Most people love the experience of dining al fresco, but it’s even more entertaining for animal lovers when they can bring their pets along with them! Opening up the outdoor section of your restaurant to include furry friends is a surefire way to appeal to pet owners. It’s even popular in places like Las Vegas!
But there’s a right and wrong way to go about making your restaurant pet-friendly. After all, some people may be afraid of dogs or even allergic. So here are some etiquette tips for entrepreneurs looking to open their doors to four-legged friends:
- Require Pets to Be on Leashes
Pet owners bringing their dogs to your restaurant must adhere to the policy of having the animals tethered to the table or chair. This is important on many fronts. Pooches wandering around could pose a safety hazard by causing servers or diners to trip. A dog could get into fights if allowed to socialize freely with the other pups. Basically, a dog on the loose potentially wreak havoc on the al fresco dining experience for restaurant patrons. So be sure to enforce the rule that all pets must be on leashes.
- Offer Water and Treats
While you should never allow the dogs to drink directly from restaurant glasses or dishes, it’s a good idea to keep some doggie bowls around that are specifically for pets. Another option is to use disposable bowls to promote cleanliness and hygiene. Offer bowls of water to patrons bringing their animals, especially if it’s a hot day. You don’t want the pups to get parched while lounging around in the sun.You can also provide some treats that owners can offer to their pups to keep them satiated throughout the meal. Keep a jar around of goodies around, and give patrons a handful if they walk in with a dog. Small actions like this show you really care about the owners and their animals.
- Add Some Canine-Themed Décor
How cute would it be to have some pup-centric decorations around the restaurant? Tasteful paw prints along the ground or paintings of dogs on the walls could be a creative way to brighten up the space while also adhering to the pet-friendly theme. If you have your own dog at home, he or she could even become the restaurant mascot.
- Introduce a Doggie Menu
Why not add some items to the menu that are made just for furry patrons? JP Licks, an ice cream chain from Boston, offers an ice cream treat made specifically for dogs. Pet owners will love the opportunity to have their pets join in on the meal. Plus, pups enjoying some ice cream makes for great promotion for your restaurant on social media.
Bring in more customers and create a dining environment that is furry and fun. It’s a win-win!