Valet parking is a great convenience for restaurant patrons and store customers and a nice business for parking providers. But it’s traditionally been a cash- and paper-based industry plagued by lost tickets, cashless customers and long waits curbside while cars are retrieved. Flash Valet thinks there’s a better way.
The Austin, Texas-based company has launched a mobile app solution that frees valet parking operators from the tyranny of cash registers and paper tickets by channeling communications and payment through mobile phones. And it puts an end to customers waiting outside or in a line for their car.
Flash Valet is a software-as-a-service cloud-based solution that enables operators to track vehicles, manage multiple locations, keep track of employee time and attendance and accept mobile payments from customers using a mobile phone. It is available for iOS devices through the Apple App Store. Apps for BlackBerry, Android and Windows will be rolled out in the near future, the company told BusinessNewsDaily.
When customers drop off their cars they are given a ticket with a phone number. When they are ready to retrieve their car, they send a text message to the number along with their ticket number, which alerts the valet parking attendant through the Flash Valet mobile app. When the car is ready for pickup, the customer receives a text message and can pay for their parking with a credit card or PayPal.
There are currently about 30 operators using Flash Valet in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Boston, the company said. The target market is large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Operators pay $149 a month per location with no restriction on the number of users at each location.