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On Sunday August 28th, 2011 Hurricane Irene slammed into the East Coast delivering flood conditions, high winds, widespread power outages, and other treacherous conditions. One of our hospital clients sent in a "thank you" email to us at VPNE. Two of our valet parking attendants arrived at the hospital to provide valet parking service and help patients during the storm. The hospital does not normally provide valet parking on the weekends. These two valets helped patients and their assistance was especially critical at the emergency room entrance during the storm. There is tremendous value to working with a valet parking service provider that can be called in during situations such as this to service to your guests, patients and clients.
Would you hand over the keys of your house to a total stranger? Probably not. Similarly, would you let a stranger watch your children and/or pets? However, when an individual valets their car, they are in fact entrusting their vehicle to someone they do not know. “This thought can prevent people from having their car valet parked” states Dave Nolan, Vice President of Operations at VPNE. “We want to make the customer feel as comfortable as possible. Safety is a major component in making this happen.”
During the hiring process VPNE performs background and RMV checks. In July of 2011, VPNE’s Human Resources Department conducted an audit of RMV license records and operating history for all of our valets and shuttle drivers. “This due diligence audit is critical to ensuring that our drivers are operating in good standing within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” states Dave Nolan. “We perform RMV and background checks as a means to safeguard guests, customers, and clients so they can be comfortable handing over the keys to their vehicles.”
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I recently attended a social gathering where the topic of valet parking came up. The conversation then turned to the question about tipping valets. Should you tip a valet and if so what is customary? VPNE Director of Operations Richie Coughlin, a 20 year veteran of the parking and hospitality industry states “when valet parking guests typically tip the valet parking attendant anywhere between $2.00 to $5.00 dollars. Typically the higher the parking fee, the bigger the tip the valet should receive. All of this of course is contingent upon you having a positive experience."
Many high-end office buildings offer valet parking for office tenants. In this case, a tip is not expected since the tenant is usually there every day. "That can add up quickly. Valet attendants realize that these people are simply going up to their offices to work each day. They don't expect a tip from people they service every day. Visitors or guests however are usually encouraged by the tenants to tip the valets. They realize that valet parking is an amenity that makes doing business easier for their customers, states Mr. Coughlin."
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