. The Key Box stand is perfect for established teams who just need mobility and the locking key box to secure patron’s keys. The stand can hold up to two key boxes on the frame, enabling you to grow your stand as your business grows!

The Key Box model is the perfect option for a new or an established airport valet business. The capabilities of the Key Box stand include:

  • Easy to move
  • 100 key capacity
  • can add an additional keybox, to make 200 keyhooks
  • It has wheels

The Stainless Steel Podium

All Stainless Steel Valet Podium
Stainless Steel Valet Podium

Standing out is easy to do with the Stainless Steel podium! This podium catches your eye, looks elegant, and will provide a lifetime of valet professionalism. The entire structure is composed of stainless steel. Due to this model being top-quality, this podium is ideal for airports with harsher weather conditions such as heat, humidity, and/or coastal air.

This podium has the look of a permanent fixture with the ability to be mobile all wrapped into one top-of-the-line podium. The Stainless Steel Podium is a great option for airports with features such as:

  • Locking Casters – Easy to move
  • 50-200 key capacity
  • Large commanding presence
  • Stainless steel trim covering wheels
  • 2 Slam-action locks with 2 keys

Benefits of a Valet Service at airports

A valet service at your local airport will reduce pedestrian traffic and aide passengers who need the extra care and assistance. For example, the Ontario Airport saw a necessity to add an additional valet after seeing a 10% increase in volume. With this growth, they are expecting more passengers who see value in the benefits of the service.

“We work every day to establish new services and expand existing services that are popular with our airport customers,” Wapner said in a statement in April. “Demand for air travel at Ontario is jumping and, as a result, our customers expect services and amenities that increase the convenience factor of traveling through our airport.” -Alan Wapner, the President of the Ontario International Airport Authority.

The Ontario Airport has seen a rise in traffic over the summer. Additionally, they recently added a JetBlue contract with regular non-stop flights to New York. This is sure to add traffic as this was once the airline’s 6th most popular destination. Ontario, while nowhere near the busiest airport to use as an example, only validates that larger airports could see a greater need for a valet service.

The need for simplicity and convenience are crucial to travelers. With valet equipment available from The Valet Spot, you can offer a one-of-a-kind experience. Contact The Valet Spot at 877-959-6452 and work with us to design your airport business the way it should be.

4 Ways the Parking and Valet business can reach their Target Market

In a relatively short amount of time, businesses like Uber, Lyft, Bird Scooter and Lime Bike were able to meet the needs of the traveler who refused paying for parking and travelers who loathed the dreaded “find-a-parking-space” problem that comes with traveling into urban areas. Recently LA Times and San Diego Union Tribune published an article about the impact of Uber and Lyft on the parking industry with Ace Parking claiming a 5-50% reduction in parking. Despite their ups and downs, these businesses have still managed to create a new industry standard. These ride share apps and scooter options create a “easy transportation” which is disrupting the market and reducing the need for a parking spaces. These companies have successfully done this for some years now and more threats to the market are sure to come.

Now its time for the parking and valet business to reinvigorate the “car-come-and-go” or parking service industry.

This blog will offer some suggestions for how the valet and parking businesses can add value to a quickly evolving market. We hope this opens your mind to new ideas and will help you to attract local nearby drivers looking to park.

Add Extra Car Services

The services you add to your menu should lead a customer to park with you over Uber-ing, Lyft-ing, or parking with a direct competitor. Any services you chose should add incremental value. This would essentially be adding a benefit that would help your customer enjoy their parking experience even more. Some examples are:

  • Front Door Drop Off
  • VIP Services
  • Highlight the security of your parking location
  • Details and washes
  • Fluid Topping
  • Vacuuming
  • Rewards memberships
  • Offer flowers or chocolates as a service

As long as you are concentrating on value from the customer’s point of view, any benefit you provide can have a fee when it is valued enough. In reflecting on adding value, your goal is to brainstorm to make sure your services are as attractive as possible. Try to find ways to provide more with optional services and of course service fees. When everyone wants the additional service, you can add it to your standard fees.

Listening to client feedback is another way to add value to your services or strengthen the value of your service packages.

Customer feedback is essential because customers know what they want and tend to be in tune with what your competitors are doing. Also, when clients do not seem to recognize a value you provide, feel free to add operational changes to your staff’s routine.

For example, valet staff could ask if customers would like to know about additional services on a routine basis with all new clients. This can also be occasionally added into the conversational mix with regular patrons. Another example, “Hey Bill, welcome back, the other day you said your wife’s birthday is quickly approaching. I understand you are busy, would you like us to help by having a dozen roses ready in your car when you leave today?” This could be a great value of service to a busy person who already made a statement the day prior they are in the market for a gift and time is their other pain point. Listening is key, and clients want a relationship with their service providers, paying close attention to client needs can unlock more avenues for revenue with clients who already trust your service.

Partner with Non-Competing Businesses

If you partner with the right business at the right locations, you can create an experience that will add value for your customers and help to generate more revenue for you.

For example, if you partner with a local business, you can offer a promotion that combines the two services together for added convenience to your customers. Another example, you can provide jazz festival attendees who bought their tickets via the ticket company you partner 10% off valet services. This promotion can go for a night or for the length of time the jazz festival takes place. A promotion or on-going partnership like this can add revenue and visibility for both businesses.

Find Customers with Mobile Advertising

You can use location-based advertising via Google Nearby and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to access locals who might be seeking parking. With Google Nearby, you can craft a message about your parking service that will appear on a potential customer’s mobile device via a Google Nearby alert. A message like this can easily target people who are looking for your service, and added value will keep them as a customer.
(Bluetooth Low Energy) BLE requires mobile users to have their GPS on, and their Bluetooth enabled. You can offer a “free valet” option to attract nearby customers looking for parking. This may help to attract a market share from Uber or Lyft, because the younger market are constantly looking at their phones, you may be able to get their attention.

Study The Competition

By studying other ideas that have suddenly gotten attention, you can learn about some ideas or processes that may work for your business. Let’s look at the startup company StearClear as an example.

SteerClear’s goal was to provide a ride home for you and your car when you are too intoxicated to drive home. However, this simple idea was not enough to sustain the life of the business. Although the business was featured in publications like Entrepreneur and Tech Crunch, it only reached 1.1 million dollars in investments (according to CrunchBase). Nowadays, the company’s website is defunct and going to redirects to a case study about the former business.

While StearClear can be studied as a failed attempt within the startup community, it does reveal a possible pain point for a parking and valet company to take on as an opportunity. The SteerClear app page still gets comments that the service is not available in their area.

How will you deal with customers that parked with you but become too intoxicated to drive home?

Aiding the customer who is “prepared to drive, yet unfit or unable to drive home” can be a area of service only you can fill. After all, who wants to Uber away from their car just to come back and drive it home the next morning? Providing flexible options for your customer is ideal to adding value. Also, offering a service like this that looks out for a customer’s well being and keeping the roads safe is an ethical business move on your part.

Therefore, one may conclude that adding a “SteerClear” type service to your valet and parking business could be your parking business’s new revenue model, but hopefully we just have more responsible drivers.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about some ways the parking and valet business can add value and stand out among the competition. The key is to study the customers, listen to their needs. Try to view the service as a relationship and come up with creative ways to keep them coming back to your business while at the same time seeking ways to attract new business. Good luck with your marketing endeavors!

Why Valet Parking Increases Restaurant Revenue

Restaurant Valet Parking Increases Revenue

They have become a common sight in most large city’s, valets waiting outside restaurants ready to relieve you of your car, and that annoying problem of finding a parking space. There is a reason for this, not only does it attract more customers, valet parking increases restaurant revenue in several ways.

As more and more restaurants continue to open in busy city centers and downtown areas parking is getting harder and harder to come by in many metropolises and small towns alike. Many restaurant owners overlook figuring out a parking solution when providing sufficient parking, especially during the peak seasons may be their key to success. This is why a growing number of restaurants, bars and retail stores are now offering guests valet parking.

Keep Regulars Consistently Coming Back

Parking is sometimes a major issue depending on where you’re located. If your restaurant is snugly situated downtown customers have to drive specifically to your restaurant or bar to eat. Not knowing if they’ll be able to find a parking space will seriously deter many potential customers, especially regulars. It’s important to ensure that regulars and newcomers will all have a place to park even when it’s the busiest time of the year.

Why Its Time to Valet

When you’re applying for a permit with the city but can’t afford (or find) a nearby lot to purchase or rent, you may feel dead on arrival. Thriving cities are simply running out of parking spots and developments where parking is feasible. Even if you’re planning on providing parking spots the block surrounding your restaurant may already be full.

One way to circumvent this issue is to purchase a valet podium and start your own valet service or hire a valet company to handle it for you. It’s an investment, but the promise of carefree parking will bring in enough additional business to pay off the investment in full. In fact, if you add your own valet service it actually creates an additional source of revenue.

Demand-Based Parking Pricing is Increasing the Use of Valet Service

Demand Based Parking

Demand-based parking is a relatively new concept that is currently only being used in San Francisco but due to parking congestion, large cities nationwide will likely soon be creating their own versions of demand-based parking.

With this system, meter rates go up or down based on demand, which encourages faster turnover on overly crowded (more expensive) blocks and increased use of underutilized parking (where the fee is cheaper). According to the MTA, San Francisco is the first in the U.S. to implement such a program citywide but more are soon to follow.

Meter pricing is currently a minimum of 50 cents per hour and a maximum of $8 per hour. Rates are set block by block and rates change throughout the day to reflect peak hours and off hours. Beginning in January 2018, the city will start adjusting those rates every three months. If a block is consistently at 80 percent or more occupancy, the hourly rate will go up 25 cents. If it’s at 60 to 80 percent occupancy, the rate will stay the same. Below 60 percent, the price drops by 25 cents.

When the city implemented these new rates on the public parking lots and garages private parking lots throughout San Francisco also increased their rates. If you review rates on the average daily parking rate is now almost $30.

The fact is consumers are now taking the cost of parking into account when deciding to go to a restaurant, a movie or pretty much any other activity that involves them having to drive somewhere and park their car.

Savvy business owners have realized this and are implementing ways to offer free parking to their customers. This is usually done in three ways.

  2. Hire a Valet Parking Service – Not as much of an initial cost but still an ongoing expense
  3. Validating Parking – this is usually the most costly option

If you are looking to start your own valet service we recommend taking a look at our full line of valet podiums and other parking equipment.

Increase Car Wash Revenue with Valet Service


Car Wash Valet

Have you ever thought about offering valet service at your car wash or auto spa? Customers have less and less patience these days and they also expect a level of service that not only meets but exceeds their highest expectations. The fact is every car wash and auto spa no matter the location can benefit from offering valet service, here are a few reasons why.

1. Attract More Customers with Convenience

Every car wash wants to increase their daily revenue any way possible. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when you are an established car wash that already has the majority of the local business. Rather than offering sales and running costly promotions, focus on making it more convenient for people visiting businesses around you to drop off their car at your car washed valet service to get it washed while running their errands rather than paying for parking. This will not only attract new business but increase the frequency of regular customers coming in.

2. Decrease Wait Times

As stated previously many customers simply will leave and go to another car wash if there is a long wait time. Having valet attendants greeting customers as soon as they pull into your parking lot prevents this from happening. It also provides a level of service that most car washes and auto spas do not offer which will keep your customers coming back.

3. Upsell Additional Services

At a traditional car wash, most customers will choose the standard wash if they are driving up to a machine and making the selection on their own. Most auto spas have an attendant that asks what service you would like and explains the benefits of each. Customers will almost always choose additional services like waxing, leather conditioning and tire dressing if they are offered the service when it’s needed and have the benefits of that service explained to them. Having valet service at your car wash created the opportunity to upsell customers as soon as they pull into the drive.