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.
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 Read More