Valet Attendant Job Description
Employers hire valet attendants to park vehicles for guests at their establishment. Their actions maintain an orderly flow of traffic and save patrons from having to walk from their car to the facility. Such convenience is beneficial at hospitals, where patients may have physical difficulty moving from place to place; at hotels, where people may have heavy or numerous suitcases to transport; at upscale restaurants, where walking a distance in high heels and other fancy clothing is undesirable; and at entertainment venues, where chaos might ensue if crowds were left to their own accord. Shifts worked by valet attendants vary by their company’s hours of operation and regularly include nighttime and weekends. High-performing workers often move into supervisory positions.
Valet Attendant Duties and Responsibilities
The responsibilities of valet attendants vary based on the facility at which they work. However, our analysis of job postings reveals these tasks as common to most positions:
Valet attendants are among the first people customers encounter. As such, employees aim to make a good impression through acknowledgement and a pleasant exchange. Other possible actions include opening and closing doors and assisting with luggage or other belongings.
At the core of this position is maneuvering vehicles into spaces. Valet attendants take the key from the driver and physically move the car into a proper location.
So that disagreements do not occur later, valet attendants inspect vehicles for existing flaws and record what they find. Such action limits claims that the valet damaged the auto while parking it.
Manage the Podium
Businesses typically use a podium as the central base for valet activities. Storage space in this structure contains hooks for holding and organizing keys and keeping them safe from loss or theft. The podium also may contain an area for money since some places charge a fee for the convenience of valet service. Other common objects found here include stacks or rolls of claim tickets for valets to issue to customers when they take their vehicles; diagrams of parking lot layouts; and promotional material or feedback cards to give guests upon departure.
When a customer is ready to leave, they present their claim ticket to a valet attendant. This paperwork enables the valet to quickly find the correct key and the location of the vehicle. The attendant walks to the proper parking spot and drives the car back to its owner. The parties exchange goodbyes, and the patron tips for a job well done.
With the goal of providing outstanding customer service, valet attendants perform tasks such as giving patrons directions and keeping walkways clear. Employers also may call upon them to direct traffic to maintain an orderly flow, monitor parking lots for safety, and put up cones to steer guests away from unusable areas.
Valet Attendant Skills and Qualifications
Hands-on experience in driving vehicles to and from the facility.
Sound knowledge of standard and automatic vehicles
Operational knowledge of Special events and promotions
Solid understanding of communicating with customers
Conscientious drivers who treat every vehicle with the utmost care make good valet attendants. Because they interact with a wide variety of people, a friendly demeanor and other commendable interpersonal skills also serve them well. Other elements critical to performance include:
- Knowledge of cars – a good grasp of where things are located in automobiles makes changes such as seat and mirror adjustments easier
- Organization skills – following procedures promotes safety and orderliness
- Professionalism – a good attitude, neat grooming and attire (usually a uniform), politeness, and proper language reflect positively on the valet attendant and the employer
- Stamina – much of the shift is spent standing and walking back and forth between parking spaces and the main building, so attendants need physical fitness and energy
- Efficiency – customers get impatient waiting for someone to attend to their vehicle, so an eagerness to get the job done is appreciated
- Trustworthiness – employers demand honest workers who will not steal items out of cars or drive them to unauthorized places
Valet Attendant Education and Training
No minimal educational requirements exist to become a valet attendant, though most possess a high school diploma or the equivalent and are over the age of 18. Candidates need a driver’s license, a good driving record (including no DUIs), and the ability to pass a criminal background check. Employers may require vision tests to ensure employees see properly. Valets must be skilled at driving cars with manual as well as automatic transmissions since they will likely encounter both.
Valet Attendant Salary and Outlook
The median wage for a valet attendant, according to PayScale, is about $10 per hour, including tips. Workers on the low end of the pay range earn about $8 per hour, while the highest paid make more than $13 per hour. Overtime can increase total compensation. Full-time valet attendants may be eligible for benefits such as medical insurance and paid time off.
Want to learn more about what’s involved in being a valet attendant? These sources we’ve compiled can be of assistance:
National Parking Association – the “valet” section of this group’s website features articles, how-to guides, and case studies pertinent to the industry. From how to claim tips when filing taxes to improving customer service, aspiring valet attendants are sure to find plenty of helpful advice
Parking Magazine – keep up with trends and best practices with this monthly publication dedicated to subjects of interest to valets and similar parking professionals
The Valet Spot – the blog of this valet parking equipment company offers tips to improve service and interesting articles on industry developments and events (such as the National Valet Olympics)
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