BEIRUT: VIP Parking Control and Zaatar w Zeit apologized Tuesday after an alleged assault on a man by a valet attendant outside a branch of the cafe chain in Hamra over the weekend.
Samer Karam, the founder of startup Seeqnce, wrote on his blog Monday that he had been approached after stopping his car in a public parking space on Hamra’s Bliss Street by a VIP Parking Control valet attendant working for the restaurant Zaatar w Zeit and told the space was reserved.
According to Karam, the attendant succeeded in forcing his way into Karam’s car, and attempted to physically assault him before three passersby pulled him away from the car.
Chadi Habr, the managing director of VIP Parking Control, told The Daily Star Tuesday that the employee in question had been fired, and that the company was issuing an apology to Karam for the inconvenience caused.
“In no way does this incident represent VIP Parking Control,” he said.
Habr added that, contrary to earlier rumors, VIP Parking Control would not be pressing charges against Karam.
Zaatar w Zeit issued an apology to Karam Monday and added that the incident had been a “single accident” and that “accidents do happen whether with our own employees or with outsourced companies” and said it had attempted to contact Karam to resolve the matter.
The valet parking industry has exploded in the capital in recent years, creating friction between valet attendants and drivers over the city’s few public parking spaces. Residents have previously reported to The Daily Star threatening behavior from valet attendants when they park in public spaces.
VIP Parking Control told The Daily Star it was not its policy to ask valets to reserve public spaces, as it usually secures private parking, but that the problem may have arisen due to the lack of private parking on Bliss Street.
Karam told The Daily Star Tuesday that he was relieved by VIP Parking Control’s response. “This might have a positive impact on how incidents like this are dealt with in the future,” he said.