Sunday, 02 July 2017 12:56

A 10-Point Checklist for Vetting a Car Valet Service in Los Angeles

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A strict law has professionalized car valet services in Los Angeles since 2014. But event planners should ask questions to confirm their competencies.

Are you in the process of arranging an event that will require car-parking services? Both your venue operator and even the Los Angeles city council may have ironed out some things for you in advance. But there still is broad variation of services that valet companies provide, so it helps to have a checklist to make sure your event goes as smoothly as possible.

The City of Los Angeles enacted a law that governs valet parking services in 2014, amid a bit of controversy (as is often the case with new regulations). But in so doing, it ensured that fly-by-night Los Angeles valet services were far less likely to operate (violations can be as much as $2500/incident).

Smart event planners vet suppliers for everything, even if it’s by way of a phone conversation. The following checklist should help you identify if a Los Angeles wedding valet or corporate event parking service is right for you.

1. Car-damage insurance – As required by law, proof of this insurance must be submitted and maintained with the City Risk Management Office. Ask your intended vendor what their maximum liability coverage is.

2. Uniforms – This is also required by law, but can be as simple as dark shorts and a certain color of shirt. Have the vendor describe the uniform to see if it matches the nature of your event.

3. Confirm licensure of all staff – This might seem obvious, but not only should all attendants hold valid drivers licenses but they are also individually required to hold a city valet permit (that cost them each $70; remember that when it comes to tipping). The valet company needs to hold a permit as well.

4. Where will cars be parked? – This is of course critical, and partially a function of where the venue is located. Often the venue operator will have a relationship with a third party lot owner, or their own lot located nearby. If the lot is distant, understand that will increase wait times at the close of your event.

5. What is the capacity of the off-site lot? – If you expect 200 guests, a good guesstimate is you’ll need at a minimum 100 parking spaces. A seasoned Los Angeles valet can help you work this out.

6. Kiosks, umbrellas, signs, cones, etc. – What will distinguish the station where guests hand over their keys to the valet?

7. How will keys be managed during the event – Cars and keys are expensive. It’s a fair question to know what levels of security, and the details thereof, which are applied to protecting you and your guests.

8. Who to contact during the event? – If there is a problem before, during or after the event, what is the name and phone number of the supervisor in charge?

9. Ask about unruly guest scenarios – Every party has a pooper, and often they are over-served at the bar. Ask the Los Angeles valet service that you consider hiring what their procedure is when a driver is observably under the influence and a potential public safety hazard.

10. Testimonials – If not already available on Yelp! or other ratings websites, your potential parking service vendor should be able to provide a list of past clients and what they had to say about the service provided.

Car valet services are very important for event sponsors. These are the people that say hello and goodbye to guests, therefore their professionalism can have a big impact on how people experience and remember the event later.

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