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Driving Excellence: Elevating Valet Services with Tech Solutions

Explore the intersection of hospitality and technology, uncovering opportunities for hotels to streamline parking services and exceed guest expectations.

Everyone is familiar with valet frustrations – from concerns about rental car damage to long wait times and everything in between. In the hospitality sector, these issues can tarnish a hotel’s reputation, even if they stem from a third-party valet service. Negative public perception due to subpar valet experiences is unacceptable – and avoidable, with a simple solution: technology. 

Parking and valet are service lines that hotels and the hospitality industry have often overlooked, but present opportunity for exponential growth. By investing in their parking services and opting for advanced technology, hotels can enhance guest experiences, streamline processes and boost revenue. From digital tipping software and virtual damage logging to valet apps that manage the process in one platform, there is no shortage of opportunities to put a high-tech spin on parking and even reduce risks.

When a parker valets their car, they have several immediate concerns. Is my car being handled securely? Is my payment safe? When will I be charged – and do I have cash? Valet attendants also face anxieties while parking, from the high-speed pressure of the ramp to ensuring they present a good image for themselves, their valet company and the hotel. Technology can ease these concerns and more. 

Technology Solutions for Valet Concerns

Even a small change such as implementing ticketless interactions not only enhances efficiency but also provides visual accountability, allowing parkers to track their car’s retrieval time and wait duration. Alternatively, there are digital solutions to mitigate fallout when the drive isn’t picture-perfect. Accidents can happen, and sometimes cars are damaged. Locations looking to cut down on costs should consider investing in parking-minded technology platforms, to abridge the claims process and effectively manage the human resources for the hotel’s brand. Doing so elevates the property in more than just profit: Managing a system where every interaction from the wait time to the claims process is seamless translates to value saved in credibility and public perception. Everything can lead to a single ecosystem across hotels and locations for the customer – one with convenience at the forefront.

A common concern for hotel operators is ensuring exact revenue collection. By integrating parking and valeting technology, hotels can establish automated systems for in-app payment collection, ensuring maximum revenue generation by strengthening accuracy, minimizing common issues and enhancing security. Brands can also elevate their valet service through digital tipping, especially if payment information is already registered on their valet platform. Enabling real-time, in-app tipping saves headaches for guests and maximizes profits for attendants. According to Forbes, people tip nearly 15% more when tipping digitally – that’s an instant pay increase for valets and a competitive hiring advantage for hotels. 

Future Trends in Valet Services

Even outside of standard parking management, there are countless opportunities to adopt technology and run with it. Two subjects are top-of-mind among the industry and public with the potential to grow: electric vehicles and artificial intelligence. If a hotel guest has rented an electric vehicle, the valet industry must adapt to their desires and feature charging stations and services for these types of vehicles, especially as more appear on the market. With AI, there are many opportunities to use this machine learning to study parking patterns and adjust current valet systems for specific guests or the operation. These advancements seem small, but the level of separation between hotel brands lies in the minutiae. Those who don’t learn to adapt might be left behind. 

Technology is the key to unlocking exponential growth and revenue, but it’s imperative to couple it with hospitable service. Ultimately, the valet industry is driven by the consumer, who may be initially wary of possible technological advances. Airplanes are largely flown by machines, but airline guests are reassured by the presence of the pilot – the same principle applies to the valet industry. Find a valet company that knows the pulse of current consumer needs and balances advancement with tried-and-true service.

During my time in the hospitality industry and at Parking Management Company, I have witnessed the fusion between technology and the hospitality knowledge that only a group of valet and parking veterans could deliver. Valet services are person-centered interactions, which can take a hotel brand to the next level by integrating technology while preserving the core hospitality values. Embrace technology, but don’t lose sight of the hospitality at the center of a valet interaction. Through this balanced approach, hotels can cut down on headaches, eliminate common issues and establish a parking process for the future that’s better for valet attendants, guests and the brand.


About the Author

Troy Crabtree is the chief technology officer at Parking Management Company (PMC), a national hospitality parking services provider and commercial parking management company headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. Visit for more information. 

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