Last weekend, I was walking around downtown San Diego and I met two valets working at the Sofia Hotel. It was about 9pm on Friday evening.
They were using our Standard Valet Podium so I stopped to ask how their night was going.
As we got to talking, I learned more about their jobs as valets.
A Valet Attendant’s Perspective
It was interesting to learn that both of them had been with their current employer for 3 and 5 years respectively.
I asked what their favorite part of the job was. They said they both really enjoyed working outside and driving nice cars every now and then was a bonus.
Not surprisingly, a beautiful Mercedes Benz was parked right on the corner next to us.
Then I asked the most common question people have about valet attendants.
“Have you ever crashed a car or damaged one in any way?”
Surprisingly, after 5 years of parking cars, neither of them had any incidents, although they did admit they’ve had a few close calls.
I asked about the training to become a valet attendant and the senior valet explained that there was an intensive training period in the beginning before they were even allowed to work a location including videos and written tests. Then once, he passed this section, he worked a live location with a supervisor.
I hung out and watched about 5 customers come and go and each time they were greeted with smiles and hellos.
The parking lots for this particular hotel were located a few blocks away so each time a customer requested their car, one of the working valets took off running.
I was impressed with their work ethic and dedication to quality service. Both valets were wearing matching uniforms with identifying name tags.
Of course, I had to ask what they thought of our valet podium. They said it was great and got the job done– “it keeps the customers car keys secure and organized.” I learned that this was a 24 hour valet service so the valet stand was outside for most of the time.
The only time they brought the podium inside was when they were changing shifts or were closed for a holiday.
The Valet Stand Was Using Zingle
Zingle is an SMS solution for businesses. Specifically, in the parking industry, Zingle allows customers to send in a request for their cars via text. The valets receive the request and go and retrieve the car when the customer is ready. This removes friction for the customer and makes for a more enjoyable experience overall.
As technology improves, we will see more and more solutions like this that will streamline the customer experience and improve valet efficiency.