4 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Restaurant

Dog-friendly bars and restaurants are a big trend–and for good reason. It’s hard leaving furry friends at home during the week, and the last thing most pet parents want to do is leave pets at home on the weekend! Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic, and 67% feel their pet is a part of the family. Millennials who own a dog tend to have high levels of disposable income, with the average millennial spending $1,285 per year on their furry friend.

What does that mean for today’s bar or restaurant owner? Pet-friendly establishments attract a younger, wealthier demographic, and making your bar or restaurant a dog-friendly destination could boost your sales. Let locals know that you’re a great option for a pet-friendly drink or meal!

4 Ways to Make Your Restaurant Pet-friendly

1. Make It Inviting

Restaurants, pubs and even retail establishments often offer their pawed patrons a friendly welcome by placing water bowls near their entrance–sometimes even paired with a jar of treats. Health regulations typically do not allow dogs (excluding service dogs, of course) inside restaurants. However, many restaurants allow dogs on their patios. Try placing water bowls near your patio entrance to show customers where the pups should enter.

 2. Offer a Dog-friendly Menu

Places like the Lazy Dog Cafe offer special pet-friendly menus that include grilled chicken breast, ice or even flavored waters. My family used to own a bar with no kitchen and many times people would bring in their pets. I fondly remember one customer who would come in with his ball python, my father always had a shot glass of water out for his scaly regular– gestures like this promote positive word-of-mouth buzz which spreads quickly!

[READ MORE] THE “PAWS” AND CONS OF DOGS AT THE BAR

 3. Let People Know

There are several ways to let people know about your dog-friendly establishment, so remember to not limit yourself to your website. Add “dog-friendly” to your Google My Business profile, list your establishment with BringFido.com or Dogtrekker.com and check out local dog clubs and specialty retailers in your area to let them know you allow pets. You could even partner with a local pet shop, perhaps swapping a few Facebook posts or leaving 15% off coupons on each other’s counters. Try reaching out to community groups as well; many dog clubs have meet-ups on the weekends and are always looking for a fun place to hang out after a thirsty day at the dog park.

 4. Promote Good Behavior

Listing a code of conduct is a smart idea. Set expectations for owners and their pets when they’re on your patio. As the owner of a highly-social Shiba Inu, I am set at ease by these house rules. But also remember most of your pointy-eared pals that are out on the town are well balanced–maybe more so than their parents!

At Evergreen HQ we love our fur babies! Here’s Kaya Gordon playing a round of poker.

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