To VALET or Self Park

We eat out a lot and parking can be scarce. I'm sure there is someone in the blog that addressed this already, but I cannot find it.
Somebody told me just to drive WITH the valet driver in the passenger seat, but there has to be a better way. Any ideas?

I saw a thread on this before, too, and the best reply is one I am considering. Tell the Valet you'll give them twice the amount of tip if s/he let's you park and retrieve the car.

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