Dogs are the human’s best friend for a reason. They’re cute, loyal, and make for an excellent companion. For this reason, many owners wish to bring their dogs with them to their favorite restaurants. Pet-friendly restaurants have surfaced all over the globe to allow you to bring your best friend along for a meal. So, should restaurants also include a dog menu?
A dog menu is an excellent way for restaurants to gain an extra income while also providing treats for customers’ dogs, which can keep them better behaved at the restaurant, solve scrap-eating behavioral issues, and make families feel that their dog is included in the service.
It is an excellent idea for pet-friendly restaurants to add a dog menu. It provides more benefits than disadvantages. Let’s take a look into some of those advantages now.
What Is a Dog Menu?
Most importantly, let’s get into what might be your first question on the matter. What is a dog menu?
In simple terms, a dog menu is a menu just like ours; it often includes special dog treats, long-chew bones, raw dog food, and other special treats.
A popular dog-themed Cafe, Lazy Dog Cafe, offers its own dog menu. They feature foods like a grilled hamburger bowl, a chicken breast bowl, and a bowl of water. They also list their patio rules for anyone bringing a dog to the restaurant.
What to Add to a Dog Menu
This begs the question (get it?) of what you should add to your restaurant menu for dogs. Make sure that you make it unique, don’t copy other restaurants, and use your own style and flair. Something that goes hand-in-hand with your theme will be a real crowd-pleaser. Here are some popular dog menu items.
Raw meat with grains
Cooked unseasoned meat and vegetables
A large bone for long-term chewing
A bowl of water for hydration
Puppy ice cream
Special homemade dog treats
You can get creative with the simple menu items above and add your own twist to the names, making them sound appealing and fun. You can even add a theme and make specialty-shaped dog biscuits or use dog-safe food coloring.
Pros and Cons of a Dog Menu
If you’re still unsure about whether you should add a dog menu to your restaurant, it’s time to look at the overall pros and cons of adding a dog menu.
Dog menus are an excellent way to encourage extra sales while also appealing to your customers. Pet owners love to have a pet-friendly area where their dog can eat alongside their table, as long as he follows the restaurant rules.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of adding your own dog menu.
Pros of a Dog Menu
Here are some of the overall pros about starting a dog menu:
Customers who are looking for pet-friendly establishments will most likely return time and time again.
You can make more sales creatively that other restaurants in your area are not taking advantage of.
Adding a dog area outside if you already have patio space doesn’t cost anything and can significantly influence your level of business.
Dog menus are a cute and easy way to introduce a theme to a pet-friendly restaurant.
Giving dogs at your restaurant something to eat keeps them distracted and limits scrap-eating behaviors and barking.
The most crucial pro about adding a dog menu is that dog meals cost very little to make, and you can even bring in local pet stores to make dog treats for your kitchen, adding a local feel and sense of community to your establishment.
Cons of a Dog Menu
Here are some of the overall cons about starting your dog menu:
Some dogs are not well-behaved, and you may find that it causes concerns for your business.
You may not have the resources or time to add extra items to your menu just for dogs.
Some customers with allergies may turn away from your restaurant if they can’t see that your dog area is separated from the main eating room.
You’ll have to make sure your restaurant is up to the health code in your state when it comes to having animals near food.
Always make sure to research before starting a pet-friendly restaurant. If your restaurant is already pet-friendly, a dog menu can be significant.
Note: Even if your restaurant isn’t pet-friendly, you can add a blurb in your menu towards owners of service dogs, offering them treats or water for their working dog when they come in.
Now, let’s get into some of the most frequently asked questions about pet menus and starting one for your restaurant.
Can you feed a dog in a restaurant?
You are legally allowed to feed dogs at your restaurant, as long as it fits local and state codes. You must look at:
The pet-friendly designated area
What types of pets you’re feeding
The kind of food or treats you offer
Your rules for your pet-friendly area
If you keep all of these items in concordance with your state’s laws, you’ll have no problem feeding a dog in your restaurant.
How do I make my restaurant dog-friendly?
If you’re looking to make your restaurant more dog-friendly, it’s a great idea to follow these tips.
Choose an outdoor seating area where dogs can accompany their owners. You can create an indoor seating area if it’s got grass flooring and is cleaned often and away from the main eating areas.
Have a pet relief area outside of the restaurant so that you can avoid accidents within your eating areas.
Offer bowls of water along with your dog menu to help hydrate the pups that visit.
Include signs for your guests about your dog area rules
Above all, make sure your guests know that aggressive and untrained dogs are not permitted on the premises and will be asked to leave. It’s essential to keep all restaurant guests safe.
A dog menu can be a welcome addition to any restaurant. Those who have a dog at home who doesn’t usually get to go along to their favorite restaurants will now be able to try new dishes explicitly made for them. It’s a puppy paradise waiting to happen. So, get to work on your new puppy menu template and dog rules and start your dog menu today.