10 Suggestions for Restaurants Who Accept Dogs
I also have some suggestions for restaurants who accept dogs on their premises, designated or otherwise:
Dogs are Allowed
In 2014, Governor Brown signed legislation allowing dogs in restaurant patios and courtyards. Prior to this, only service animals were allowed and any non-service animals would potentially result in Health Code violations. However, it is now up to the restaurant owner if they wish to accommodate dogs in designated seating areas.
Put the word out!
If you offer a dog-friendly seating/serving area, let people know. Get the word out to vets, grooming shops, pet stores, etc. as they often have clients who ask for recommendations.
Write a policy with guidelines addressing your expectations as a restaurant owner detailing under what circumstances dogs are welcome. Be sure your verbiage is plain, clear and to the point but also welcoming.
List out how violations of the policy will be handled - will there be a fee added to the bill, will they be asked to leave, etc..
Follow through with enforcement quietly and kindly but firmly.
Write an in-house policy for your staff detailing how to handle any issues that arise including accidents, policy violations, etc. and who is the designated handler (MOD?).
Post the policy and guidelines in the designated dog-friendly area. You can have fun with this and create something attention-getting with the signage. Consider a reduced version as table tents for all tables in the dog-designated area.
Not everyone likes dogs or wants to eat with them around. Be sure you tell any patrons that are choosing the dog-friendly zone before you seat them in case they wish to be seated elsewhere.
Include on Website
Post your policy and guidelines on your website and your Facebook page.
If you don't wish to accommodate dogs at all, be honest about not having an area for them. Most of all, be nice, friendly and kind about it. Many dog parents are offended if you come off disgusted or dismissive about the subject. If you show that you like dogs but unfortunately just aren't set up for them you can prevent any hard feelings. Be sure your staff is trained in the appropriate response as well.