It’s a beautiful day at your café. You’ve just finished putting out your patio furniture for the afternoon and you can’t help but notice potential clients walking by, leash in hand, with their favorite pup. If you are looking to draw these customers and their cuddly canines into your store, it might be time to cater to your market. There are only a handful of things that people love more than their dogs, significant others, paid vacation, and of course cafes that celebrate pups by having a meet and greet bring your dog day. For this business option, advertisement and making sure your café is ready are essential, in this article we will cover what it takes to transform your outdoor space into a puppy haven.
For this venture to work, you do not need to necessarily lock yourself into becoming a dog-friendly café, however to get the weekend warriors to your space having this option could not only bring in new clientele but sustain them into long term customers. Advertising a special event for pups is crucial for your café’s one-off or monthly gathering of owners and their dogs. Offer specials, advertise an open space, and the chance to mingle for both humans and their dogs. On your advertisement mention if it is an enclosed off-leash area, or rather a sit and stay with pups leashed to their owners’ tables. Both can offer safe and appealing attractions. Your store should be clearly marked as pet friendly, and if you do not want pups inside the café make sure there is clear labeling for that as well. If you phrase it as a meet and greet to your bring your dog day, it gives owners the chance to feel more comfortable mingling, and encourages them to stay for longer than just their one coffee.
Before we talk specials and catering to your dog clients, your space and how it is set up is key to your level of success. If you have an enclosed outdoor patio make sure that it has an outdoor exit for dogs, and determine if you are comfortable with an off leash policy. One of the more successful platforms for owners and their dogs is having an outdoor window that allows them to purchase coffee without necessarily entering the café. Enclosed spaces like cafés can crowd bigger dogs, or make some pups feel anxious in the store. This way owners do not have to tie up their dogs prior to a purchase, and can get take away coffee incase their dog gets a bit too energetic for your space. The takeaway window should offer both to go cups but also the same sit and stay coffee mugs for clients who wish to partake in a little mingling fun in your space. Having plenty of room to roam for pups is important, especially if you notice that your clients have, on average, larger dogs. Try to have plenty of fresh cool water dishes for your customer’s best friend and plenty of outdoor plants for sniffs and emergencies. To really make the event special consider photo booths and generating a hashtag for your customers to use with their favorite friend. To really bring your space over the top with dog friendly fun, offer toys for dogs to play or cuddly beds for a quick snooze. Ideally your customers should be able to enjoy a chat and cup of coffee while their dog either plays with a new group of friends or takes a quick nap. Playing into your customers love of their animals, and talking about their pet will not only make them happy, but will encourage them to use social media to make your café go viral in their friend group. Having these dog day meet ups monthly can grow your clientele base and offer you some free advertisement.
To really take a special Bring Your Dog Day to the next level, offer puppy-friendly snacks and beverages. While it may seem that dogs only need water, there is actually a whole market of dog friendly beverages, one adorably named the puppuccino is even offered at large drive through chains. Both your customer and their dog can sip on a beverage mingle with potential new friends, and snap pictures for a little free advertising for your café. On top of beverages for dogs, organic or fresh made snacks can bring in quite a bit of revenue, they can range from fresh baked treats to dog bowl food options. You can offer these specials with similarly named food for your human customers for the ultimate co-companion coffee date. The food and beverages should be certified and organic and include listed ingredients. Owner are often rightfully concerned about what goes into their dog’s sensitive stomachs. Researching common puppy allergies, chocolate, milks, and macadamia nuts is a good start to developing your snacks. Many owners will stray away from overly proceed items, so if your café is capable fresh made options will draw in more purchases.
If you feel like your café is all ready to go with these new Bring Your Dog Day meetups, consider having dog etiquette reminders in your café, this could save you and your staff a few awkward moments with new owners. This can also save experienced owners some stress of having other dogs interacting poorly in your café, and reduce any major conflicts. Having a special dog day for the approximately 70-80 million dog owners in the united states, that’s about 37% to 47% of households with puppies, could really draw in more clients to your café. If you are concerned about your long term customers opting for a different café on your dog day, have an area that is a pup free zone, so some clientele can enjoy the regular cappuccino without worrying about being approached by a dog or their allergies. Make sure to take plenty of pictures for a little décor and future marketing, there is nothing better than a cute dog photo as the face of your café.