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Parqer Brings Mobile Payments to Austin's Valets

John Adolph

AUSTIN - August 14, 2014 – A new, better way to pay, Parqer is an exciting new app enabling consumers to pay their valet through their mobile app. Simple, safe, and fast—no cash necessary. Founded by a University of Texas alum, Parqer launched in Dallas in May and has quickly expanded across the city and to locations in Arlington, Houston, and now - Austin.

Parqer has partnered with Next Level Valet and Concourse Valet to bring the app to Central Texas. Uchi, Uchiko, parkside, olive & june, and the backspace are among the first Austin locations utilizing Parqer's smart and convenient cashless service, and Vince Young's Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao, and The Belmont will be coming online soon.

Parqer is available now for free download through the iTunes® Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  After setting up an account with a link to a credit or debit card, users can then check in when visiting Parqer’s participating locations and make easy secure in-app payments eliminating the need to carry cash or make those last minute stops at the ATM.  

Trends show consumers are utilizing technology more and more to pay in ways that best fit their lifestyles.  They are looking for shortcuts that provide speed, convenience and a user friendly experience. With Parqer, consumers get just this. They can leave the cash at home and with a few taps, be on their way.  

Parqer is expanding throughout the country and will release its Android app later this summer.

Parqer at The Grape on Greenville Ave

John Adolph

Dallas-based cashless valet app Parqer recently partnered with Anthem Valet to give customers a mobile payment option at The Grape.   The Grape, which was inspired by the bistros and wine bars of New York City & Europe, opened in 1972.  Over the years, The Grape has boasted a cast of employees that reads like a who's who of Dallas. Noted restaurateur, Alberto Lombardi, an early waiter; award winning film director, Julian Schnabel, was a part-time chef; Frank Bailey, brother of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, was the original chef in 1972; Diane Teitelbaum, wine writer for the Dallas Morning News and national wine critic, was the restaurant’s first waitress and manager.  And Danyele McPherson competed on Top Chef : Seattle while she was the Sous Chef at The Grape.  

In 2007, The Grape was acquired by Chef/Owner Brian Luscher and his wife and General Manager Courtney.  The two have stayed true to the classic urban bistro's roots, giving the restaurant a small 'face lift,' but still keeping the history and charm in tact.  Today, The Grape continues to win accolades, having been voted the #11 Best Restaurant in Dallas, chosen by Texas Monthly as the "2009 Best Burger in Texas," and continuously ranked as "One of the Best Brunch Spots in Dallas."

Valet parking at The Grape is always complimentary, but download Parqer and use it when you want to tip the valets.

 


 

Dallas drivers rejoice over new app that revolutionizes valet parking

John Adolph

Everyone can relate to this story. You pull up to the valet at, say, a restaurant in Uptown, only to realize you have no cash. At the end of the evening, you shamefully ask a friend if you can bum a couple of bucks.

“For me, this happened almost every time,” says local attorney John Adolph. “Although usually I would borrow from friends or go to an ATM, I always felt inconvenienced and wished there was a better way.”

Adolph, who has always had an interest in startup companies and had even worked as an attorney for some, knew a paperless valet service was possible. We use credit cards — and smart phones — for just about everything, so why not valet parking? With that in mind, he started brainstorming ideas for the mobile app Parqer.

“I talked with valet companies (both management and drivers at the curb) and started mapping out how the app would work,” he says. “We did some market research, ran some surveys, and having to carry cash was the biggest complaint about valet parking in Dallas. People use cards and phones for everything else.”

Even armed with all of this information, he did what people sometimes do with a good idea: sat on it for a while. A graduate of SMU law, Adolph has spent the last seven years at Bracewell & Giuliani practicing finance and corporate law. He lives Lakewood with his wife, Erin, and two dogs. Point is, he had a life to live, and he knew that taking the app to the next level would take some require some blood, sweat and tears.

But every man has his breaking point.

“One night I ended up having to walk a few blocks to find an ATM while my wife waited at the table for me to come back,” Adolph says. “At that point, I decided I needed to finally make it happen.”

Adolph rolled out Parqer this past Memorial Day. Here’s how the free app works: When you open it for the first time, you’ll be prompted to set up an account. After filling in your credit or debit card information, you’ll be taken to Parqer’s main screen, which contains a listing of all available locations, ordered by distance.

If you’re at a Parqer location, simply tap the name and proceed to checkout. You’ll see a listing of all applicable charges at that business, as well as a field to enter in your valet ticket number. The app works at valets that charge a fee as well those that complimentary service that requires only a tip.

When you’re satisfied with the charges —and you’ve tipped, of course — you confirm payment. When you’re ready to leave, hand the ticket to the valet and show him or her the confirmation screen, and you’re set.

Right now Adolph is focusing on growth. His goal is for customers to have the option to use Parqer everywhere so they don’t have to decide where to go based on how much cash they have on hand.

But Parqer isn’t only about the consumer; the app benefits the valet and its staff too.

“Parqer should be a valued partner for a valet company and the clients they serve,” Adolph says. “We want to help them provide better customer service while increasing their traffic and collecting revenue that would otherwise be lost when customers park elsewhere.”

Parqer currently serves locations in Dallas, with plans to launch in Houston and Austin. In Dallas, those venues include NorthPark CenterKaty Trail Ice House, Toad in the Hole, Sunset Lounge, Joyce & Gigi’s Kitchen and Salt Dallas.