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7 Pet Friendly Tips for café/restaurant owners

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

The café and restaurant industry has seen a lot of changes over the last few years, particularly with the rise of social media. Owners and chefs are now having to create meals

that not only taste great, but are also picture worthy. The same applies for the layout of the establishment, a photogenic background can drive in a lot of business.

There's another trend that also goes hand in hand with social media, and that's the rise of pets attending cafes and restaurants.

For example, recent surveys show that baby boomers will walk their dogs less than 70% of days, whilst millenials will walk their dogs 85% of days. However this is not the biggest

shift in behaviour. Pet owners are now taking their dogs with them on average 3.2 times per week to complete errands such as grabbing a coffee or brunch. That's a staggering 11 million

times per week in Australia alone!

One only has to spend a short time on instagram, to also see that pet accounts are very popular, with their owners recording all of their adventures to keep friends updated or to aspire to achieve influencer status.

Some businesses are adapting to this very well and thriving from it, whilst there are others that are likely missing out on customers. We've compiled a list of strategies to help your business take advantage of these trends.

1. Advertise yourself as pet friendly! When given a choice of where to go for brunch, pet owners don't want the embarrassment of turning up at a non-pet friendly establishment. This can be done by adding "pet friendly' on social media sites, or uploading pictures of dogs at your establishment, to let potential customers they are welcome to bring their pooch.

2. Provide bowls of water, and chewy canine treats- Ensuring there is water available for pooches is a great way to not only signal pet friendliness, but also vital for pets health. Canine chewy treats are also becoming popular and a great way for you to earn extra revenue. Try for canine chewy's

3. Dog friendly menu such as Puppachino's- having a dog friendly menu such as puppachino's is a great way to provide value and always great fun!

4. Have a social media page for the dogs that visit your establishment. @dogs_of_Gnh on instagram is a great example of this. They provide access to various bar staff,

who take and upload pictures of the dogs that visit. The page has thousands of followers and people travel from around Melbourne to have a drink, meal and get their pet on the page.

5. Competitions- Lux Foundry is another Melbourne based café who have recently run a "Dog of the year" award, with the winner gaining free brunch for a year! This is

a great way to signal pet friendliness, build a community and exposure for the business. You don't have to give away a whole years food, but why not start with a dog of the month award,

for a free coffee or meal?

6. Make it easy for pet owners to grab a take away coffee or meal- There are often times when pet owners just want to grab a coffee or brief snack and be on their way,

however pets aren't allowed inside so they often walk on by. Providing a Pet Parking area in a safe, shaded area can help facilitate foot traffic to briefly park their pet and

walk in for a coffee. With many apps now able to provide pre-ordering service, this makes it easier than ever.

7. Create a dog themed area for people to take photos. No different than lots of trendy clubs providing backdrops for videos, why not create a dog theme spot for people

to take a pic with their stylish pooch, puppachino in paw?



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