How to Make Your Venue Pet Friendly

Tidy your patio… you’ve got some furry customers on the way! Pet owners are in high demand of Puppuccinos. It is estimated that 63% of Australian households own pets, 39% of whom own dogs. This barks for pet friendly venues.

Whilst being on the leash all week stuck in the office, on the road or lacking some leisure time, come the weekend the best thing to do is go out and chill out with two-legged AND four-legged friends.

If you’re considering whether to welcome these cuddly customers, there are a few things to consider…

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Is your venue space pet “appawpriate”?

Firstly, you need to ensure you have a suitable layout for the comfort of both your customers and their pets.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have enough space?
  • Are your surroundings feasible for pets?
  • Do you need to rearrange tables and chairs?
  • Are you complying with health and safety regulations?
  • Is the location of food handling sufficiently separate from the pet area?
  • Does access to your outdoor area require customers to pass through main dining areas?

You should take these factors into account when considering becoming a pet friendly venue, to maximise the satisfaction, health and safety of your customers.

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How to attract pet owners

The next best thing to do is to market your venue’s pet-friendliness to your customers. This is also important for those who may suffer pet allergies and cannot be around animals.

The easiest way to market your venue as pet friendly is to hang up “Pet Friendly” signs in visible areas.

You can also create an appeal through cause-related marketing by donating proceeds to RSPCA.

Offering pets fresh clean water and treats can also invite this niche to grab a table and hang out with good food, good drinks and good company.

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Enhance social media interaction  

Promoting your pet friendly venue on social media channels can help to capture and draw in your audience.

Creating a hashtag and encouraging your customers to use it for posts of their pets at your venue can also boost brand awareness. This can drive traffic to your pages and allow you to increase your interaction with visitors through future campaigns, such as ‘puppy parties’ or ‘menu for mutts’.

If you do create a pet-specific menu, be sure to update your hospitality POS system to track pet-friendly sales and judge whether it’s worthwhile!

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“Paws” and Cons

Becoming a pet friendly venue comes with many advantages. It can create appeal to a wider market, boost your social media presence, provide a “fun” environment and can draw in more customers.

However there are factors you also need to be aware of in the case of unforeseen situations. For example, how will you deal with disorderly canine conduct and doggie doo-doos, or not-so-friendly pets (or customers!) who may be aggressive to your other patrons?

In deciding to allow pets on your premises, it is important to take into account these factors and implement preventative measure to avoid undesirable situations. A classic measure is to ask that dogs remain on leashes at all times.

To avoid any legal penalties, you could face by having pets on your premises, it is essential you comply with relevant state and local health and safety regulations.

Want to gain more tips on how to optimise your venue? Make sure you keep up to date with our hospitality insights and news on the Impos blog.