Parking can be a hassle, especially when you’re trying to enjoy a nice dinner out. Many upscale restaurants offer valet parking services to make things easier, but knowing how much to tip the valet can be confusing.

If you’ve ever wondered what’s an appropriate valet tip at a fancy restaurant, you’re not alone.

The quick answer is: You should tip the valet attendant $2-5 when they take your car, and another $2-5 when they return it. So in total, plan on tipping $5-10 per valet interaction.

Average Valet Tip Amount at Fancy Restaurants

When it comes to dining at a fancy restaurant, there are certain etiquette and customs to follow, and tipping the valet is one of them. The amount you should tip the valet can vary depending on various factors such as the level of service provided, the location, and the overall experience.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine the average valet tip amount at fancy restaurants in 2023.

Tip $2-5 When Dropping Off Your Car

When you first arrive at the restaurant and hand over your keys to the valet, it is customary to tip them. The average tip amount for dropping off your car ranges from $2 to $5. This amount is meant to show appreciation for their assistance and ensures that your car is taken care of during your dining experience.

Remember, tipping is not mandatory, but it is considered a polite gesture.

Tip Another $2-5 When Picking Up Your Car

When it’s time to leave the restaurant and retrieve your car, it is customary to tip the valet again. This additional tip is meant to show appreciation for their service and the safekeeping of your vehicle. The average tip amount for picking up your car also ranges from $2 to $5.

By tipping both when dropping off and picking up your car, you acknowledge the valet’s efforts throughout your dining experience.

Typical Total Tips Per Valet: $5-10

Based on the average tip amounts for dropping off and picking up your car, the typical total tips per valet range from $5 to $10. Keep in mind that this is just an average range, and you may choose to tip more or less depending on the level of service provided and your personal satisfaction.

It’s important to note that valets rely on tips as a significant part of their income, so it’s always appreciated when you show your gratitude through a generous tip.

Remember, tipping is a way to express your appreciation for the service provided by the valet. It’s important to consider the overall experience and the level of service you received when determining the appropriate tip amount.

By following these average tip guidelines, you can ensure that your valet is properly acknowledged for their efforts in making your dining experience a pleasant one.

Factors That Determine How Much to Tip Valet

When dining at a fancy restaurant, it is customary to tip the valet who parks and retrieves your vehicle. However, the amount you should tip can vary depending on several factors. By considering these factors, you can ensure that you tip the valet appropriately and show your appreciation for their service.

Type of Restaurant

The type of restaurant you are dining at can play a role in how much you should tip the valet. High-end establishments or restaurants with a celebrity chef may have higher expectations for tips. On the other hand, casual or neighborhood restaurants may have lower tip norms.

It’s always a good idea to do some research or ask around to get an idea of what is considered appropriate at the specific restaurant you are visiting.

Your Vehicle Type

The type of vehicle you are driving can also influence the amount you should tip the valet. If you are driving a luxury car or an expensive sports car, it is common to tip more generously. This is because these vehicles require extra care and attention when parking.

However, if you are driving a regular sedan or a compact car, a standard tip would be considered appropriate.

Valet Service Quality

The quality of the valet service you receive can also impact the amount you should tip. If the valet is prompt, courteous, and goes above and beyond to provide excellent service, you may want to consider tipping on the higher end of the range.

On the other hand, if the valet is slow, unfriendly, or provides subpar service, you may want to adjust your tip accordingly.

Time and Day of Service

The time and day of the week can also play a role in determining your tip amount. If you are dining during peak hours or on a busy weekend, the valet may be working under more pressure and handling a higher volume of cars.

In such cases, it is considerate to tip slightly more to show your appreciation for their hard work. Alternatively, if you are dining during off-peak hours or on a slower day, a standard tip would be sufficient.

Geographic Location and Local Tip Norms

The geographic location of the restaurant and the local tipping norms can also influence how much you should tip the valet. In some cities or regions, there may be established tipping guidelines or local customs that should be followed.

It’s always a good idea to be aware of these norms and adjust your tip accordingly. Websites like or can provide valuable information on tipping etiquette in different locations.

Remember, tipping is a way to show appreciation for the service you received. While there are general guidelines, ultimately, the amount you tip is up to your discretion. Consider these factors and use your judgment to determine an appropriate tip amount that reflects your satisfaction with the valet service.

Tip More for Exceptional Service

When it comes to tipping valet at a fancy restaurant in 2023, it is important to consider the level of service provided. While there are general guidelines for tipping, it is always recommended to tip more for exceptional service.

Not only does this show your appreciation for the valet’s hard work, but it also encourages them to continue providing excellent service to future patrons.

Help With Luggage or Packages

If the valet goes above and beyond by helping with your luggage or packages, it is appropriate to tip more. Carrying heavy bags or fragile items can be challenging, and when the valet takes the initiative to assist you, it deserves recognition.

Consider adding an extra amount to your tip to show your gratitude for their extra effort.

Bad Weather Conditions

Dealing with bad weather conditions can make the valet’s job even more challenging. Whether it’s pouring rain or freezing temperatures, the valet is still working hard to ensure the safekeeping of your vehicle.

In these situations, it is considerate to tip more as a way of acknowledging their dedication and professionalism. Remember, a little extra tip can go a long way in brightening their day.

Quick and Attentive Service

When the valet provides quick and attentive service, it’s worth recognizing their efficiency. If they promptly retrieve your vehicle or assist you in a timely manner, it shows their commitment to providing exceptional service.

In such cases, consider tipping more to show your appreciation for their dedication and efficiency.

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to carry some small bills or change with you, so you’re prepared to tip the valet appropriately. Keep in mind that tipping is not mandatory but is customary to show appreciation for the valet’s service.

For more information on tipping etiquette, you can visit reputable websites such as Emily Post or Etiquette Scholar.

Tip Less or Complain for Poor Service

When it comes to tipping valet at a fancy restaurant, it’s important to consider the quality of service you received. While tipping is customary, it’s not a requirement if the service was subpar. Here are some situations where you might want to consider tipping less or even complaining:

Long Wait Times

If you find yourself waiting for an extended period to have your car retrieved by the valet, it’s understandable to be frustrated. Time is valuable, especially when dining at a fancy restaurant where reservations are often required. In this case, you might want to consider reducing the tip amount.

However, before jumping to conclusions, it’s always a good idea to inquire politely about the reason for the delay. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can cause delays, and it’s important to give the valet the benefit of the doubt.

Car Returned Damaged or Dirty

One of the worst scenarios you can encounter when using valet services is having your car returned in a damaged or dirty condition. This type of experience can leave a sour taste in your mouth and is certainly not acceptable.

If this happens, it’s crucial to immediately bring it to the attention of the valet manager or staff. They should take responsibility for the damage and rectify the situation promptly. In such cases, tipping less or even refusing to tip altogether is entirely justified.

It’s important to hold the establishment accountable for their staff’s negligence.

Rude or Unprofessional Behavior

When you arrive at a fancy restaurant, you expect to be treated with respect and professionalism. Unfortunately, there may be instances where the valet staff behaves rudely or unprofessionally. This can range from dismissive attitudes to inappropriate comments or gestures.

If you encounter such behavior, it’s crucial to address it with the valet manager or staff. Not only is it appropriate to tip less in this situation, but it’s also important to voice your concerns to ensure that the behavior is not repeated in the future.

Remember, tipping is a way to show appreciation for good service. If the service provided by the valet falls short of expectations, it’s within your right to tip less or complain. By doing so, you can help improve the overall experience for yourself and future patrons.

Non-Cash Tipping Options

Add Tip to Your Bill

One convenient non-cash tipping option available at fancy restaurants in 2023 is to add the tip to your bill. This option allows you to include the tip amount in the total bill that you pay using a credit card or other forms of electronic payment.

By choosing this method, you don’t have to worry about carrying cash or calculating the appropriate tip amount. Simply specify the tip percentage or dollar amount you wish to add, and it will be included in your final bill.

According to a survey conducted by National Restaurant Association, an increasing number of restaurants are adopting this practice to provide convenience to their customers and streamline the payment process.

In fact, 75% of the surveyed restaurants reported offering the option to add the tip to the bill.

Tip on Credit Card

Another popular non-cash tipping option in 2023 is tipping on the credit card. This option allows you to directly include the tip amount when paying your bill with a credit card. Most restaurants offer this option as a convenient way for customers to leave a tip without the need for cash.

A study conducted by found that 80% of diners prefer to leave a tip on their credit card rather than carrying cash. This preference can be attributed to the convenience and security that credit cards provide.

When tipping on a credit card, it’s important to note that the tip amount is typically not immediately given to the server. Instead, it is processed along with the rest of the payment and distributed to the staff at a later time.

However, this process is transparent to the customer and ensures that the tip reaches the intended recipient.

So, whether you choose to add the tip to your bill or tip on your credit card, these non-cash tipping options offer convenience and ease when dining at a fancy restaurant in 2023.


Tipping valet parking attendants at upscale restaurants doesn’t have to be confusing. The standard amount to tip valet is $2-5 when dropping off your car and another $2-5 when picking it up. Excellent service deserves a little extra, while you can reduce tips for unprofessional valets.

With this guide, you can tip the proper amounts with confidence.

Next time you enjoy a nice dinner out on the town, tip your valet appropriately as a gesture of gratitude for their assistance. Proper tipping shows respect for hard working service industry employees and helps ensure great service for future visits.

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