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Keys to Parking
By Chuck Pick
Q The most frequently asked question I am asked by clients is "Do I need valet parking?"
A Valet parking service is a luxury, not a necessity. However, with so many parking restrictions and congested streets, your guests will be very happy that you have hired a valet service. Sure, your guests would eventually find a parking spot, walk to your home and find their way to your party but why not make their entrance to your event both easy and special? By providing valet service you are telling your guests that their comfort and well-being are important to you.
Q How do I choose a valet service?
A Once you have decided to hire a valet service there are some important questions you need to ask the operator. You should ask how long the company has been in business to ascertain their dependability and reliability. What are their attendants like? Your hired valets will be in front of your home or business and are a reflection of you to your guests. Some hosts let their party coordinator or caterer hire the valet company for them. This is great, but it is still important that you, as the host, know who that company is and what type of service they provide. Can the parking attendants communicate with your guests? Are they in uniform? And is the company insured?
Q How do I determine how many attendants will be needed?
A Every street and location is different and must be surveyed by the valet operator before the company can give you the proper number of attendants for your event. It may sound good to you if you are told that you will need only two attendants when, in reality, four would be required to provide efficient service. Your valet parking service, if not adequately staffed, can ruin a wonderful evening. Imagine your guest leaving a lovely party at your home only to have to wait a long period of time because of an understaffed and unprofessional valet service.
Q Who tips the attendants?
A If you are planning a party for a non-profit organization or a charity event, it is not always appropriate for the gratuities to be prepaid. Most companies add 15-20% to their bills when the gratuities are to be refused from the guests. If you are giving a private party, however, it always is a nice gesture to include gratuities. It is always appropriate to offer a gratuity to the attendants because the host may not have pre-paid for tipping. An appropriate tip today would be $2 to $3 for a good service and perhaps $5 for excellent service.