When I read the headline “Parking fees drive diners away” in Seattle’s largest car-loving paper, I expected some sort of evidence to back this claim up. But it turned out to be an opinion piece without adding any facts to the debate. Skimming past the usual logical but flawed argument of higher parking rates = fewer customers, I came to the final argument. That employees are having to pay more for street parking.
For those who must drive, the additional two hours of paid parking require them to spend another $6 to $8 per shift. This amount is not trivial to our employees.
Let me be very clear: street parking in retail areas is not for workers. It is not for residents. It is for retail customers. If your business relies on a substantial amount of business from people that drive, parking space that’s less than a block from your business is very valuable resource. The greater number of people you can get in and out of that space within a day will directly translate into more business for you. Having your employees parking in those spaces the entire time they’re working in your restaurant is a terrible idea. Charging for parking encourages people to move their cars quickly. Charging more than private lots encourages people to park in private lots if they need to park for a long amount of time. If your employees are encouraged to switch to a private lot, this is good for your business.