LUXE Valet is pulling out of Boston and Philadelphia

Pioneering "on-demand" valet parking service quits two major cities. What went wrong? 

LUXE was supposed to launch in Philly in August. But after the mayor's official announcement of their arrival, the only other buzz I heard about them was they made a move to help city residents with parking solutions during the Pope visit. That was it.

Curiously I saw, I believe, only one LUXE recruitment ad for valet help during the time they've been here. That perplexed me.

Center City, Philadelphia is absolutely growing. But one of the big problems that valet companies have here in this city is attracting qualified, quality help. My pay when I was a valet here was just $3.83 per hour. I can tell you it's hard to find suckers to work for that sort of pay (who also pass the drug test and background check).

To me, it appeared that LUXE was going to come in, offer higher pay, and make life difficult for the traditional valet parking companies here by easily sucking away all of the valet talent. So when I saw no ads for LUXE valets on Craigslist and Indeed, I was wondering what was going on? And where was the buzz?

I don't see a single review on Yelp involving them providing services in Philadelphia.

I don't know what happened... but another major concern I have for this business, in addition to talent recruitment challenges, is weather.

It sucks to work in the cold here during winter. And what are you going to do when it snows? You expect your valets to risk injury while running or skateboarding or whatever to rendezvous with customers?

It's not going to happen in the snow. Most of them won't be showing up for work.

Have you ever heard of Glassdoor.com? It's the site were current and former employees post reviews and other information about the companies they work for. On October 8, 2015 somebody from their San Francisco operation revealed in a 2 star Glassdoor review titled: "Constant lies and no employee consideration" that LUXE will "make you pay $500 if you even scratch a car."

Only a fool would take that job. Because customers will blame you for damage that was already there. And it would be especially foolhardy to drive for LUXE in snow or other bad weather, when the risk of accidents are higher.   

How 'bout Boston last winter with all the snow they had? I thought LUXE was crazy to pursue setting up a service-hub in Boston knowing that Boston can get buried over and over again throughout the cold season.

Well, on-demand valet is a tough, tough business, especially when pricing it not as a premium luxury service. If somebody can really make it fly, they will be a genius.

Additional Resources:

Valet parking service app finds Boston streets too expensive to navigate

Valet startup ceases operations in Boston

Valet app Luxe to cease Philadelphia operations... at least temporarily

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/ne...