Imagine this. The day of your event – the door to the venue is locked, the caterer drops the food, the bartender shows up drunk, and the valet attendant loses a set of car keys. What a disaster!
Sure, honest mistakes can happen. But there’s a lot you can do to help prevent common problems during your special event.
When it comes to hiring a valet parking company, there are a few key preliminary questions you need to ask. If you want to make sure your day is a success, pay close attention to these crucial points.
Not all valet companies can offer the same level of service either, so you need to make sure you know what to expect. You don’t want to wait until the big day gets here for a rude awakening.
To help you make your event a positive one, here’s a look at the most important things to consider when hiring a valet company.
8 Key Questions To Ask a Valet Company Before Hiring Them
Asking the right questions is a huge part of event planning. With so many moving parts to organizing a successful party, it’s too easy to assume things will just go as you imagined.
Too often, that’s not the case. Here are the key questions to ask a valet company before hiring them.
ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR THE DATE OF MY EVENT?
The first question is the most obvious. But if you forget to ask it right off the bat, you could waste a lot of time. Get the basics out of the way right up front, including:
- Date – When will your event take place?
- Location – Where will it be?
- Length – How long do you expect the event to last?
- Number of guests – Can they handle the size of your party?
DO YOU OFFER SERVICES WITHIN MY BUDGET?
Planning a party can get expensive quickly. And it’s likely you have a certain budget in mind for what you can spend on valet parking. It’s wise to share that budget upfront so your representative can work with you.
A good company may offer optional extras like rolling out a red carpet, putting up special signs or wearing special uniforms. If you need to save money and don’t care about the extras, you might ask them to skip some of them for a better deal.
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU WORKED IN THIS BUSINESS?
Experience and success go hand in hand. That’s why you’ll want to ask how long they’ve been in business and what type of events have they worked. Make sure they give specific answers, like the name of an event. Don’t except generic answers like “parties” or “private events”.
Who are their current customers?
What do they have to say about them?
Ask for reviews, as they can be revealing about a company’s reputation.
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH SIMILAR EVENTS?
Just because a valet company has a lot of successful experience hosting one type of event does not always mean they’ll be great for yours.
For example, guests all arrive at about the same time for an event like a wedding since it starts at a set time. But a corporate party might have guests trickling in all night.
Verify with the valet company that there will be enough attendants to handle the guest flow for your type of event.
WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS FOR KEEPING VEHICLES SECURE?
Ask the company what they do to keep guest vehicles safe. This is a simple question that could save you and your attendees a lot of headaches if there is theft or vandalism.
It’s likely the valet attendants will make sure to lock the doors. But do they offer any added protection like having an attendant watch over the parking lot? Depending on your location, an extra pair of eyes could add the needed level of security.
Also, ask about how they keep track of car keys and keep keys safe while guests are inside. A poor tracking system can result in mixed up or lost keys that can be alarming to the owners of the vehicle.
DO YOU HAVE PROPER INSURANCE TO COVER POTENTIAL DAMAGES?
What happens if there’s an accident while the valet attendant is driving? You may think it’s obvious that they are liable and will cover the damages but that’s not always the case.
Fly by night companies may hire inexperienced drivers and fail to carry proper liability insurance. In these cases, they often leave the owner of the vehicle or the party planner to foot the bill.
Make sure whoever you hire carries proper insurance that will cover any damages that might happen.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY EVENT GOES LONGER THAN EXPECTED?
The best parties have a way of lasting longer than expected. The last thing you’ll want to do is stop it early just because the contracted time with your valet company is up.
Experienced valet companies prepare for this since it happens a lot. Often, they’ll give you the option to extend service by the hour for a set rate.
Make sure to ask what those rates are because you don’t want to get slapped with an unexpected bill later!
WILL YOUR ATTENDANTS WEAR A UNIFORM?
The valet attendant is often the first person guests see at your event and the last person who says goodbye to them. It may seem silly to ask a question like what they’ll wear, but impressions matter.
Some valet companies may hire inexperienced people who throw on a t-shirt and call it a uniform. For certain events, this type of look just doesn’t send the right message.
Higher quality valet companies will have a standard for customer service and attendants who wear a proper uniform. Make sure you aren’t surprised by the look of your valet company the day of your event.
FIND A VALET COMPANY YOU CAN TRUST WITH YOUR SPECIAL EVENT
The right valet company can easily set the tone to your party by greeting your guests appropriately. People also want to feel their valued possessions are well cared for while they enjoy the event.
A quality company has the experience it takes to run the event smoothly so you won’t have to worry about a thing. With staff who are properly trained in customer service and wearing proper uniforms, you’ll give the right impression.
Just make sure to ask all the right questions before you hire a valet company so there are no unexpected surprises.