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Etiquette expert Lisa Gache, founder of Beverly Hills Manners, says that standard tips these days should range “between $2 and $5.”
Adds Ari Hodosh, a valet veteran and former owner of C&A Valet, “If you spend $700 on a meal at Spago and you tip the valet $2, there’s something that’s not right there.”
If you’re expecting top-level service, Gache suggests tipping the valet captain upon arrival “anywhere from $10 to $20. And make sure to tip the valet attendant the same amount [when exiting] as a sign of appreciation.”
Adds Fox Sports executive vp content Charlie Dixon: “I always pre-tip. You get much better service.” While this sort of pre-tipping doesn’t guarantee that your car will be left up front, it likely will be nearby for easy retrieval when you depart.
Large events generally will make for longer wait times, Gache cautions, and that doesn’t mean you should tip less.
“Tipping is a sign of appreciation for excellent service delivered regardless of the season or size of the event,” she notes.
Tip less than usual, she adds, only if “the attendant is less than polite.” Stars and recognizable execs should definitely think twice before stiffing an attendant. “In the digital age,” says Gache, “a lousy tip can go viral.”
This story first appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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