Luxe Valet

On-demand valet parking companies bring lower risk of vehicle theft.

On-demand valet parking companies bring lower risk of vehicle theft.

I had a "light bulb moment" last night. I realized that on-demand valet parking services are substantially more secure than traditional valet parking services. It makes them a compelling alternative, where your vehicle is much less likely to disappear. In this article I explain why...

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Number of "on-demand" valet parking ventures continues to increase.

Number of "on-demand" valet parking ventures continues to increase.

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:

LuxeValet.com
Zirx.xom
ValetLive.com
Caarbon.com
ValetAnywhere.com
Spotlight-Parking.com

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 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 

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"Zirx" is newest on-demand valet service. Launched today.

"Zirx" is newest on-demand valet service. Launched today.

Zirx, based in San Francisco, is the latest Uber-like on-demand valet service to pop-up, joining its local competitor Luxe Valet, along with Valet Anywhere, based in New York. 

How do these services work? Using your mobile phone, you summon a valet to rendezvous with you in a location of your choosing, (as long as it is in the company's service area). Then an "agent," as Zirx calls them, meets up with you to take your car away, saving you time and effort in finding a parking space on your own.

Sound crazy?

Well, in big cities this could catch on.

But... for this to really work, in my opinion, the quality of the valet workers must be at the top. They need real professionals who know what they are doing, who take the work seriously, and who have the maturity not to engage in monkey business with the customers' cars. 

They must be clearly above the kids at the typical valet service. And I think the only way this is possible is if on-demand valet workers are paid well, so that they stick with their jobs.

If on-demand valets aren't enabled to make a decent income from their labor (an average of $20+ an hour), then these hybrid valet services will get hit with the same problems as today's regular on-site valet services. And eventually there will be valet parking fiascos that hit these companies like torpedoes, causing big reputational damage.

This past weekend, news in England came out that an airport valet worker drove a customer's car at 98 mph. That became widespread news. It only takes one idiot to

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A New Twist: Uber-like "on demand" valet parking services.

A New Twist: Uber-like "on demand" valet parking services.

There is a new breed of valet service that might be coming to your city in the future, if the minds behind these ventures can figure out the right business formula.

“Valet Anywhere” in New York and “Luxe Valet” in San Francisco are envisioned as Uber-like services where a valet can be summoned — on-demand — to take your car away at a location you determine, (inside a neighborhood they serve). And with a tap on your smart phone, the vehicle’s return is ordered and brought back to you.

Can either of these companies pull it off?

I would say yes, but it would need to function in a radically different way from current valet industry norms.

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