Valet Parking: To Charge or Not to Charge

November 26, 2012

Valet Parking: To Charge or Not to Charge.

This is a question we are sometimes asked when initially reached out for hospital parking management.

Businesses in the service industry such as airports, nightclubs and shopping centers usually charge customers for valet parking. However, hospitals are different from these venues and have their own unique set of challenges such as creating ease-of-access for patients and patient satisfaction scores from survey vendors such as Press Ganey, NRC Picker or PRC. HCAHPS scores are also of concern and more importantly, offering high-quality compassionate care to your patients.

Hospitals that implement a valet parking program are very focused on the patient experience. Charging your patients for valet parking tends to be counter-intuitive to creating a welcoming and caring atmosphere at the entrance of your hospital. Offering complimentary valet parking to your patients supports the foundation of creating that positive experience for your patients. Complimentary valet parking serves as the very first impression of your hospital, and you can’t redo a first impression.

Are there exceptions? Of course. Hospitals in high-density major metropolitan areas such as Chicago or New York may charge patients for valet parking.

Here are some strategic decisions to consider when thinking about charging your patients for valet parking:

Why do you want to charge patients for valet parking?
Why do you want to limit patients utilizing the convenience of valet parking?
How will your patients react to being charged for valet parking?
Do the demographics of your community support you wanting to charge for valet parking?
Do you want your valet parking program to improve patient access?
Do you want your valet parking program to improve the patient experience?

Looking at valet parking as an investment, rather than a cost, is a great first step when thinking about a valet parking program. HealthPark Hospitality can guide you through this journey by assessing the pros and cons and sharing details about why most of our hospitals offer complimentary valet parking. Please contact us at answers@healthparkhospitality.com or 847.842.8366 to begin the conversation.