It’s no secret: Americans love their pets! Here in the United States, we don’t merely love and care for our pets, we spoil them. In fact, the American Pet Products Association shows that expenditures on pets grows consistently year over year; from $60.28 billion in 2015 to $66.75 billion in 2016. By 2017, that number is expected to grow to a whopping $69.36 billion.
For restaurants, summertime is the perfect time to profit from people’s proclivity to spend on their pets! As warm weather approaches, especially in the Eastern part of the United States, dogs and their humans are more eager than ever to venture out into the world. Attract them with these four tips for making your restaurant pawsitively dog-friendly!
1. Canine Concept
Between 37% – 47% of American households have dogs. Catch these dog-loving humans’ attention by advertising that your restaurant is dog-friendly. Sites like Bring Fido help dog owners find pet-friendly establishments all over the world. Marketing your restaurant as being friendly to dogs is the first step to attracting your clientele. Make sure people know they can bring their pets into your establishment with prominently-displayed signage.
Next, focus on catering to your furry patrons with a separate menu dedicated to dogs. Your offerings can range from a few basic treats to gourmet meals. Just be sure that you avoid any ingredients that are dangerous to dogs. Fresh water is also an absolute-must for your four-legged guests.
2. Lucky Location
Outdoor seating is the most ideal setting for a dog-friendly experience. If your restaurant, cafe, or bar offers outdoor seating, explore whether or not your specific city’s codes allow you to welcome dogs. (We’ll touch on that a little later). Dog-friendly eating and drinking establishments near parks and other outdoor spaces will naturally attract dog-walkers.
3. Protect Pooches and Patrons
While dog-lovers will flock to a dog-friendly restaurant, you don’t want to alienate guests who may not be as dog-enthusiastic (sorry, cat people). Designate a specific area for dogs and their humans. Make sure that there’s plenty of space for dogs to comfortably stay out of the way of wait staff and other guests. You must also provide a space for dogs to take care of business. This should be far enough away from the seating area so as not to offend other guests. Furnish clean-up supplies and trash bins with lids.
4. Rules for Rover
Establish clear rules and etiquette for your canine guests and the humans who love them. A few basics include keeping dogs leashed, staying with them at all times, and respecting other guests’ space. Not all dogs are about that brunch life, and your business must present clear guidelines to the types of behaviors that will not be tolerated.
First things last: check state and local health codes before anything else to understand the specific rules and regulations regarding dogs in restaurants in your city and state.
Opening up the outdoor seating in your restaurant, cafe, or bar to man’s best friend can increase profits by accommodating people who are out and about with their pets. Mobile point of sale makes outdoor seating so much easier for your waitstaff, as well as your patrons. Contact Leebro POS today to learn more about mobile POS options!