TOP TIPS FOR OWNING A PET-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT
THU, 09 AUG 2018 BY LINDA ROSADO
BUILDING A LIST OF REGULARS AT YOUR PET-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT
In recent years, pet-friendly restaurants have become quite the industry trend. Dog owners enjoy spending time with their furry friends and are looking for restaurants that will welcome them.
It’s an exciting endeavor to open a restaurant that welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes and offers services to make sure both dogs and their owners enjoy their time. Want customers to visit your business again and again? Here are a few tips for owners who are interested in running a successful pet-friendly restaurant.
FIND YOUR NICHE
One of the most important decisions to research when deciding to open a pet-friendly restaurant is the type of customers that your business will draw. Think about who you want to cater to and how you intend to serve them.
Pet owners, of course, are clearly a part of your clientele, but that can cover a variety of people, so try to narrow down your targeted audience. You also want to think about the atmosphere and the overall vibe of your restaurant. What kind of service are your customers expecting? Fast casual or sit down? What kind of layout and décor will draw them in?
A great example of a narrowed down audience is sophisticated empty nesters. These would be older adults in their 50s to early 60s whose children have grown up and moved out of the house. They are likely to have dogs who they want to keep them company at restaurants that are more upscale.
MAKE SURE YOU CAN BE DOG-FRIENDLY
It’s wise to do your research before em-bark-ing on any big decisions when opening a new business. Many states’ policies and regulations differ when it comes to allowing pets in businesses. That’s why researching your state’s rules before adopting a pet-friendly vibe and environment is essential.
All restaurants are required to follow health and safety codes, which may include rules and regulations about allowing dogs and other animals. More often than not, you must keep dogs away from areas where food is prepared or served. So, make sure to check that the code passed by your state allows dogs and be prepared if there are any other restrictions that could surface.
OFFER A WELCOMING OUTDOOR SPACE
Location, location, location! To be easily accessible to dogs and their owners, you’ll need to know that location matters when choosing the spot for your restaurant. Designing a spacious outdoor area for your business is one of the most important aspects of being pet-friendly. Pet owners and their dogs need to able to access this area without having to walk through the main indoor dining area when they visit.
Wide outdoor spaces are nice, but if you are in a place where fall and winter months are rather frigid, it would be smart to invest in amenities like space heaters and fire pits to keep dogs and their owners comfortable year-round.
To keep your pet-friendly outdoor space tidy and in tip-top condition, we suggest investing in materials that will ensure a clean environment. Arming dog owners for any sort of messy accident is important. Items such as DOGIPOT® SMART Litter Pick Up Bags™ are what can make your pet-friendly business stand out from the others around town. Restaurants that make dining out easy and relaxing for dog owners are likely to succeed and have customers return time and time again with their furry friends.
MARKET YOURSELF AS PET-FRIENDLY
Last but certainly not least, know how to market your business as a pet-friendly location in the most effective way. Your advertising efforts should encourage people to bring their dogs with them to dine. Post lively and inviting flyers in areas where dog lovers tend to congregate such as pet stores, obedience schools and dog parks. Let’s not forget, that it’s also important to advertise yourself as dog-friendly in the case that people who don’t love animals or might be allergic would rather not eat at your restaurant.
It’s likely that nearly half of your restaurant’s patrons are dog owners, and it isn’t so easy for these owners to find restaurants and other businesses that happily welcome their furry friends with open arms. Becoming a dog-friendly business will help you stand out from the crowd and expose your restaurant to a larger variety of clientele.