- James Noblitt
To Ask a Valet...
Today’s blog is a going to be a little different as we decided to get the valet perspective and what it is like to work as a valet driver. The interview revealed gaps within the current valet process that Vark can resolve. Keep reading to see how Vark really is the valet solution!
Tell me a little bit about the place where you valet.
I am working at Hilton Hotel in TN. The area where cars pull up is really cramped. This hotel is on one of the most popular streets in the area and has little room for cars to pull in and out of the valet area. We have to use the public road and two people on 6 to 8 hour shifts.
What is your favorite part about valet parking?
I would say my favorite thing about valet is getting to interact with different people from different states and countries around the world.
What is the flow of cars like on any given day?
It varies depending on the time of day or what is going on in the area. It is affected a lot by concerts and stuff like that going on in the area. For example, this past Saturday, I worked from 3pm-11pm and from 3pm-9pm only ten people needed their cars pulled down so wait time was minimal. By 9:30pm, 16 people had lined up waiting to park their car, while others had come down to get things from their cars, and I was the only one working.
At one point there were ten cars that pulled up and lined up at the same time. It was super stressful to have to get a ticket for each car, fill it out, and rip off the stub and give it to the customer. Some people had to wait 20 minutes. Out of all that chaos, I think the biggest waste of time was checking them in by myself. It includes writing down their names and information about the vehicle and then attach it to their keys. After you park the car you must write down the space where you parked it and then run back and write all the information down again, all while 16 people are trying to have their car parked I understand the need to maintain all this information in an orderly manner, but it would be easier if you didn’t have to do this with paper.
After working as a valet driver for a while, is there anything about this job that was different than you had pictured it would be?
I was definitely surprised by how tiny the spots were at the Hilton hotel because it is valet only parking. Another one of the biggest surprises is that we have an all paper process, at the end of the day that is all we are dealing with and it doesn’t seem like the most efficient way. There are so many steps to checking someone in from start to finish. It is not hard to do, it just seems repetitive and redundant.
What is the biggest area of improvement that you can think of for your valet? Knowing a bit about the benefits that Vark brings, such as minimizing wait time, consolidating all the information in one location, and remembering the customer after checking them in once, do you think it would help?
Yes, one of the biggest issues we have is human error. What I mean by that is that we must get out a ticket stub and it has three components, you need a person’s name and information. You must write all the stuff about their car every time you park, or repark, it. Then you run back upstairs, write it down again for the hotel. This process is very redundant, and I think that Vark would be a huge help, even during slow times because it would help eliminate paper waste and expedite process, while also minimizing human error.
We also have a lot of people in their hotel rooms call down to the valet stand and I think being able to click a button would be much faster for them and us, so we wouldn’t have to waste time on the phone when there are cars we need to park. Having all the information on a phone would be fantastic. I also think it would make the amount of people needed to work at a time be less, minimizing the amount of people potentially waiting around during the slow times.
Do people generally tip you? Do you think that having the tipping option within our app would help with this?
60% of the people tip, depending on the days, but it’s always a little awkward when people hand you the cash.
I think a tip through the app would help. When you look at services of Uber or Lyft you can see that people are more likely to tip if its easily accessible and a few bucks is nothing for them.
Want to learn more about the features of Vark and how you can implement it at your favorite place to valet? Contact us today!
The Vark Team