In addition to a menu featuring more locally grown items and the new party room, Amsterdam Cafe now offers valet parking.
The restaurant began offering its diners complementary valet parking last Monday, March 23. The service starts around 5 p.m. each day and has added 40 spaces.
"It's just another thing we're offering to make this place special," said General Manager Greg Kebe.
The main reason Amsterdam Cafe instituted valet parking is because of the limited parking spaces in the area surrounding the restaurant.
Chandler Parker, a senior in political science, said he thinks the valet service will help alleviate the parking problems for Amsterdam diners.
In the past, Parker said he has gone to eat somewhere else when he couldn't find a space near Amsterdam
The service is contracted out to Intelligent Parking Services, and Kebe said he has been very pleased with how easy the company has made the process.
Lack of parking hasn't been the only issue Amsterdam Cafe has had to deal with.
It added its new back room because of the extreme wait times people were experiencing to eat there.
But after expanding to decrease the wait time, the consequences that accompany a lack of parking became an even more pressing issue.
"We've had some customers towed, and we wouldn't want that to happen," Kebe said. "We really put a lot of effort into marking all the areas properly, making it very clear where you can and cannot park, and then to add the valet service just offers another option so people can come and dine with us."
The manager at the BP station admits to towing Amsterdam customers parked in his lot.
"Chapter nights, that's like, the worst," he said. "Times like that, we'll tow as many as we have to. It could be 10 we tow that particular time. But then we may go a month without towing anybody."
He said what really bothered him was when people who were not going to the BP station would park in front of the lot's "no parking" signs.
Sometimes the BP station parking lot became so congested drivers ended up hitting one another, the manager said.
The manager also finds it irritating when people park in front of the station, create a lot of congestion and go somewhere other than the gas station.
He said situations like that make him more likely to tow.
"I think it's the greatest thing in the world," said Matthew Tufts, a senior in biomedical sciences, about Amsterdam Cafe's new service. "Usually when you have to park places you have to do it by yourself. I think anytime someone is willing to drive your car to a parking spot for you is great."
Tufts also said he has experienced difficulty finding a parking space when going to eat at Amsterdam.
He admitted to resorting to parking at the BP station next door.
However, Kebe said not all Amsterdam customers are so enthusiastic about allowing a stranger behind the wheel of their car.
But, he said the restaurant is helping people warm up to the idea.
Kebe said valet parking has been a great success, and he thinks it is here to stay.
He said Amsterdam parked 40 cars Saturday, a number he considers impressive for the first week.
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