Clarke & Sampson Blog

Restaurant Insurance - Valet Service & Playing It Safe

Posted by Matt Stephens

Apr 11, 2016 9:08:47 AM


Valet.jpgOffering valet service is an important part to any fine dining experience. However, offering a service that accepts responsibility for a customer’s property exposes your establishment to a considerable amount of risk. Educating your valet drivers with proper handling techniques and making them aware of the risk involved is a first important step to reducing your risk of an insurance claim.



When the Customer Arrives

  • Advise the customer to remove any valuables from the car. If they can’t take it with them, advise them to at least lock the item in the trunk.
  • Check for any pre-existing damage to the vehicle. Note anything major on the claim ticket.

While Driving the Vehicle 

  • Only adjust the seat and mirrors if you have to for safety reasons.
  • Pull away from the customer slowly. Never make sudden stops or starts, and always obey speed limits.
  • Always use turn signals, even in parking garages.
  • Slow down and tap the horn while navigating blind corners or exiting parking ramps onto the street.

When Parking

  • Back vehicles into parking spaces whenever possible. This will make it easier for the next valet to retrieve the car when time is more of a factor.
  • Make sure the wheels are aimed forward so the next driver does not drift into a neighboring vehicle.
  • Leave as much space as possible between other parked vehicles.
  • Turn off the vehicle’s radio to lower retracting antennas.
  • Verify that the vehicle’s lights are off or will automatically turn off.
  • Always make sure you have the keys in your hand before shutting the door.
  • Before leaving the vehicle unattended, make sure the windows are rolled up and the doors are locked.
  • Make sure that all customer keys are returned to a secure, central location so they are available when the customer comes to retrieve his or her vehicle.\

When Retrieving a Vehicle 

  • Turn off the car, and remove the keys before you exit. This eliminates the chance of a customer trying to start a vehicle that is already running.
  • Stand next to the vehicle until the customer comes to claim it.
  • Return the keys to the customer, and close the door behind the driver and passengers after they have gotten in.


When you decide to offer a luxury service such as valet at your establishment, or just a normal weekend party, you accept the risk when handling someone else's property. Be sure your covered for any scenario. 

Call Clarke & Sampson, Inc. located in Alexandria, VA at 703.683.6601 if you have any questions or just email us and we'll get back to you within twenty-four hours. 

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Topics: Alexandria VA, Restaurant Insurance