Frequently Asked Questions
Valet parking is the opposite of self-parking, meaning that someone else parks your vehicle for you. Valet parking is a parking service provided at venues such as restaurants, clubs, airports, commercial spaces, and at events, whereby a parking attendant parks and retrieves patrons’ vehicles so that they do not have to park themselves. Learn more.
Valet parking is a parking service that is offered by some locations and venues, such as restaurants, retail stores, event spaces, and other businesses. Rather than ‘self-parking’ where visitors, customers, and guests park their own vehicles, locations that offer valet parking have a valet — a person who parks their vehicle for them. Learn more.
The history of valet dates back to an era when people would ride horses as their main means of transportation. The word ‘valet’ has its roots in the mid-14th century and means “personal man-servant.” Traditionally, a valet would serve as the personal attendant to their master. Their duties included taking guests’ horses or carriages to the stables. The transition to the modern-day version of valet parking began in the beginning of the 20th century when servants began to park guests’ cars. However it did not gain in popularity until 1946 when Herb Citrin, (known as “The Father of valet parking”) launched his business parking cars at notable restaurants and even venues in Los Angeles, California. Learn more.
Yes. Most valet parking service companies operate under strict operational procedures meant to ensure the privacy and safety of their customers. At Gatsby Valet, we have a thorough recruitment, onboarding, and training process that ensures our valet drivers are professional, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and customer-centric. When you want to be sure that you’re placing your vehicle in safe hands, trust in Gatsby Valet. Learn more.
Some locations such as shopping centres often have designated valet-only parking areas. These are used by the valet service provider under contract to the location, tenant, or landlord. It is the property owner who designates the number of parking spots allocated to valet parking. If you opt to park in one of
these spaces without paying, you are taking inventory away from the valet business. The action taken could include the removal of your vehicle from the designated valet-only parking space, however this would be at the discretion of the landlord, rather than the valet service provider. Learn more.
No. Most valet services providers will accept a variety of payment types. Most valet parking sites now offer electronic payment, and some offer a completely ticketless and contactless experience. That said, many also keep cash on-site and will accept cash payment and tips. Learn more.
Valet parking is becoming increasingly popular and is found almost everywhere, particularly in city centres. Within the Greater Toronto Area, you can find valet parking services at:
- Luxury retailers and shopping centres
- Grocery stores
- Hotels and condo residence
- Restaurants and nightclubs
- Hospitals and doctor’s offices
- Office towers
- Gyms and private clubs
Yes, valet parking services are perfect for private events and functions.
Valet parking services have become more popular at social and corporate events. Guests accustomed to the luxury of valet parking now expect it at all special events they attend. Although Gatsby Valet is a preferred valet vendor for all major event venues in Ontario, our services are not limited to only those spaces. Our special event valet parking services have become a staple at private residences and cottages across the province.
How do valet services for private events work?
We at Gatsby Valet understand that each event has its own unique requirements and we specialize in building a customized event valet parking plan that may include multiple site visits prior to the event. We pride ourselves in thinking outside of the box to create a truly unique guest experience.
Gatsby Valet specializes in such private events as:
- Wedding valet services
- House parties
- Holiday events
- Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvahs valet services
- Corporate event valet service
- Brand launches or grand opening valet services
- Gala or ball valet services
- Charity fundraiser valet services
Entrusting the right vendor with your valet parking services needs is the first step to ensuring that valet will work for your event. At Gatsby Valet, we are experts in the guest experience and have the resources and know-how to ensure that your event’s parking management is a success.
Simply call us to discuss your needs and we will be happy to provide you with a no-cost site analysis along with a quote for valet parking services. In addition to providing an elevated curb-side experience, we are often called upon to remedy parking problems such as a lack of space, distantanced parking, hard to find entrance ways, wayfinding, etc.
When you arrive at a location that offers valet parking, simply pull up to the valet bay (look for the valet sign), collect your belongings from your vehicle, and give your keys to a uniformed valet attendant. They will then park your vehicle for you and typically exchange a ticket or voucher for your vehicle. Ask the valet about the vehicle retrieval process. At Gatsby, we offer a ticketless experience and the option to recall your vehicle via our proprietary app, Parkenda — saving you time. Alternatively, you may simply return to the valet bay and request your vehicle in person. Learn more.
Absolutely. Our valet drivers are thoroughly screened prior to stepping foot on the curb. A in-depth driving record investigation along with drivers licence validation and screening is mandatory to be considered for employment. Significant investment is then made into training these employees on the safe handling of your vehicle and customer service standards. Learn more.
Canada is unique in that it legally follows a no fault standard. This means that any accident — no matter who was at fault or how it was caused — becomes the ‘fault’ of the insurance provider of the damaged vehicle. Nonetheless, Gatsby Valet is insured for over $10 million and more often damage claims are paid out of pocket. We take full responsibility for our mistakes and backed by a robust insurance policy that ensures that the host, and those that entrust us with their vehicles, at ease. Learn more.
It is customary to tip your valet driver between $1-$5, or a minimum of 10% of the cost of the valet. Or, if you feel more comfortable aligning with other industry norms, plan to tip between 15%-20%. Learn more.
For guests who plan to be in and out of their vehicle multiple times a day — for instance, if you were staying in a hotel and visited multiple locations throughout the day — it is recommended that you either tip once per day, or tip in smaller amounts each time the valet retrieves your vehicle. Learn more.
Contactless valet requires a ticketless experience. Benefits include: no close contact between valets and guests (COVID-19 friendly), no lost tickets, easy and secure payments, and it’s environmentally friendly — no waste. Learn more.
Valet drivers are employed by hotels and restaurants and are responsible for driving the patrons’ vehicles to the parking area. Other duties include retrieving the vehicle on request, answering to customer inquiries, recording the exact location of each vehicle, and loading and unloading luggage. Learn more.
Valet or parking attendant jobs are good opportunities for job seekers who do not hold a post-secondary degree or have any specialized job training but who like to drive. Many positions provide on-the-job training, so prior experience is typically not required. Learn more.
To become a valet or parking attendant, you may need a high school diploma or equivalent, though most valet positions have no educational requirement. Many valet jobs require that you are over 18 years of age and have a clean driving record. We at Gatsby Valet hold a higher standard for our valets. We look for individuals who share our brand’s values of professionalism and integrity. As a standard part of our recruitment process, we conduct more thorough background checks on applicants, in addition to enforcing the minimum age requirement. Learn more.