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8 Reasons Why Hotels Should Offer Valet Parking

If you are a hotel owner or manager you might be faced with a difficult question, should my hotel business offer valet parking?

It All Comes Down To Revenue, Revenue and Revenue

When reading the 8 reasons why your hotel should offer valet parking below, keep in mind that it all comes down to one thing, revenue.

Hotel revenue through your valet department can be a highly profitable part of your hotel that attracts additional customers and improves your customer satisfaction.

So, why should hotels have valet parking? The 8 benefits of valet in a hotel are:

  1. Increased parking capacity for your hotel
  2. Greater flexibility and control of your hotel’s garage and/or lot
  3. Less stress about car accidents
  4. Safer hotel environment
  5. Better access and revenue for conferences, groups and meetings
  6. Increased convenience for urban hotel customers
  7. Extra service and capacity for airport hotel guests
  8. Additional revenue for beach hotels

#1 Increase Parking Capacity with Valet

How does hotel parking work for an increase in capacity?

Valet parking can create a minimum 10-15% extra capacity in your existing lot by enabling you to stack cars one behind the other in parking spaces and to park cars in non-parking spaces.

If you’re looking for an even greater vehicle capacity, consider any nearby off-property space to park cars.

#2 Greater Flexibility and Control of Your Hotel’s Garage and/or Lot

For more efficient access to your guests’ cars, valet parking gives you greater flexibility and control of your garage or lot.

Consider the three examples below.

Long Term Vs. Short Term Guests

You can easily separate your hourly customers from your overnight guests based on demand, rather than having to designate specific areas for each.

Flexibility For Specific Situations

You have flexibility regarding where to park cars for specific situations, such as construction, periodic maintenance and cleaning.

When The Weather Turns Bad

In addition, if a storm is approaching, you can park cars where they will be the safest (even offsite if necessary). Don’t let vehicles get caught in a hail storm.A car with a dented hood from a hail storm.

Before a snowstorm, if you park all your cars in one section of your lot you can more easily remove snow after the storm has passed by clearing the empty section, moving the cars and then clearing the rest of your lot.

#3 Less Stress About Accidents

With valet parking for your hospitality business you can restrict guest access to your lot so you no longer need to worry about guests falling or getting hit by other cars while walking through your lot.

You also do not have to worry about guests smashing into other cars with their cars.A car with bent in hood from a fender bender in a parking lot.

#4 Safer Environment

Valet parking can provide a safer environment in two ways:

  • With restricted pedestrian access, there will be less worry about strangers roaming your lot and stealing from cars and other people (or worse)
  • You can also cut down on air pollution from guests sitting in their cars while their cars are idling

#5 Better Access and Revenue for Conferences, Groups and Meetings

For groups and meetings, you can park attendees’ cars together based on their group or meeting to enable easier access during the meeting and a quicker exit at the end.  

You can also increase revenue by charging for valet parking at a reduced rate, rather than offering complimentary (free) parking, and still provide a group benefit.

More on pricing for valet parking below.

#6 Increased Convenience for Urban Hotel Customers

With valet parking, you can provide parking for your guests even if you do not have your own lot.  

You can also increase revenue by promoting valet parking as a benefit for local customers who do not want to spend time driving around in search of a space or would rather wait inside your hotel instead of outside or in a garage when picking up their car.

#7 Extra Capacity and Services for Airport Hotel Guests

Valet parking enables you to increase your capacity for your hospitality business by using off-site lots for extra parking, plus provide a variety of extra services, including:

  • Curbside pickup of your guest’s car at the airport departure area and delivery to them at baggage claim upon their arrival
  • Park & fly or park, stay & fly for customers who will be away for an extended period or need to take an early flight
  • Provide a hotel car service for guests who would rather not use your van service but do not want to wait in a taxi line or get dirty looks from taxi or car service drivers

#8 Additional Revenue for Beach Hotels

For beachfront and nearby hotels, valet parking can provide the capability for you to offer combination parking/beach access packages to generate extra revenue during slow periods.

Valet parking staff can also help you control access of non-guests who try to use your hotel and beach without parking at your hotel.

Pricing – How Much Should a Hotel Charge for Valet Parking?

Attractive pricing for valet parking is critical to help increase your revenue, profit and customer satisfaction.

Two pricing keys to make valet parking work best:

  1. Keep the incremental price of your valet parking vs. self-parking reasonable. Ideally, $5 or less above hourly self-parking options, $5/day above overnight and weekly self-parking rates.
  2. Provide at least three or four hourly pricing options (0-2 hours, 3-4 hours, etc.) at prices competitive with nearby lots, net of the valet increment.

Do some number crunching to find out how profitable valet will be at your hotel.

Conclusion

After reading this article you now know of 8 reasons why hotel owners or managers should offer valet parking.

Again, it all comes back to revenue, and valet parking can become an extremely profitable part of your hotel’s operations.

Expanding your valet parking can help you increase your hotel’s parking revenue, profit and customer satisfaction, plus improve your operations, without major investment, especially if you have access to a third-party valet service or to temporary parking help (college students, etc.).


Peter Van Allen

Mr. Van Allen served for 5-1/2 years as global leader for Non-Room Pricing for all Hilton brands, developing tools & processes globally for hotels to price non-room products and services, including food & beverage, meetings, parking and spas.  Van Allen Associates provides marketing, pricing and business strategy to the hospitality industry.  Van Allen Associates can also work with you in the way that is best for you, from up-front analysis, to recommending revised pricing, to ongoing tracking and price revisions. For more details and tools to help you revise your pricing to increase revenue, profit and customer satisfaction, go to www.vanallenassociates.com.

A Quarterback for the Digital Services Playbook

What do Superbowl champions and hospitality organizations have in common?

They both need:

  1. Winning playbook to beat the competition
  2. Great coaches to provide direction before during and after engagements
  3. Quarterback to execute a winning plan in real time

The owners of both are the key to success.

1 Winning Playbook

A winning digital services playbook combines sales, marketing and revenue management to steal market share. Like Superbowl winners, the playbook is a dynamic document that continues to change. Team owners and coaches produce the strategy then players follow it.

It requires considerable thought and research.  Developing a winning digital services playbook should be a major focus of hospitality owners and managers.

A digital marketing playbook must include events in the city, spend, organizational goals and timeline of offers. It should also anticipate market changes due to seasonality and competition.  This playbook should be shared with players of vendors and revenue management as well.

2 Great Coaches

Hospitality digital marketing is complex.  It involves a holistic strategy that combines website design and functionality, search marketing, social media and content marketing plus e-mail and campaign marketing.  Typically, there are vendors that provide advice and guidance against data and systems in each of these areas.

Like Superbowl champion owners choosing coaches, hotel owners must make the right decisions about which vendors to partner with. Like the digital services playbook, putting together the best combination of vendors is an important task for owners.  These coaches should be able to challenge the strategy and get the most of out of each of player.

3 A Great Quarterback

Executing real-time hospitality digital marketing in a changing market is hard.  Like a winning quarterback, making the right play calls and timely adjustments is based on being able to read the situation. Keeping an eye on key performance indicators for digital marketing plus revenue management results is crucial.

There needs to be a digital marketing quarterback capable of making the right calls based on great coaching and a solid playbook.  A quarterback doesn’t have to be right all the time.  But they should be right enough to post a winning “score” for the owner.

Advice for Owners and Senior Managers

  1. Spend time, effort and resources on digital marketing strategy. Ensure the strategy aligns with property assets, human and material.
  2. Pick the right vendors and partners that fit the organization’s goals and are willing to work together.
  3. Hire the best “quarterback” to develop and execute the digital services playbook.

About the Authors:

This is a joint article between Cayuga Hospitality Consultant members Bill Carroll and Stephanie Smith of Cogwheel Marketing. Bill is a former university football player and coach.  Stephanie loves Hokie football.

Chris Breikss of Major Tom made the suggestion of having a good digital quarterback as a key to success during Cayuga Hospitality Consultants annual meeting and was the inspiration for this article.