Parking Strategy: Be mindful of too-tall vehicles.
Full-size vans can be too tall. The same with vehicles that have luggage pods on their roof. Oversize vehicles that are too tall must be left on the driveway.
Take a moment to look around the garage to see where the fire extinguishers are.
Take a good look. You will see there is an abundant supply of them. It shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds to run to one anywhere in the garage, except in the exit chute — where there are none.
If a car is beginning to burn, whether it is one of ours or not, do what you can to put the fire out, unless the flames have grown too intense. The garage is outfitted with a sprinkler system, so there is a chance any fire won’t become too big. Though who knows if it will activate?
You access the fire extinguisher by breaking the glass. Use the piece of metal that is dangling beside it.
The importance of a good reputation on TripAdvisor and other review sites.
Some guests will either reward our hotel with a good review or punish it with a bad one. We hope that the valet service will never be mentioned in a bad one, and we are relying on you not to put our valet operation in that sort of embarrassing position. Bad reviews damage the hotel’s ranking compared to other area hotels, and it costs the hotel lost customers. Whereas excellent reviews can attract customers. Going out of your way to do a good job and create positive experiences for our guests increases the likelihood of positive reviews for our client — the hotel. And this would be a very good thing.
The relationship between the valet company, The ****** Hotel, and you.
You work at the hotel, but you are an employee of the valet company. The ****** Hotel is our client. Besides working to please the guests, we also work to please our client, the hotel.
Guest valets helping out during events.
Help them to understand our methods, especially how we determine the location coordinates in the garage, and how the window works by the cashier’s office. Be cordial. Be fair. Be appreciative for their help and service. These are good opportunities to make connections with our workers at other hotels, which can be helpful to you later.
Using the carabiner.
This is the clip that you connect to a belt loop on your pants. When you are carrying keys to two different cars, one set of keys always goes on your carabiner. Why? So you do not mistakenly leave somebody’s keys in another person’s car. This can happen, and when it does it can be a huge problem that causes massive inconvenience to our customer. It is a very bad situation. Please do not misplace any keys. Use your carabiner.
It is a good idea to get acquainted with local places. Like where Whole Foods is located, along with:
- the closest liquor store,
- where Wawa, Milk & Honey, the nearest Starbucks and 7-11 are,
- where to buy flowers,
- how to get to The Market at Comcast Center,
- where guests can pickup the Philly Flash and the Big Bus,
- where the Barnes is and other neighborhood museums,
- where the nearest ATMs are, besides the one in the hotel.
Have suggestions ready about where to go for a meal. If they want a memorable meal, perhaps R2L might be worth their consideration. It’s on the 37th floor of Liberty 2.
Table 31 is also an easy walk away. It is in the Comcast Tower, and they have an outdoor dining area during the warmer months.
There are really so many excellent dining choices in Center City.
Things you have to deal with.
Dirty cars. Working in the rain or other miserable weather. Not getting tipped by every single customer. Germs. It’s all part of the job.
Never wipe your eyes without using hand sanitizer or soap on your hands first. You are touching money, the handles on the front doors, and steering wheels of multiple cars. You can easily give yourself a cold. And when you get into a car, roll the window down to get fresh air coming in, and turn the fan down so that re-circulating air is not being blown straight into your face.
The cold can be a difficult foe, but you can make it through the winter. We have overhead heaters by the front doors. Sometimes hot chocolate is brought out during especially cold times. And sometimes we take breaks out of the cold. If you wear layers of clothing, including long underwear, it helps a lot. Hand-warmers, which can last for up to 7 hours, also can be very helpful. These are activated by exposure to air and can be purchased at sporting goods stores. Look in the hunting section.
Yes, some cars are very dirty. Some have an unpleasant smell. You just have to deal with it.
Everybody needs to wear the same thing. If one puts on a jacket, all must put on a matching jacket. (Name tag must be put on the jacket.) If one puts on a hat, all must put on a matching hat.
You wear black shoes and socks. Shoes must be all black. Brought in the wrong colored shoes? Sorry, you’re going home, or to a shoe store.
Every swipe into the garage costs us and the hotel money. If you are running into the garage on the first floor, like to a car parked in R119A, be extra careful not to run by the swipe pad so that it activates the gate. Run into the garage several feet away from the swipe pad. Because if that card accidentally gets swiped, you just needlessly cost us money.
The garage manager is named “Sam.” On weekdays, he definitely wants us to fill up our cage first before parking in the public section of the garage, so that he can sell higher margin parking spaces to the public. On weekends it doesn’t matter, however, put overnight cars in the cage — if there is room.
If room in the cage is scarce, save the few remaining cage spots for cars that have valuables in them, or things which might attract a thief, like a GPS device or packages.
When you are exiting the garage, if a sideview mirror has been folded inwards and is not folding outwards after starting the car, then leave them shut… unless you know for certain they are non-mechanical mirrors. *I broke somebody’s mirrors on their 135i BMW that way. That guy was to the point of tears! AND he wanted to fight me! (WTF? They were trick mirrors.) So learn from my mistake. If you are not sure if those mirrors electrically fold out or not, then don’t touch them. Just bring the car out and let the customer deal with it.
If you hear clacking as the car is moving, and if the sound appears to be coming from a tire, it could be a screw, bolt or nail in the tire. Check it out. If the car needs a tire repair, alert the driver. Alert the driver to any unsafe condition, such as low tire pressure, a headlight being out, an expired inspection sticker, obvious suspension issues, brake problems, or an empty gas tank.
*By the way, if you have the manpower, I would put the spare on after alerting the customer. That’s usually worth a $20 tip. (Every single time I changed a flat, I got $20.) Make sure you don’t fuck up. Make sure the nuts are super-tightened. If that wheel falls off later, your employer — and maybe you too — could be in legal hot water.
Running over pigeons.
Don’t do it. They can be slow to get out of the way. Don’t squash them. If anybody sees you, it could blow up into a public relations fiasco for the hotel, especially if you are caught on video.
You are under surveillance.
The hotel has many security cameras, including out front, in the back, and in the cashier’s office. And the hotel manager is watching, even when he is at home relaxing. Don’t do anything that you shouldn’t be doing. The cameras are rolling and recording.
Spreading courtesy around the hotel.
Thanking the person who hands you your uniform by name is a nice touch.
Thanking the chef in the employee cafeteria for a delicious meal, or for all his or her hard work, doesn’t hurt.
Crunch time. When we are getting slammed.
First, we need to do our best to keep the driveway flowing. Your supervisor or account manager should be coordinating everyone’s efforts. When it is critically busy, you have to move as fast as you can WHILE NOT SPEEDING, and while taking moments to be extremely careful when you are carrying two different sets of keys. During critical rush moments, at your supervisor’s or manager’s command, you might be instructed to skip doing the VDS on all cars. You have to move as fast as you can during these times. If you get caught being lazy when we need you to perform at your best, you’re going to be in trouble.
Key can’t be found? White ticket? Don’t panic.
Get the guest’s room number. They may have gotten a new ticket because they lost their claim check earlier.
Inappropriate behavior involving women.
If you can’t behave, then you don’t belong at The ****** Hotel.
Perils of parking in the 20 minute passenger loading zone on Berry Street.
If you read the signs, they say “passenger loading only.” They don’t say you can park your car there and walk away. There also are towing symbols beneath those signs. It is a risky affair to park on Berry Street.
Another thing… Never pull your own car into the hotel’s driveway. Never park your car in the hotel’s driveway. Hotel management has a strict policy about this.
Why people come to The ****** Hotel.
They stay here because they want a luxury experience. And they dine here often to celebrate occasions which are very special to them. The ****** Hotel brand is well known around the world as a top tier hotel brand. US News & World Report actually named The ****** Hotel as being the best hotel in the city and the entire state in 2012.
It costs a lot to stay here. And everyone works hard to create enjoyment for the guests, and to make their stays memorable. We are counting on you to play your part in treating our guests well and providing service that goes beyond what is ordinary.