There are now four (4) on-demand valet parking service companies in San Francisco, one in the New York City area, and one in Boston. Each use an Uber-like app.
These companies are:
It's a race to see who can figure out the right business formula, and then grab the rest of the best cities before anyone else.
To outside observers, this might seem like something that could explode like Uber. But the valet business is not the same thing.
One of my concerns is that these new ventures might be led by technologists who never did actual real world valet parking work before.
Valet parking is not as easy a venture as it may appear. Unprofessionalism among valet workers is PANDEMIC. Many are not well-trained. I know because I constantly monitor Twitter for chatter about valet parking. I have seen that there are a lot of schmucks working as valets. (A LOT!)
Somebody needs to be bold and invent a new kind of valet service that doesn't tolerate business as usual, and that pursues a superior worker-appreciation and customer service culture.
Right now I don't see that happening.
These upstarts will have the same problems as other valet services. The risks to consumers will be the same.
And once the big valet companies start buying up these young app companies, any aspirations that may have existed to lift the standards of this industry will be quashed. The steady, second-rate mediocrity of the valet parking industry's workforce will continue on, unchanged for years to come... unless somebody bold steps up and forces a change.