How much do you tip a valet?

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I have worked as a Valet in many capacities over the past 3 and a half years in Scottsdale, Arizona. Many people have asked me this question. The biggest misconception people have is if there is a service charge. Generally, this charge amount is all going directly to the company, to some fat guy sitting at home while all the valets work their butts off for him. Most valets are only paid minimum server wage (3.90+tips in Arizona). So if you simply only pay the service charge and don't tip the valets, you are basically saying that that's all they're worth to you. Saying "Thank you" and simply smiling has yet to pay my bills....I have found that on average for a service charging account, the average tip is $3. If you want better service, ie: your car being kept up front, you better tip at least $20 and it is protocol to tip that on the way in unless you are a known regular. If you are at a location that does not have a service charge, $5 would be the average, being that the service charge basically has been paid by the location you are at. Once during a discussion with other valets, we determined that a good way to tip would be to tip $1 for every $10,000 your car is worth. Remember, valets are hard working people, most being students that work their butt off and are just trying to earn some money to get by. Talking down to them will get you nowhere. If you regularly go to a certain place and valet, tip them well and get to know them. You will get better service and soon find out that most valet stereotypes are only in the movies. We have better things to do with our time that to screw up something on your car. I hope this answers your question! I have worked as a Valet in many capacities over the past 3 and a half years in Scottsdale, Arizona. Many people have asked me this question. The biggest misconception people have is if there is a service charge. Generally, this charge amount is all going directly to the company, to some fat guy sitting at home while all the valets work their butts off for him. Most valets are only paid minimum server wage (3.90+tips in Arizona). So if you simply only pay the service charge and don't tip the valets, you are basically saying that that's all they're worth to you. Saying "Thank you" and simply smiling has yet to pay my bills....I have found that on average for a service charging account, the average tip is $3. If you want better service, ie: your car being kept up front, you better tip at least $20 and it is protocol to tip that on the way in unless you are a known regular. If you are at a location that does not have a service charge, $5 would be the average, being that the service charge basically has been paid by the location you are at. Once during a discussion with other valets, we determined that a good way to tip would be to tip $1 for every $10,000 your car is worth. Remember, valets are hard working people, most being students that work their butt off and are just trying to earn some money to get by. Talking down to them will get you nowhere. If you regularly go to a certain place and valet, tip them well and get to know them. You will get better service and soon find out that most valet stereotypes are only in the movies. We have better things to do with our time that to screw up something on your car. I hope this answers your question!
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