Asked about the most unique parking experience he’s ever had, Luxe Valet Manager Josh smiles and shares a recent story: “We had a customer request a pick-up via the app and just a few seconds later he called our Customer Service number. He let us know that his car only turns on by lifting the hood, jiggling a wire that’s duct taped to the engine, and only then could you turn the key in the ignition to get it to start. He wanted to know if we could still park his car.” Josh let him know that wouldn’t be a problem and upon meeting the customer at his requested destination, he made sure that he videotaped the process with his phone to ensure he knew exactly how to turn it on and off. He safely parked — and then successfully restarted — the customer’s car.
Prior to joining Luxe earlier this year, Josh had worked as a valet for seven years in Nashville, Tennessee. He recently moved to San Francisco to pursue his music career: he’s a saxophonist and has also sang back-up for Taylor Swift. To help support his music passion, he looked to get back into valeting cars. He was connected with Luxe where he was quickly promoted to Shift Captain. In his current role, he does everything from valet cars to manage shift schedules to recruit and train new valets.
Many of Luxe’s customers may have already met Josh, but given his unique role with the company, we thought it would be fun to give a peek into what goes into becoming a Luxe Valet, how these valets get around at lightning speed, as well as Josh’s own tips and tricks for unique ways to use the service.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I feel like everyone says this, but in this case, it’s really true: I love the Luxe team. Not only is everyone fun and friendly, but they have such unique backgrounds. I’m constantly learning from the people I work with. Also given my role as a Luxe Valet, I get to be outside a lot. I love the fitness aspect of it, and it also lets me discover lots of hidden places within San Francisco that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
What’s been your best customer experience?
I was servicing the Marina district and got a drop-off request on California and Fillmore — I was at Union and Fillmore — which, if you don’t know San Francisco geography, means I basically had a short, but completely vertical hike in front of me. My goal is to always delight our customers and part of that means getting to their drop-off location before they do: so I ran straight up that hill. The customer couldn’t believe it — you can track your valet on the app as soon as drop-off is confirmed — and they thought that I must have been driving a car I made it there so quickly! It’s always fun when you’re able to delight a customer like that.
Whoa! Do you always walk or run?
My preference is to walk or run because I personally love it, but our valets sometimes use their own skateboards or scooters to get around town.
How does a customer know who their Luxe Valet is?
Great question! Your Luxe Valet will always be wearing a tie and a bright blue jacket that says: Luxe Valet. In the app, as soon as your valet is confirmed, you’ll also get an alert with our name, picture, and a fun fact about us. More often than not, we’ll also be waving at you as you pull up because you’ve shared the model and color of car that you drive so we can quickly identify you.
What goes into the training process for a Luxe Valet?
Before candidates even make it into training, we run background checks and ensure that they have a clean driving record and have and maintain auto insurance. Because of our high standards, about 70% of applicants don’t make it to our training course. The percent that do then join our 2-week training program and during that we ensure things like:
- They can not only drive a manual stick-shift, but they can drive one in SF (don’t worry, we use my car for the test!)
- We also give them a crash course on the specific protocols that you see with different car models. For example, the door handles on Teslas disappear when the car is locked. The car also never turns off, but goes to sleep. Gas tanks also are accessed differently on every car or some cars like Volvos have a lever you have to pull before you can put the car in gear. We make sure our valets are familiar with every model car and each brand’s unique differences.
- They’re also trained relentlessly on how to use the Luxe app and our own best practices when it comes to exceptional customer service.
Only after the completion of the course and getting sign-off by a Shift Manager like myself are they then confirmed Luxe Valets and able to drive and park a customer’s car.
What’s the most common question that you get?
When should I request Luxe, before I leave or when I’m nearing my destination?
When should you request Luxe?
As soon as you get in the car and buckle your seat belt, enter your destination and request Luxe before you leave. We ask you to do this for several reasons, first and foremost, your safety — your eyes belong on the road. Second, the Luxe app tracks your journey on your way to your destination and this helps us match you as you get closer — so even if you hit traffic, or are coming from San Jose — you don’t need to worry — we’ve got it covered and will be there waiting when you roll up.
Any insider tips on creative ways to use Luxe?
Definitely! A lot of our customers use Luxe in the morning to go to work, but in the evening may meet friends for drinks or dinner. The beauty about Luxe is that we fit your lifestyle, so if you think you’re going to be drinking that night and don’t want to get behind the wheel (and you definitely shouldn’t) in select neighborhoods, you can actually have us drop your car off at your house if you have a garage or dedicated parking spot! Just select your home address and then we’d recommend you text or call us to let us know it will be a home drop off and the best place to leave your keys.