Q: Why should I choose American Valet?
A: American Valet is one of the industry’s most experienced valet parking companies providing valet and charter services for more than 900 special events each year, from grand openings with 5,000 guests to smaller, more intimate gatherings for over 36 years.
We can be ready at a moment’s notice. If you are behind on planning or suddenly expecting more guests, American Valet has more than 100 dedicated event valets to support your needs—and to ensure that your event runs smoothly and efficiently. Our professional valets ensure your guests are served with the utmost courtesy, customer service and safety. American Valet offers the industry's best security, using strict key control procedures and carrying the necessary liability protections.
Q: Will your staff wear a uniform?
A: Most good valet companies will send uniformed staff to work every event. This sets apart valet staff from guests and other people on the premises. Additionally, guests usually feel more confident and comfortable handing over their keys to a uniformed company representative. Some valet company uniforms are black and white formal dress clothes or tuxedos, polo shirts with company logos, while others wear specially-colored vests or cummerbunds, or a company jacket or vest with a logo. Many will also offer their clients a choice of uniform style to match the event, which may include level of formality and even color scheme.
Q: How do local valet parking companies charge for their services?
A: Most valet parking companies charge a set hourly fee per valet attendant provided. Others will offer a package deal based on the size of your gathering and expected number of vehicles parked. Some may even charge a fee based on the number of vehicles they are asked to valet during the event. Check with your local valet parking companies about their rates and contract fees.
Q: Will the valets we hire come with their own professional-looking valet equipment?
A: Professional valet companies will provide attractive, functional equipment that make them and your event look reputable and rich. This may include valet lock boxes for guest keys, valet parking tickets and tags for returning keys, signs, cones, flashlights, communication devices and more. Some even provide golf carts or other transportation for the valets that speeds up the return of client cars. Talk with your local valet parking service about what they provide and what items, if any, you or the venue will need to provide.
Q: What if our event exceeds the expected time stated in the contract we signed with the valet parking company?
A: Each valet parking company has its own rules and regulations and ways of handling these types of situations. Events that run over the expected time are not uncommon, so the valet parking service you choose should have an easy answer to this question. Most will charge specific overage rates in 15 or 30 minute increments per valet parking attendant hired. These fees can add up, however, so be sure to ask your valet parking company about their overage policies and rates. It may be wise to overestimate the length of your event to avoid overtime fees.
Q: Will the valets we hire expect our guests to tip them?
A: That depends on the company and the contract you've signed with them. Some valet companies charge clients lower fees with the expectations that individuals who take advantage of the valet parking will tip their attendants. Other companies honor client wishes for not accepting tips, but may require a higher contract fee to pay their attendants extra to make up for lost tips. Talk with your valet parking company about their usual service fees and whether they accept or expect tips. If you want your guests to not have to tip their valets, it is appropriate to put up no-tipping signs and make it known that valets are paid accordingly and that gratuities are added to the venue or client fees.
Q: How many valet attendants should I plan for?
A: Your valet parking company will help you decide this number. You don't want to hire too many attendants and pay for them to stand around, but you don't want your guests to have to wait long for service, either. Some valet parking services will send additional valets at the start of an event and toward the end of the event to deal with heavy drop off and pick up times, while others give you a certain number of attendants that stay at the event during the entire contract time. The company will take into account the type of event, guest count, layout of the facility, number and location of parking spaces and more in order to determine the right number of valet parking valets for your needs.
Q: How are valet parking attendants screened?
A: Each valet parking company does things differently; however, the most reputable valet parking services in the area hire personable, professional valet attendants that they carefully screen. This may include a DMV record check, state license check, criminal background check, drug screening, reference check, extensive training, and more. Talk with your valet parking service to find out exactly how their attendants are screened, trained and hired.
Q: Why do I need to make sure my valet parking company is insured?
A: Valets drive client and guest vehicles, and many of these cars are new and expensive. Your valet parking service should have liability and workers' compensation insurance that covers them, guest vehicles, host or venue property, and their employees and valet attendants. This insurance will cover any damages caused by the attendants to vehicles or by vehicles; however, it won't cover car problems that were not the fault of the valet, such as preexisting mechanical issues or issues that happen to occur during the event.
Contact our Division Manager at 503-861-9182 for pricing and a customized program.