Offering 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.
- 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.