When you imagine valet parking services, it adds a certain amount of class, sophistication, and elegance to your event. Right?
No one hires valet parking to make things less convenient so it’s important to choose the right company for your special occasion to help make it the best it can be.
The right valet company will make parking for your guests quick and easy. It’s especially useful if the venue you are using has a parking lot that is far removed or there is a chance of inclement weather.
Professional valet parking services start with a friendly greeting and make sure your guests experience a courteous departure.
That way, both the first and last interaction ensure your guests have a positive impression of your event.
As a host, it’s important to find ways to make the event convenient for your attendees and your guests will be delighted when they see you’ve included valet parking as one of your party perks.
Of course, everything comes at a cost so how do you find valet parking services that are professional, yet affordable?
It can be tempting to cut costs by hiring amateurs. After all, how difficult is it to park cars and keep keys organized?
Let’s take a closer look at whether or not that is a good idea.
Can You Cut Costs With a Cheap Valet Service?
As anyone who has ever thrown a private event understands, hosting can be expensive. When it comes to valet services, the concept is simple.
Park guest vehicles without causing damage, keep keys organized and retrieve cars quickly when guests are ready to leave.
But with any simple formula, there are a lot of ingredients that can make the recipe go sour. Take John’s experience for example.
John worked as operations manager for a mid-level business and was tasked with throwing their annual company party.
He was given a budget and wanted to spend more on fun activities rather than “waste” it on professional parking services.
John opted to use a group of college students to park employee vehicles instead of choosing a legitimate valet service company.
By the end of the night, John learned precisely why this was a terrible decision. 2 employee vehicles sustained damages while being parked from inexperienced drivers.
Several car keys were mixed up and some vehicle retrievals took almost 30 minutes, causing the car owners to become worried, upset, and frustrated.
Worst of all, the group of amateur valet drivers didn’t have any insurance! The company ended up liable for the damages and John was severely reprimanded for making such an unprofessional decision.
It cost the company substantially to fix the damages and in the end, they spent more than if they’d expanded their budget in the beginning.
These problems could have been avoided by using professional car parking services who were insured and experienced to handle the task.
Don’t assume that just anyone with a business name for parking cars is qualified to handle your event though.
Here are the top tips for hiring a professional valet parking service for your next event.
How to Screen For Professional Parking Services
Whether you are considering valet parking service for a private event, special occasion, or corporate dinner, the steps for finding a professional company are the same.
You want to make sure the drivers are insured, experienced, and friendly in order to add sophistication to your party rather than cause unnecessary problems.
Here are some things you need to consider before hiring valet services:
DOES THE COMPANY CARRY ADEQUATE INSURANCE?
Let’s face it. Accidents happen sometimes, even with experienced drivers. In case of an accident or damage caused to guest vehicles, make sure the company you hired carries proper insurance.
You don’t want to be the one left liable for damages to someone’s personal vehicle. Beyond that, proper companies also cover their employees with workman’s compensation, just in case an employee sustains any bodily injury on the job.
HOW EXPERIENCED ARE THE DRIVERS?
Cars with automatic and manual transmissions can vary widely in their operation. It’s not enough that your drivers have a little experience, they should have a lot of experience operating old, new, automatic, or manual cars.
You want your guests to feel confident when they hear their car pulling away rather than worried about the proper operation or possible damage.
DO THEY HAVE QUALITY REFERENCES?
First, look for a company with a legitimate business license. Check with the BBB to make sure they hold the proper license and credentials to handle your guests’ personal vehicles.
Don’t be afraid to ask directly for past customer references. If you are hosting a large event, ask if they have experience handling higher volumes of guests. There is a big difference between a party of 25 and a party of 100.
Also, check Yelp for honest reviews of their business. If you can find others who have a positive experience, it’s more likely you will enjoy one for your event as well.
Some other questions you might consider to screen valet companies include:
- Do the drivers expect tips?
- What is the process if there is any damage to a vehicle?
- How do you keep keys safe and organized?
- Is there a system for handling lost tickets before handing over car keys to someone who claims to own a vehicle?
- Do you offer parking lot surveillance?
- Will a manager be on-site at the event?
- Does your company have a dress code for the drivers?
- Do you have a valet parking stand?
- How much insurance do your drivers carry?
It’s important to thoroughly interview the parking company you are considering before trusting your guests’ vehicles in their care.
Their drivers are experienced, insured, and courteous so you can rest easy knowing your guests are taken care of. Head over to check out Next Level Valet and see what they can do for you.