I've enjoyed Dallas a lot more than I expected. Having been here only two months, we've found a number of vegan restaurants and all types of ongoing events. I feel like we're watching the city progress in front of us. Despite this, I like to be realistic about the negatives. I have have fun criticizing what I deem to be stupid. This post's target: Dallas Valet Parking. It's excessive and dare I say, wrong (I do).
Before moving to Dallas I never gave valet parking a second thought. I understood it. Valet parking shows a touch of class. In other cities, it exists in places where parking is scarce or distant. Valet parking for restaurants in crowded cities is great because you don't have to drive around for an hour and then get towed or pay a fine when you don't make it back in time (I'm talking to you Philadelphia!). Valet parking is used at hotels to make it easier for people to get their bags to their room. It's used for the elderly patrons at old-school Italian restaurants with big parking lots. Currently, our apartment building mandates valet because the spaces in the attached garage are too tight. I understand the need, but even in the case of our apartment, it's almost always more of a hassle than a luxury and I avoid it when possible to save money, get the exercise, and protect the car.
Dallas doesn't understand any of the above. They stick valet nearly everywhere because, apparently, many people here are too lazy. They have valet at the movie theater-- a regular movie theater, plenty of spots. But they have valet! They have valet at the mall-- not a special mall, the kind with JC Penny's and a Macy's. Again, plenty of spots, but valet parking! Dallas isn't short on space like other cities, there is usually plenty of street parking within a block and good sized parking lots attached to most restaurants-- but guess what? Many still have valet!
It's not that all restaurants have valet or even that most restaurants have valet. It's just that I've never seen so many unnecessary examples of valet in one city. Surely there are others and I'm just inexperienced, but what does this say about the people who live in places like this? What type of person doesn't see the frivolity in paying $10+ to avoid walking 50 ft? Sure, it helps the economy. NJ mandates full-service gas stations. Other states build toll-booths. But aren't there better ways and better things to spend money on?
Valet like this screams, "I'm too selfish and ignorant to figure out how to better spend my money."