1. 1


    Tiny tiny parking lot: valet okay.
    Huge, empty most of the time lot: valet not okay.

    Leaving my car running, with the windows down, the entire 45 minutes I've left it with you: NEVER OKAY. [This actually happened.]

  2. 2


    Do you know how much money I spent on my brand new car? LOTS. I bought my car to drive it and to park it.

    Forced valet is robbing me of the joy of parking. I LOVE PARKING. In fact, if valet hadn't left such a sour taste in my mouth, I probably wouldve become a valet.

    Naaaaaaaah. I wouldnt. Those guys are dicks.

  3. 3


    it just depends. if i am dressed up on a date with my husband and out to drop some coin, yeah. we valet. is it raining and our 2 kids are with us. yup, valet. am i alone with the kids? yes. is it raining and no kids? valet again.

    BUT for a quick, cheap meal on a perfectly normal tuesday evening at a place with ample room to park myself? wrong. annoying. and a turn off. especially when all the convenient parking, eg in front of the doors, is occupied by valet cones. really? i am going to pay you when i can see my car? at least move it to an offsite lot. run for it.

    but a note there: please remember that the valets are just doing what they have been hired to do and they make their money from your tips. if you don't like mandatory valet, take it up with the restaurant, not the car parkers.

  4. 4


    I'm with you. I've even suggested to my wife that there ought to be a minimum distance for valet parking spots. Why on earth should anyone pay to have someone else park their car 15 feet away? And yes, then they have to wait for the valet to go get it when they're done…

    For a restaurant with insufficient parking, valet parking is a service. For a restaurant with sufficient parking, valet parking is pretense. As I rule, I don't valet.

  5. 5

    Albert Nurick

    Some of the comments on Twitter:

    @mvarroyo I HATE VALET!

    @LeveragedLife IF it is an OPTION then it is fine! I usually self park!

    @NickSalvatore No one is touching my car. One thing I love more than food. You want $10? Move the cone. I'll park it.

    @BiteMeHouston Valet kinda scares me. I watched a valet driver curb check a Bently at HOB bad!

    @GreensAndBeans UNfollowed!!!

    @she_eats Aw, but then they couldn't park the "fancy" cars up front and be REAL douches about the whole thing. LOL

    @AllisonHiromi NO, Valets great 2 offer!!! LOVE IT!!! Just not mandatory @ resturant, thats all.

    @WineLush Valet Bash my and fart in my car. Bastards.

    @weneversleep Hate hate hate forced valet parking. Will park on side streets and walk just to avoid it, on principle.

    @gdruckman i see valet parking as some sort of "urban terrorism".

  6. 6

    Syd Kearney

    Restauranteurs should remember that the valet is often a customer's first impression of their business.

    Recently on a Friday night, I arrived at Hugo's and as I opened the car door at the valet stand, the valet, very aggressively approached me and demanded to know if I had a reservation. Really?!?!?! Had I not been meeting someone (and, yes, we had a reservation), I'd have left.

  7. 7


    I'm still waiting for *any* restaurant to respond to my question on twitter. To state it better here (in >140 characters!):
    Why do restaurants want to require customers to valet to use their parking lot, especially if (as @greensandbeans said) they don't get paid by the valet and don't work together?

    I seriously don't understand the love affair restaurants have with coning off the entire lot for valet. Why not leave a row or two for self-park? It doesn't even have to be the front row. Or how about weekend only valet, when it's busy and you don't want to lose customers who can't find a spot?

    Personally, I agree that with limited parking, valet only lot is understandable. I valet at other times for convenience and such. But even if I choose to valet at times, I don't support a restaurant fully coning off the lot to give me that privilege.

    And I never, as a customer, appreciate when a restaurant expects me tip an (underpaid) total stranger to have access to my car & personal items just to drive it less than 10 feet away and park it in a generally empty lot. It doesn't save me time, and it's just insulting.

    Sure, as some suggest, I can just park on the street or elsewhere (as location permits). But that's simply the restaurant asking customers to be inconvenienced for…what reason again?

  8. 8


    I truly enjoy riding my bicycle to a restaurant and locking it to the valet stand while I eat. Fight back!

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    Actually, I think it's a good thing to ask if you have a reservation, otherwise, they go off and park your car somewhere, and then you find out there's a 2 hour wait, and need your car back right then. When I told them I was going in to check, they held my car for me until I got back.

  10. 10


    Valet parking is only okay if it's completely optional or there's just 4 spots total for the place. Either way paying for parking is a total bust.


  11. 11

    Stephanie Manley

    I don't understand why Hugo's needs to do Valet. Their parking lot is fairly large. When I am in that area of town I will typically street park my vehicle. While you can't do this everywhere I hate having random people park my car.

  12. 12

    Matt Chow

    I dont mind paying to park my own car in the valet lot if that is my only option, I just dont want anyone touching or driving my car.

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    I enjoy eating out and when I do I tip well, etc. That being said, I'm a recent college graduate and hardly made of money, so I save when I can. As such, valet parking is not an essential cost for me and I've made enemies of more than a few valets simply by refusing their services, which is silly. Each time I'm treated rudely, I ask to speak to the manager and inform him that while I didn't turn around and leave, if I receive the same attitude on my next trip to the restaurant, I will do so. In general, I'd say about half the time valet is offered as a convenience, and the other half it's as a veneer of class on a restaurant which may or may not need it, and that's a little pathetic.

    All that aside, I can park my own frickin' car, and if my ride's ever vandalized for asserting that, you'll be reading about the arson of a valet booth in the Chronicle the next day. Robb Walsh might get a kick out of that.

  14. 14


    I don't like to valet my car, I'm also not about to park a few blocks away just to self park. But am I legally allowed to park in the coned-off parking space? I'm not above running over a cone.

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    Probably won't be read but here's my opinion. As a valet service (3rd party) for a restaurant, not by the hour, nor all the tips we get from the car owners. After our boss takes his cut we split the remaining money within the hours worked by whoever was working that day, even the boss if he worked there INCLUDING the cut for the service. I treat all the cars as if it were mine, with respect to the owners, and care for the cars. I never took anything from a car, I know some people that have though. if you don't want to valet that's fine, there's a separate parking lot for non valet across the restaurant, don't be lazy and try to park in a "VALET ONLY" entrance if you don't want to walk from the non valet area. Tips are optional in our place, there is no mandatory fee. If a car pulls up and asks, can I self park or where is the self park area, well then, right across the restaurant. If you want to valet, fine by me. What annoys me the most is if you obviously see that it's a busy day, and we go through the trouble of getting your car for you and your wife (mostly the guys that don't pay), and you don't even tip at least a dollar, that really shows how much of a gentlemen you are. I especially like when I get a car, open the door, the guy jumps in immediately and starts looking at the direction of the passenger side waiting for his girlfriend/wife to get in, completely avoiding me, WHILE (most the time) I have their sensored wireless keys, trying to hand it to them "Sir….Sir……SIR"… and still avoiding me, until they realize that they can't drive off. Pricks. I guess some people just won't know exactly how it feels until you try the labor jobs of others.
    -Experience in cart attending for Target and valet for a restaurant(weddings and prvt parties)

  16. 16

    Albert Nurick

    Thanks for the post, Anonymous. Interesting to hear from the perspective of the guys doing the parking.


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Valet Parking? What do you think?

by Albert Nurick time to read: 1 min