During these dog days of summer, owners don’t want to keep their pampered pooch locked up at home. They want to spend time with them in the great outdoors. After a long walk in the park or through the city, more and more dog owners are looking to grab a bite to eat with their canine companions. Luckily, more restaurants are embracing this trend and offering appropriate kibble for both man AND his best friend.
Easy Ways to Attract Fido and their Money Spending Owners
Want to cash in on this business? Start with your outdoor dining space as most health departments will frown upon non-certified service dogs inside your establishments. This may limit your canine customers to seasonal visits when your outdoor spaces are usable. Also, some local health departments may impose restrictions on animals even if they are kept outside or in areas away from general food preparation. There are no federal laws dealing with animals inside food establishments, but state laws may vary.
Whether you advertise as being dog friendly, or simply don’t turn away dogs with their human companions, make sure you have organized policies. Potential situations can arise ranging from excited or aggressive barking to dogs that just don’t know how to excuse themselves and visit the facilities. Make sure your service staff clearly knows your handle these situations, including appeasing other customers who don’t agree with your dog friendly policies. Stress the importance of proper hand-washing after interacting or petting one of your canine customers.
Most dog friendly establishments will offer well-behaved dogs a complimentary bowl of water. Consider using disposable or dedicated dog bowls for this purpose and wash them by hand or separately from your normal dishware for added food safety. Other restaurants may decide to create dog friendly versions of their human dishes or offer snacks from local dog bakeries. When serving food specifically for the canine set, be especially careful in the ingredients as some common spices may be potentially harmful to a dog.
The ‘Secret Menus’ for Dogs
You might not know it, but major chains have already embraced the dog trend with secret (and not so secret) dog menus. Foodbeast compiled a list of these ‘secret doggie menus‘ in March of 2015. Their list included the Puppuccino from Starbucks (a small cup filled with whipped cream), the Pup Patty from In-N-Out Burger (a simple unseasoned patty with no salt), and the specially made Doggie Cupcakes from Sprinkles (a sugar-free cupcake topped with a yogurt frosting). It’s worth the read for some clever ideas!
Going ‘Dog Friendly’? Let Everyone know!
When dog lovers need help choosing a dog friendly restaurant, hotel or attraction – many visit bringfido.com! The website was started in 2005 by dog lover Melissa Halliburton as a clearinghouse for user submitted information on dog policies and dog friendly offerings at over 25,000 worldwide hotels and thousands of restaurants. Users can search by location each location is user rated on a scale of 1 to 5 bones.
A search of Central Restaurant’s home base of Indianapolis showed 25 dog friendly restaurants that included some of the city’s best known names. Some restaurants were listed as welcoming dogs to their outside patios, while other users provided information like “provided a water bowl.”
The website provides an easy way for users or restaurateurs to submit an establishment too. After submitting basic information like the name, location, type of cuisine and a description of the restaurant, Bring Fido immediately posts the listing on their site which allows other users to rate and review it.
With thousands of visitors looking for dog answers every day, a simple listing could significantly boost your business. Don’t forget to prominently feature your dog dining policies on your website and social media profiles as well!
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We want to be the restaurateur’s best friend. We have over 65,000 items available for purchase on our CentralRestaurant.com as well as competitive prices. Need a little help? Our team of Product Consultants will be as loyal as your childhood puppy with answers to your questions, expert advice and any assistance you may need to open or grow your business. Contact them via phone at 800-521-1277 or start an online chat right now.