Folks that like valet parking may like it even more thanks to Flash Valet, a new mobile app and platform that speeds both your car’s return as well as your valet payment.
The product, from Klever Logic, was born from a realistic use case:
“Daniela, wife of one of the co-founders, was an Account Manager for a hotel service company. When she visits her customers, Daniela frequently uses valet parking which means she’s waiting anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes for her car, sometimes in the rain or cold. While waiting one day, she noticed that the valet attendants all carried mobile phones and wondered why she couldn’t simply send a text message to request her car. Luckily, Daniela knew just the right people to make this great idea happen.”
I’m not one to use valet service often, but I can see the benefits when both parties have a mobile phone. Flash Valet will have to get parking services to adopt the application and have customers get the application on their phone in advance. For that reason, valet services could just opt for standard text messages to do the same. Not everyone wants to provide their phone number to strangers however — even though they’re essentially giving them a car — so an app that masks phone numbers is surely a better option. Uber does the same via a taxi service and it’s becoming fairly popular.
Valet service providers stand to benefit from this service as well: Flash Valet supports vehicle key tracking, photos to document previous vehicle damage, and improved money tracking. Instead of dealing with cash, valet attendants can process payments — and tip — directly with a phone using a customer’s credit card or PayPal(s ebay) account. Given that the Flash Valet locations web page is bare, I suspect that this service isn’t readily available just yet. But I’d like to see it, or a similar service, catch on to save time.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr user, TheeErin