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.

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 BestParking.com 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.

A Guide to Selecting the Proper Valet Equipment for Your Business

All of us in the valet parking industry know that selecting the right valet equipment and parking accessories for an event isn’t the easiest task. Every event has different variables to consider. How many vehicles will need to be parked? How many guests will be in each vehicle? What amount of parking space is available at the venue? Where will the valet podium be located? Will directional parking signs be necessary? These are just a few of the things that have to be considered for every single event. Fortunately, with proper planning, the valet parking operation should run as smooth as the exquisite machines it parks. Here are some tips on selecting the right equipment for the occasion from the leading supplier of valet equipment.

1. Select a Podium that Compliments the LocationPortable podium at Wedding

By saying “select a podium that compliments the location” we aren’t only referring to the look. Actually, we are primarily referring to the functionality.

For example, if you are hosting a wedding and the venue happens to be somewhere that has loose gravel or even grass for the parking area it would be wise to bring a collapsible podium that is easily transported without having to be rolled across rough terrain. Sometimes a rolling podium is not ideal for the situation. In this scenario, a valet parking stand with a key box might be a good option for smaller parties.

2. Be Prepared to Direct Traffic

Sometimes getting people to drop off their cars at the proper location is easier said than done. Keeping people that are not taking advantage of the valet service from using parking spaces that are reserved for the valet operation can be even harder. This is where having the proper type and quantity if valet parking signs come into play. One example that always comes too mind is casinos. Think about the last casino you went to, how easy was it to find the valet service? Almost every casino has tons of parking signs directing you straight to the casino valet stand.

3. Attract the Right Amount of AttentionProfessional Kiosk in front of hotel

Now we are referring to the looks of the podium. There’s nothing worse than seeing an old shabby valet parking podium in front of a classy establishment. It immediately makes you reconsider going inside, first impressions are everything. At the same time, you don’t want a parking stand or podium that resembles a flashing billboard with advertising all over the place or an extensive use of LEDs. The goal is to attract attention in an elegant way that compliments the businesses valet service. A restaurant might think about a portable Custom Deluxe Podium that can match almost any decor whereas a hotel usually is better off going with a hotel kiosk or hotel greeting station looking podium like the Professional Kiosk.

Hotels, Resorts & Casinos are Adding or Hiring Valet Parking Operations Nationwide

Courtyard Marriott Hotel Parking Valet Service

Large hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham as well as small hotel groups across the nation are either starting their own valet operations or hiring a parking management company to manage the valet service for them. The reason for this is simple, most hotels these days are dealing with a lack of parking space and are simply not staffed for parking large amounts of vehicles.

If you go any popular travel site that allows customers to rate the hotel they stayed at you will see hundreds of comments stating parking was an issue. Here are a few comments regarding hotel parking from TripAdvisor.com.

Saso G.

“The hotel is in nice location, owners are slowly investing in it, but the rooms are still in the 70s style. Rooms are clean and nice size. Staff is unfriendly. Problems with parking during the weekends when people are coming to the camp next to the hotel.”

Nancy C.

“Stayed for a meeting overnight & enjoyed my stay. Food & facilities are excellent and commendable staff. Asked front desk staff about not being able to get parking again & was told that they had a big event. I have been to this hotel 3 times before & didn’t have any parking slot available. It was good that the assistant manager welcomed me for my stay & was able to solve this parking issue.”

London L.

“Have stayed at this hotel numerous times. Nice room generally although room 101 was both too warm and noisy if windows are open. Negatives this time:
It states that parking is available but we were driving around for 25 minutes trying to park at around 8.30pm, in the end squeezing into a tiny spot that wasn’t actually a parking place. When mentioned to reception the response was “well we host quite a few functions so sorry for that”. Ok you might think but after a long drive the last thing I expected was a stressful drive around looking for parking, along with another visitor. Also was given a bill £16 more than was quoted, this was refunded after showing documentation of the initial price.  Nice hotel overall but customer service possibly needs a more proactive approach.”

Marriott Hotel Parking Valet ServiceYou can see there is a clear correlation between hotel parking management and a positive hotel experience.  In fact, most of the comments you will find that mention parking being an issue at the hotel or resort they stayed at usually have nothing but nothing but positive things to say about the business other than the parking but that still doesn’t necessarily make them leave a good star rating. This is why every hotel, resort, and casino should take into account the effects a lack of parking has on their establishment.

The Valet Spot carries a full line of valet parking equipment designed to meet the needs of any business looking to add valet service. Shop our entire line of valet podiums, parking signs, and other valet parking equipment with the best warranty in the parking industry.

How a Lack of Parking Can Ruin a Business

Portable Valet Podium at Coyo Taco Restaurant

A successful business is one that attracts customers and keeps them coming back. Everything about a business should aim for that goal. Despite having a great line-up of products and excellent service, not every business achieves that goal because of one simple, yet fairly common problem: a lack of parking space and failing to offer valet parking service.

One of the aspects often overlooked by restaurants, cafes and many other businesses that rely on a steady flow of customers coming in and out of their business is parking. In order to have a successful business, it is essential to find a business that is equipped with enough parking spaces to cater to the needs of the customers and the employees or manage your parking spaces by offering a valet parking service. Simple parking space shortages can cause a lot of problems for the business in the long run. It’s important to maximize the potential of your business by managing your parking spaces just like a restaurant manages seating for guests.

Nobody likes to drive around the block several times to find a space to park, it could potentially drive clients away to look for a similar business with better parking space options. This is particularly true when it comes to customers with disabilities. For some people, it is simply not an option to use anything other than valet parking.

The best way to determine what the actual parking requirements are for your business is to conduct research on similar businesses around your location. Determine the volume of traffic during peak hours to have a reference on how much parking space your business would require. If you come to the conclusion you have a lack of parking, look into offering valet service before searching for a new place to do business.

A parking shortage is a serious problem, but it is something that can be avoided or remedied by managing your parking lot by offering valet service or hiring a management company to do it for you.


Eliminate Holiday Parking Hassles by Managing Your Parking Lot

Toronto Mall Parking Lot During the Holidays

With less than four weeks until Christmas, cities around the world are packed full of busy shoppers stocking up on their presents. This of course also means malls, shopping center parking lots and parking garages will be jammed this holiday season. Unpredictable traffic patterns are inevitable during the holiday shopping season, which is why it’s important to utilize every parking space available. 

This is where parking management or valet service comes into play. Consumers are pre-occupied with shopping during the holiday season and do not need the additional stress of roaming parking lots for hours looking for a parking spot. It is becoming common practice for stores, malls, restaurants and even coffee shops to hire a parking management company or valet service during the holiday season. Some are even choosing to manage their own parking operations internally.

Research shows that heart rates tend to increase by 33 percent while Christmas shopping – which is on par with the increase while running a marathon. This is not necessarily what your customers are looking to do on the way into your place of business. Managing your parking so potential customers do not have this type of an experience during the holiday season will ensure those window shoppers actually make it into your business.

2017 NPA Expo & Valet Olympics Highlights

The National Valet Olympics is a skills competition representing valet teams from both the public and private sectors. This year’s biennial competition showcased the professionalism and speed of front-line employees serving parkers throughout North America.

The 2017 National Valet Olympics was held at the Palm Beach Convention Center in Palm Springs, CA. The teams competed in four events:

  • Key Box Challenge
  • Luggage Load
  • Precision Parking
  • Valet Relay

Valet OlympicsAfter two days of competition, the National Parking Association crowned Towne Park’s Twain Frazier as the nation’s Best Valet.  The team from Towne Park also came in first overall. The Annapolis-based valet company took home the Herb Citrin Trophy, named for the late “father of valet parking” and the founder/owner of Valet Parking Service.

LAZ Parking based in Hartford, CT, was the second place team overall and in third place was Advanced Parking ConceptsVerona, NJ. Coming in fourth place was Aristocrat/Ambassador ValetSt. Louis. MO. In addition to the skills competition, NPA Convention attendees participated in the Valet Olympics by voting for the valet team with the best uniform—won by LAZ Parking. Advanced Parking Concepts won team with the best attitude.

“Through the Olympic trials and the National Valet Olympics itself, competing teams built morale and instilled the spirit of friendly competition,” said NPA President Christine Banning, CAE. The Valet Olympics concluded with an award lunch, and competing companies shared best practices.

2017 Valet Parking Podium Buying Guide

Tips for Purchasing Valet Parking Podiums

If you’re in the market for new parking equipment, you know that most likely you’re about to spend a good chunk of change.  You also know the choices you make are ones you’ll have to live with for years to come.  That’s why it’s vital to make an informed decision that’s the perfect fit for your parking operation and your budget.

The Valet Spot has a wealth of information for you on most major pieces of parking equipment, from podiums and delineator parking signs to key boxes and valet tickets. Not only does this information come from years of designing and testing parking equipment, this information comes from industry insiders who have used and dealt with every conceivable kind of parking service for more years than most people could shake a stick at.  And while these posts may not make your decision any easier, they certainly will help you make a smarter one.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Valet Parking Podium

1. Size

The “right” size of valet podium depends on how many customers you provide service during your busiest time of the season and the amount of space that will be available at the locations the podium will be used. With a properly sized valet podium, you will realize the time and cost-saving benefits of having faster customer service and lower equipment maintenance and replacement costs.  Simply put, having the right size of valet podium leads to cost savings and a smooth running valet parking operation. On the flip side, an undersized valet podium not only increases wait times, it runs the risk of being overloaded leading to costly repairs or replacements.

The most common standard valet podium size is 24″ x 48″, but your needs may vary depending on how much storage and display space is available.

2. Weight

After size and style, the weight of valet podium is typically the largest deciding factor. Though at first glance it might seem they would be similar, there are significant differences between the weight of most parking podiums. Some podiums are designed to be lightweight and portable where others are designed to stay at one location but can easily be moved around. There are also podiums that are pretty much designed to be stationary.

Currently, the lightest weight valet podium on the market is the Portable Valet Podium at 70 lbs.

3. Style, Design & Finish

Style and design can do as much for a cafe, hotel, restaurant or bar as good service, food and drinks can. This is true even when it comes to the outside of the establishment. First impressions mean everything and the valet podium is usually one of the first things a customer encounters. That’s why it’s important to have a valet podium that reflects the pride you take in your business. The same goes for parking garages, airport valet service, mall valet service and any other establishment that is parking your car. Just ask yourself….would you feel safe handing your keys over to a valet parking operation that did not look 100% professional?

4. Quality & Durability

There are various types of valet podiums made for all types of weather conditions. In order to get the maximum longevity out of your podium, it’s important to pick the right type of podium for the conditions it will be in. Will it be inside or outside the majority of the time? Are you located on the coast where corrosion is a factor? We took all these things into account when developing our podiums designed for harsh environments.

That’s why we created a comparison guide to help you decide which podium is right for you. Click here to download a pdf version of the guide.

Valet Podium Comparison Guide


Makers of high-quality podiums like The Valet Spot have a reputation for quality that we’re obligated to maintain. One of the main indicators of meeting a high standard of quality is ensuring that our product performance exceeds your expectations. Make sure you are purchasing a podium that has a reputation for being reliable from a company that stands behind their product.

Do you have any other questions about valet podiums and their differences?  What are you looking for in a new valet podium?  Let us know!

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