3 Reasons Why Valet is the Best Job for College Students

While job seeking as a college student there are several factors to consider. Firstly, will this job work with my class schedule? Secondly, can I gain relevant work experience from this job? Thirdly and most importantly, will this position get me closer to my career goals? Below are a few reasons why becoming an All About Parking valet could be the answer to all of these questions.

We Accommodate School and Other Commitments

As a college student, your day-to-day schedule can get hectic. Managing your grades, your work, and your personal time can be a challenge. In other words, finding a job that works with your hours can be nearly impossible. At All About Parking, we value a work-life balance. Full-time, part-time or special events (weekends & evenings), we work with you to set a schedule that works for all.  

Terrific Training Program

We at All About Parking believe in skill-building. As a college student, you have already established your yearning for personal and professional growth. With our comprehensive training and development programs, you can continue to build your skills outside of the classroom. You will develop skills you can carry with you throughout your career, no matter what path you choose.

Career Growth Opportunities

As a valet with All About Parking, there are many opportunities for advancement. Above all, becoming a valet could be a great start to a flourishing career. Whether you simply need extra income while pursuing a college degree, or are looking to make your mark in customer service, staff or management roles, we offer growth paths that suit your skills. 

Get top pay to drive sports and luxury cars. Apply online today! For more information about how you can become a valet, visit our website at www.allaboutparking.com/employment.

The 5 Latest Innovative Technological Advances in Today’s Vehicles

Vehicles sure have changed over the years. These days, vehicles do not just drive you from point A to point B. They have all kinds of innovative features to make your trips safer and more fun, and All About Parking’s valets stay on top of these technological advancements. Check out some of the coolest technological advancements that have happened in recent years.

1. Driving Modes

Driving modes have changed the way people drive their vehicles. Now, people can switch from normal, eco, sport, sport plus, individual, and track with the push of a button. The driving modes alter the suspension and steering ratio in the vehicle and even change the engine’s performance.

Even electric vehicles have modes that people can use to switch from electric power to hybrid. If you find yourself having to use hybrid when you prefer the all-electric mode, just hand your vehicle off to one of All About Parking’s EV Charging Valets. The attendant will ensure your vehicle gets the juice it needs while you’re out and about.

2. Adaptive Cruise Control

When cruise control first hit the market, people were excited. They loved to set it and forget about it, but quickly realized standard cruise control requires monitoring. People had to change the settings to speed up and slow down, so it was not nearly as convenient as they initially expected.

That changed with adaptive cruise control. This system uses a radar or camera system to track the vehicles that are located ahead of the car. Then, the system adjusts the speed as needed. Advanced systems can even bring the vehicle to a complete stop. This system reduces driver fatigue and makes it so much more fun to drive.

3. Connected Mobile Apps

It seems like your smartphone can do anything and everything. It can check the weather, send you directions, and connect you with friends and family members. You might not realize your smartphone can also be integrated into your vehicle. Many vehicles now offer connected mobile apps. These apps can allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely, monitor your fuel and tire pressure, and so much more. Then, of course, you can also enjoy basic features such as calling and listening to music with the help of your mobile phone.

4. Exit Warning to Protect Cyclists

Have you ever swung your car door open, only to end up hitting a cyclist? This is more common than you might think, and vehicle manufacturers have taken note. Now, many offer exit warning systems to protect cyclists. The system monitors the area after the engine is shut off, and if a bicyclist approaches, a warning goes off. Some systems even prevent people from opening the doors if an object is approaching.

You can swing over without worrying about people opening their car doors and hitting your bike. This is great news for our All About Parking valet attendants who maneuver cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists in busy parking lots.

5. Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic emergency braking just might be the best feature to come out in recent years. Vehicles use sensors to monitor the roadways. If an obstacle such as a pedestrian or vehicle jumps out in front of the car, the automatic braking system kicks in and prevents an accident. The system works faster than the human brain does, so it does an excellent job of preventing accidents.

What Will the Future Bring?

These innovative technological advancements have changed the way people think of vehicles. It also makes you wonder what the future will bring. It is impossible to tell, but one thing is for sure: All About Parking’s valets will always take the time to learn about the new advancements so they can safely park your vehicle.

The 5 Most Difficult Cars to Drive

Valet Parking

The valet industry encounters a variety of vehicles on a daily basis, and it is important that employees know how to drive them all. All About Parking’s valets must pass a driving test before training for their new position. Then, during training, the valets learn how to drive sports and luxury cars. That means when you hand the keys over to one of All About Parking’s valets, your vehicle will be in good hands, no matter how complex the driving experience is.

Speaking about difficult driving experiences, here are the vehicles that are the hardest to drive. Do not worry if you own one of these vehicles. Our team can get it into a spot safely and securely.

1. Dodge Challenger Hellcat

At 4,449 pounds, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat is like a yacht on the land. It is difficult for inexperienced drivers to maneuver this beast around tight corners, especially when they unleash this vehicle’s power. It produces 707 horsepower and can go from 0 to 60 in a mere 3.7 seconds. Those who do not know what they are doing can end up in a tight spot on the roadways.

2. Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Cayman is a gorgeous vehicle, but it is also difficult to drive. The vehicle has a tendency to turn dramatically and when that happens, it can be hard to get it back on track. Fortunately, seasoned valets know how to tame this beast and get it into a parking spot.

3. Cadillac CTS-V

The Cadillac CTS-V is not just a sleek and gorgeous machine. It is also full of power. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine can easily power you through straightaways and turns, but things can get dicey when you shut down the traction and stability controls. When that happens, the back tires might start spinning and you could end up in a ditch instead of on the roadway.

4. Lamborghini Countach

Many people dream of sliding behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, but those who own the Countach need to be careful. This vehicle has an ultra-low profile that makes it hard to see vehicles that are next to you and behind you. Also, the controls are heavy, so you need to pay extra attention to every action you take in this vehicle. Once you get used to it, though, you can expect an unrivaled driving experience.

5. TVR Sagaris

The TVR Sagaris is quite the showpiece, but you need to be careful when you are behind the wheel. This vehicle does not have electronic aids to keep you on the road, so your skills will be put to the test. Only drivers of the utmost skill, including the valets at All About Parking, should get behind the wheel of this gorgeous vehicle.

Driving Might Be Hard, but Parking Is Easy

While some vehicles are difficult to drive, parking should always be easy. All About Parking’s valets are trained to park even the most difficult of vehicles. Still, if you are concerned that your vehicle is too complex for others to operate, the valets can make accommodations so you can self-park. The valets do everything in their power to make parking easy, no matter how complex the vehicle.

Our Valets Say These Are the Top Running Shoes in the Industry

You likely think that the valets who work at All About Parking simply park vehicles, but there is a lot of legwork that goes into the job. Valets start their day by securing all the items they need for a hard day’s work, such as ticket slips, traffic cones, and key hooks. Then, once the lot opens, they get to work. During the rush, they run out to greet customers and quickly secure the vehicles in safe parking spaces. They do not have the luxury of walking back to the greeting area for the next customer. They have to run back and keep this process going all day long.

With so much running, valets know that a good pair of shoes is one of the keys to success. Check out the shoes that All About Parking’s valets prefer. You do not have to be a valet to love these comfortable shoes.

Brooks Ghost 11

Runners love Brooks Ghost 11 running shoes, but they are not just for people who want to get a personal best time on the race track. These shoes are a favorite of valets as well as others who need to do a lot of standing and running while at work.

So, what do our valets love about these shoes?

First, they are so lightweight that All About Parking’s valets can easily zip from customer to customer without any issues. Plus, these shoes have DNA midsole cushioning to keep our valet’s feet comfy during their shift. They feel as good at the end of the shift as they do at the beginning.

Nike Epic React Flyknit 2

All About Parking’s valets who want to make a stylish impression without sacrificing comfort love Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 running shoes. These shoes are also available for both men and women and come in fun and stylish colors.

Our valets praise these shoes because of the way they conform to their feet. The soft and supportive shoes stand up during even the most difficult of shifts and are the perfect accessory for running to the next customer or waiting for the next vehicle to arrive.

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2

Some of our valets have had issues with sore feet in the past, but that changed when they switched to Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2 running shoes. These shoes are labeled as “zero gravity,” and our valets say they feel like they are floating on air when they wear them. The shoes essentially eliminate the impact the valets would normally feel when their feet hit the pavement. That means they can keep going all shift long without having sore feet.

Our valets also like the shoe’s micro-thread. This fast-drying thread is breathable, so they stay cool and fresh, even during the hottest of days.

Happy Feet Equal Happy Customers

All About Parking’s valets do not just wear the most comfortable running shoes to keep their feet happy. They wear them so our customers will be happy as well. These running shoes help our valets maintain their energy levels (and their smiles) all shift long. That means our customers receive the best service every time they use All About Parking.

A Day in the Life of a Valet Parking Attendant

Valet Key

Have you ever wondered what happens to your car when you hand your keys to a valet parking attendant? Do they take your car for a joy ride?? What exactly does a valet do anyway? Well, let’s start with the basics…

Valet: A Short (Fun) History 

The term “valet” was first used in the late 1500’s and described a male servant, whose sole job was to pamper his master (for Downton Abbey fans, think of Mr. Bates and his loyal servitude to Lord Grantham). When valets first emerged hundreds of years ago, there were no cars, and “valet” was pronounced like “mallet.”  Our methods of transportation have changed significantly since then, and the traditional “valet” job has now evolved into “parking valet” or more commonly, the “valet parking attendant.” And the “t” in “valet” is now silent!

So, what does a typical day look like for a valet parking attendant in today’s world of too many cars and not enough parking spots?

Preparing for Customers’ Morning Rush to the Office

A valet’s typical morning starts with greeting fellow valets and preparing material/equipment needed for a day that’s soon to become a blend of cars, customers, and tight squeezes. Such items often include key hooks, ticket slips, traffic cones, flags, pens, iPads, and most importantly, secure shoelaces, as there will be lots of running!

Preparing for Event Parking

While valets at office campuses have the benefit of already knowing their site layout and equipment needed, event valet attendants – such as those working a wedding – have to learn their customer’s unique layout and specific parking requirements each time.  This means that when they show up to work an event, they review the event plan and locate additional equipment such as flashlights, jumper cables, trash bags, parking signs, and the all-important: valet-designated restroom they are authorized to use!

Ready, Set, Go!

Once all equipment is set, the valets double check that they are ready to properly receive their arriving customers during the anticipated rush period. Hair combed? Check. Shirt tucked in? Check. Shoelaces tied? Double check. Smile? Let’s Go!

Valet Attendants’ Secret to Success

A valet’s initiative and eagerness to please still reign above all other job responsibilities, much as was true for valets hundreds of years ago. Running to greet customers and opening their doors with a smile is the secret to success for any good valet attendant, as is running to retrieve the customers’ precious cars upon their return. Rush periods are so hectic with customers coming and going that the only chance a valet has to slow down and take a breath is while operating a vehicle!

Downtime

After the initial rush of customers (which varies by office or event situation), valets work together to recount cars, keys, and tickets to ensure all valuables are accounted for. Occasionally valets help customers who need to depart early from work or an event by moving blocked cars – sometimes up to three or four – to allow space for the customers to pass. No matter how jammed a parking lot may seem from the outside, trained valet attendants can always find ways to safely clear a path.

 Time for a Joy Ride?

Not ever! Reputable valet parking companies such as All About Parking enforce strict rules and monitor all valet attendants to ensure they move vehicles only to park, unblock or retrieve cars. That’s it!

Break Time

Valets are on their feet up to 8 hours a day sprinting and hustling for cars. It gets exceptionally exhausting, particularly in the hot sun!  And only after the parking lot is set in place and the initial rush is over do valets take a brief break to recharge, rehydrate, and reconvene to get ready for the most exciting rush of the day: customer pickups.

Customer Pickups  

Experienced office campus valet attendants shine during customer pickups by recognizing faces, vehicles, and keychains which allow them to provide peak service and a ready car before the customer even arrives at the main podium. These office parking valets form relationships with their customers based on a shared trust and service knowing that each has just put in a hard days’ work. While event valet attendants may not have the pleasure of knowing their customers as well as office campus valets, they do everything they can to ensure the customer leaves with a wonderful lasting impression of the event they just attended.

Whether it’s at an event or the office, pickups are rapid, and oftentimes cars and people disappear before valets even have a chance to say goodbye. But rest assured that though the valet service may be over, parking attendants know their job is only done after the sun has set (or the moon has risen), all keys and cars returned to their rightful owners, and the tired yet happy attendants get ready for their next parking adventure…

Parking Log

Valet Parking Tipping Etiquette

When dining out, how much do you tip your waiter or waitress?  Your bartender? How about a bellhop or a valet attendant when you check in to a hotel? What do you do if the service is exceptional? Mediocre? While tipping etiquette for food services is fairly well-known (typically 15-22%), the protocol for valet parking tipping is not.  Whether traveling for business or pleasure, meeting a client at a busy office campus or attending an exclusive party downtown, here are our Top 3 FAQs on tipping valet parking attendants:

Tip for Valet Attendant

1. How much should I tip a valet parking attendant?

As in other service industries, tipping a valet attendant is your way of showing appreciation for good (or great) service. The rule of thumb for tipping valets at hotels, restaurants and other venues is $1 – $3 if you are being charged to valet your car. If the valet service is free (such as if it’s provided by the venue), $5 would be a standard tip.

However, use your discretion to tip more if the attendants went above your expectations. For example, did your attendant hustle to get your car, or walk you to your destination under the protection of an umbrella during a downpour? Were they friendly and respectful? Did they help you with packages or heavy luggage? Help with directions? If so, you may want to tip more. For VIP-level service, valets can receive $10 – $20 from an appreciative customer.

Conversely, don’t feel obligated to tip if the service was sub-par. But remember, don’t blame the valet for mishaps out of their control (just like you shouldn’t blame the waitress for a chef’s poor recipe!). An example of such mishap would be when a significant traffic jam – due to poor planning by the event venue –  prevents a valet from bringing your car to you expeditiously.

Giving keys to valet attendant 2. Should I tip a valet attendant when dropping car off, or just when retrieving it?

While most people tend to tip upon picking up their vehicle rather than at drop-off, do what is most convenient for you. Also, don’t feel the need to tip every single time – such as when you are staying at a hotel. Sometimes customers choose to leave one sizable tip for their attendants at the end of their stay.

Valet attendant assisting parking3. Other than poor service, are there situations in which I would NOT tip a valet parking attendant?

Yes. In many corporate office campuses, the employer pays for valet services for its employees and visitors, and therefore may contractually prohibit the valet company from accepting tips. In such cases, the valet attendants, when offered a tip, should respectfully decline.

Additionally, for private events such as weddings, the host may have pre-arranged a gratuity charge with the valet company because they don’t want their guests feeling obligated to tip. In these situations, unlike with commercial valet operations, the valet parking attendants may still graciously accept tips but should first inform the guest that the service charge has been covered by the host.

At All About Parking, we park over 1,000,000 cars per year for many of the top employers in Silicon Valet as well as support thousands of private events each year. While many of our corporate accounts prohibit valet tipping, our recommended guideline for valet parking service when it’s acceptable is:

“Tips are never expected but always appreciated”

 

How to Assess Parking Challenges Across an Office Campus

When looking at how to ease the parking problems at your office campus, you should first go out and time how long it takes an employee to find a parking spot during key congestion times.

For a typical office, key congestion times might be during the 8–9 a.m. rush hour and then again during the 12–1 p.m. lunch hour. Analyze how long it takes to walk from the available spaces to the building(s). Aside from reserved VIP spaces, are most of the available spaces quite a distance from the building? How far? Also note the flow of traffic in your lot or garage — does it get congested during the peak hours? How much time does that slow an employee (or visitor) down from getting to their destination?

Next, look at how many employees you have (and plan to have) and how many non-reserved spaces are available. Finally, talk to your employees about their parking frustrations; they’ll be able to give you personal insights that you otherwise might not be considering.

At All About Parking, when we do a site parking analysis, we often hear from businesses that their employees arrive 15–20 minutes early just to get a spot. Then they are afraid to leave for lunch (or meetings) because they don’t want to lose their coveted parking space. And then when they leave work for the day they’re stuck in a long queue of cars just trying to exit the parking lot! All this frustration can be avoided by deploying a valet service company to handle traffic flow and parking demand. At All About Parking, we’ve been working for years at the best-known companies in Silicon Valley to resolve parking problems. Let us know how we can help you come up with the best solution for your company!

4 key questions to ask a commercial valet company before hiring them

How long has the valet parking company been in business? For obvious reasons, you’ll want to choose a company that has been in business for years. Understanding parking issues and solutions doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to choose a company that has seen what works, and what doesn’t, in a variety of office setups.

Who are their customers and what do they say about them? Reputation is paramount in the valet parking business. Find out who the valet parking company currently handles parking for, and ask to speak to their clients’ parking & transportation managers. Do these clients have similar parking challenges to yours? If so, find out how the valet parking company is addressing these issues. Find out how reliable they are, how well they know their client’s business, and how professional their attendants are.

Are they a national company or a local one? A big advantage of going with a local business is that they will be more nimble and quick to respond to your parking needs. Typically, a local business will deploy their senior management to assess and roll out a company-wide parking and valet plan. The large, national firms will often rely on a less-senior department head, who doesn’t have the same skin in the game as a local owner-operator does.

Ask about their valet training. A valet attendant will be the first — and last — person that your employees or guest see at the beginning and end of each workday. As such, it’s critical that the valet attendant best represents your business. Find out how the company trains their attendants and go check out how their valets operate at an office facility. Are they professional? Are they dressed appropriately for the job? Do they answer questions in a respectful, helpful manner? How do they handle your car? Do they foresee issues and offer solutions — such as reminding you that you left your phone in the car? How about that computer that’s in the back seat? After all, valet is about more than just parking cars; it’s about facilitating the best possible start (and finish) to an employee’s day.

Valet Parking Is not Just an Employee Perk

When people ask me what All About Parking does, my quick, elevator answer is “Our primary service is providing valet parking for corporate campuses throughout Silicon Valley.” And the response I hear most is “Wow, what a great employee perk!”

They make a good point; valet service, free food and dry cleaning services are all common employee perks in Silicon Valley tech companies. And these services help to attract and retain the best employees in a very tight job market. But valet parking is much more than just a perk — it can actually help a company improve its bottom line. Here’s how:

  1. Improving employee productivity
    Think about how much time employees waste searching for spots in cramped parking lots when they come to work each day, let alone when they have to leave their coveted parking space to head out to a meeting. Our studies show employees waste 10 minutes per day on average searching for parking in a typical Silicon Valley tech campus. To get a sense of the damage this kind of situation can do, consider that a business with 100 employees needing parking each day in a given location adds up to 50 wasted minutes per employee, (or 83.3 wasted hours total) per week. That’s a significant amount of wasted time when those employees could be doing productive work. One of our clients recently calculated that before they came to us, they were losing $600,000 per year in lost employee productivity due to their campus parking nightmare!
  2. Improving guest experience
    If your employees are wasting 10 minutes each time they come to work, what about your guests who aren’t as familiar with the ins and out of your parking situation? Some of these guests are probably prospective clients you hope to do business with. Getting them to their meeting locations quickly and with minimal stress can only help you build productive relationships and get things started off on the right foot.
  3. Maximizing use of your existing real estate footprint
    We all know that many technology companies (and other businesses in Silicon Valley) deploy an open-office plan to foster collaboration. The challenge with this type of office set up is that you are fitting more employees per square foot than what the parking for the building allows. So right away you’ve got a parking problem! With a valet company such as All About Parking, you can continue to add employees to your existing real estate footprint, and let us take care of finding spots for all the additional cars. The result? You get more out of your existing office space without having to upgrade to something bigger.

Are you interested in calculating how much money you could save with an office valet solution? Contact us to see how we can help.