Valet parking, scam or legitimate service

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Joey Skinner, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    Is valet parking mandatory? My wife and another couple went to a restaurant last night that had valet parking. It was a small restaurant with a small parking lot. I just pulled into a space which was literally 15 ft from the valet stand and about 25 ft from the front door. As we were walking in the attendant tried to give me a claim ticket and take my keys. I felt a little embarrassed but I didn't see the point in giving my car to a valet and him driving it 15 ft to a parking spot. After dinner we walked to our car, past the people waiting for the valets to retrieve their cars, and as I was about to leave this guy came up complaining about $3.00 he was losing. I was going to give him some money just to leave me alone but he left. Is this a racket or am I just a cheap @#$%*. Isn't the point of valet parking to keep you from having to walk long distances to the front door?
     
  2. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Personally I think it's stupid. But I don't live in an area where parking is hard to find :p
     
  3. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    Valet parking is only legit when there is little to no readily available parking near the restaurant. I love valet parking but don't see a point when I can park the car myself right near my destination, especially if the place has its OWN parking lot. weird.
     
  4. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    This was in Dallas at La Duni restaurant (which was great). After dinner we went to the Meyerson Symphony Center and I wished I had used their valet service because I went to the wrong parking garage and spent 20 minutes looking for my car!
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I'm not a big fan of valet parking. Several years ago the valets lost my car key at a bar, turning a 20 minute drive home into a 1.5 hour journey. And the idiots had the balls to try and blame me for losing the key, since I removed my car key from the ring and kept the rest of the keys. They said it made the key easy to lose. Well, if I hadn't removed the key, they would have lost all my keys. [​IMG]

    My response was they had only two jobs to perform as a valet service -- park the car without damaging it, and keeping track of the key! They failed miserably on half their job.

    Needless to say, I avoid valet parking like the plague since this incident. I will park someplace else and walk before I give my keys away.
     
  6. DaveNel

    DaveNel Second Unit

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    So did you have a spare or geta locksmith, And did they pay for the making of the new key [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    My spare key was at home, so one of the valet employees had to drive me home to get the key and return me to the parking lot to retrieve my car. The valet service eventually found the key the and dropped it off at my home, so I didn't need a duplicate key cut. Since the car was always locked in our garage at home and had an alarm system, I didn't worry too much about them having a duplicate made themselves (if it was a dishonest employee running a scam). If my car had been parked outside, though, I probably would have changed the locks on the car.
     
  8. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    there is at least one restaurant here in my area that only has valet parking, you want to eat there, you pay the valet, I personally think it is a crock, but I do not eat there anyways
     
  9. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Was this a public parking space or in a private lot ? If it was public, they had no right. You could have just kept walking past them to another establishment down the road.... If it was their private lot, then they have every right to insist you valet

    I live in an area where parking is at a premium, so valet is pretty common. However, I always look for a public space first because I'm a cheap SOB.
     
  10. Todd Henry

    Todd Henry Second Unit

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    I wonder if they have valet parking because if the restaurant is full then there isn't enough parking so they double park the cars and move yours if needed.

    Todd
     
  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Exactly.

    Especially if it's a small lot, they will often tandem to maximize parking. If you just pulled into the private restaurant lot and took a space - then that's pretty much a no-no. Hell, at some places in LA that would get you physically accosted, or at the very least you'd return to find your car in a condition other than how you left it.

    I find valet to be a pretty nice service here in LA, of course there is no parking anywhere and so not having to worry about where to park or legality of your chosen spot makes a night out for dinner ten fold more enjoyable.

    What I don't like is the fuckers who go out at 7pm and place cones in the street parking spaces to reserve them for valet. It's one thing when it's their lot, but I've been tempted to pull up and park on top of one of their cones (at a place I have no intention of dining) just so I could have the pleasure of beating an obnoxious valet with a bat when he comes to try to stop me. ah, urban fantasies.

    but that's just me.

    -V
     
  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    the nearest mall to me has valet parking, I had almost forgotten.
     
  13. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    They started valet at our mall entrance near the movie theater. Very handy, but compared with valets at Ruth's Chris the "quality" of the mall valet drivers is suspect [​IMG] Probably had their licenses about.... 30 minutes ?

    Vince - I wonder if the valet's using public spaces got approval by the city, or if they are just being aggressive ? Definitely seems obnoxious.
     
  14. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Arrive on a bike with clipless pedals and then hand it off to the valet. I'd like to see the look on his/her face! [​IMG]

    I agree, I'd hate to use valets as I always like to do things myself, like drive my car, park myself, etc.

    Jay
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    If this was the La Duni on McKinney, the parking in the restaurant lot is only for valet parking when the attendant is present. However you can park right across the street in the area behind the stores fronting Knox (Crate & Barrel, etc.) and walk over to the restaurant if you don’t want the valet service.

    No doubt the attendant was irritated, because in addition to not getting a tip, you took one of his prime places.

    The new La Duni on Oak Lawn has parking behind the strip mall and in front of the strip mall—you can park anywhere without offending anyone.

    One thing for sure: you picked an absolutely great place to eat. My wife and friends and I eat there often. Everything is good—but their pastries are absolutely outstanding. I’ve talked with the pastry chef/owner on a couple of occasions and she is charming as well as talented.
     
  16. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    It was the La Duni on McKinney. I feel kinda bad now but it was 6:00pm and there were hardly any cars in the lot. I'm a DIYer so having someone park my car is a foreign concept, it's not like I can't afford the valet parking. It probably wouldn't look good to have a big "VALET MANDATORY" sign but still how was I to know, I'm just a bumpkin from Denton TX. Next time I will gladly pay the valet. And there will be a next time because ,as Lew said, it is a great restaurant. Everything was delicious and not too pricey.
     
  17. Derek1

    Derek1 Agent

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    Well I must say that I have a completely different view of the Valet infection in this city.

    It's a f&*%ing SCAM!

    Valet should only be implemented when there is no close parking available. The Valet jackasses here all over Dallas seem to think it's appropriate to put orange comes in the 300 closest parking spots so your are forced to use valet or walk from Garland where you had to park.

    Also one should note that the valet staff almost never actually works for the restaurant/bar that your are patronizing.

    Valet should be a "SERVICE" there isn't really too much service to driving my car a few feet to a spot that has been blocked off for valet use.

    On more than one occasion I have actually gotten out of my car moved the magical cone of profit and parked my damn car myself. lol Only once have I had a attendant offer up any resistance...the upheaval was quickly put down by asking if we should ask the restaurant owner/manager if they wanted my business this evening.

    It's not the stupid 5 bucks that bothers me so much, but when I have to go and get my car either way because they can't figure out the starter kill, anti car jacking procedure, I fail to see the value to me the consumer.
     
  18. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Wow, Vince. That seems like an awfully violent way to voice displeasure. If the valets are blocking off legitimate public parking spaces, maybe you should ask your local law enforcement about its legality. Or you could try talking to your city council to find out if any ordinances allow/disallow it. The last thing I'd want to do is get into a physical confrontation with somebody who probably makes close to just enough money to get by. If it causes you that much undue stress, don't eat there.


    Me, I don't worry about parking valets because the Indian restaurantis across the street from the art house theater.
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    interesting...

    i've alwayys thought of valet parking as a luxury service. i can't really think of a place where i had *no choice* but to use the valet service. i may have to walk farther, but i've always been able to find a place to park my own car if i want.

    how is it a scam? if you don't want to use it...just park it yourself?

    what cracks me up sometimes -- if, when i valet (along with a bunch of other people), it can actually take longer for me to get my car. go figure...
     
  20. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
     

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