As businesses with a national presence continue to open their doors to our four-legged friends (e.g., TD Bank, Days Inn, Motel 6), restaurants are getting into the act as well. There is a growing national trend for restaurants with outdoor dining options to welcome people with their pups. Even high-end eating establishments are beginning to recognize the societal shift that is taking place as the dog becomes more and more a member of the family that won’t be left at home when the family goes out.
While there are varied health-code restrictions depending on where you live, more often than not as long as the dog doesn’t have to enter the eating establishment to get to the outdoor dining area, there shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve previously blogged about the Dog-Friendly Downtown Program Sloppy Kisses spearheaded in Downtown Saratoga Springs, New York. We have several eateries with outdoor dining options in the program. The restaurateurs have been very pleased with the response from the doggie community. One restaurant in particular has played host to several doggie birthday parties. Some of the tabs on these pup parties have approached that of a wedding rehearsal dinner or a retirement party. Needless to say, if dining with the dog helps the bottom line, it’s not too hard to convince restaurant owners to go dog-friendly.
Do you have a restaurant in your area with a pleasant, outdoor patio that would be perfect for dogs and their owners to enjoy a night out? Don’t hesitate to approach the restaurant owner with a proposal on going dog-friendly. Maybe start with a one-time Yappy Hour just to give the restaurant owner a flavor of what he/she can expect if they were to become dog-friendly. The restaurant will undoubtedly benefit as will your business as you continue to develop customer loyalty through creative means like this one.
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