When you look at just about any industry you’ll find that there have been significant changes in the last 50 years. This is certainly true when looking at the valet parking industry. Parking cars used to be a lot different several decades ago, but expectations have changed. There have been various innovations in the industry that have changed things for the better.
Keep reading to learn about the many ways that the parking industry has changed over the last 50 years. You’ll learn about some of the innovations as well as how things might change in the future. When you’re finished reading, you should have a greater appreciation for how far the industry has come. It’s easier to appreciate changes when things are put into perspective.
Computers Changed Everything
As you’d expect, computers offered huge innovations in the valet industry. In the past, everything was done manually with physical paper and writing utensils. An attendant would write down the information that they received from customers and then go from there. As computers started to become more prevalent, information started to be entered into databases.
Computers have been in use for this industry since the 80s and 90s, but things have evolved. As technology improved, computers became more and more useful. Computers have gotten faster and they’ve become capable of handling more information and doing more things. So modern parking systems integrate computers fully.
So much information can be stored on computers about parking businesses. Attendants can easily look up customer information using software and get details about the vehicles. It’s far less cumbersome than having to flip through pages and look up numbers to match tickets with vehicles. This innovation has made parking and retrieving cars much better.
Technology has changed the way that people communicate as well. Communication was substantially different before the advent of smartphones. If you go back several decades, there weren’t any cell phones at all. This means that the main office of the valet company had limited ability to communicate with attendants while they were away.
When an attendant went to retrieve a car, the main office wouldn’t be able to communicate with them again until they made physical contact. As technology changed, the ability to communicate with attendants improved. Eventually, cell phones were developed and workers also used to use “beepers” to receive short text messages. It made coordinating with attendants easier, and this also helped to eliminate mistakes.
Smartphones made everything so much simpler. Now attendants can communicate with the main office in multiple ways. It’s common for workers to stay in touch using a dedicated app. They can receive orders and get all of the information that they need right on the app no matter where they’re located physically.
Taking payments was different in the past as well. There were times in the past when many valet services took mostly cash payments and only accepted one or two forms of credit card payments. The software has made it easier to integrate different payment methods. This is much more convenient for customers since they have many ways to pay parking fees.
Customers have a simpler time paying via credit card or debit card in modern times. There aren’t as many restrictions on the type of credit cards that will be accepted. Some valet services will also accept non-traditional forms of payment such as having money sent through apps. Exactly what types of payment options are available will be up to individual businesses, but taking payments is easier and much faster in modern times.
Different Types of Parking
It’s also worth noting that different types of valet parking have become available over the last decade or so. In the 1980s and 1990s, this industry was mostly focused on parking cars. It still is, but there is an increased prevalence of other types of parking being offered by these services. For instance, bicycle parking is offered by many businesses.
Some people prefer to travel by bike to many locations. So it makes sense that this type of parking would be offered in areas where bike riding is very popular. You’ll also see boat parking being offered in places where people like to use boats. Some businesses have docks and things of that nature when they’re placed in the right locations.