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Dogs in restaurants, are we all barking or is it the next big thing?

Just about every locale in the UK now has a dog friendly bar, cafe or restaurant, as for pubs, well if you can’t take your dog in there what sort of watering hole is it?!

The appearance of dogs (and the occasional cat on a lead) in bars, cafes and restaurants has, and still is increasing exponentially, some establishments provide food and water, some even make special doggy cakes and biscuits and a few have begun to host dog birthday parties (yes I can assure that is now a ‘thing’).

Being the proprietor of a restaurant (and one with 5 stars for food and hygiene) something just doesn’t quite sit right with me having dogs in the restaurant, who knows what they may do, how they may act at any time, from my perspective it’s a ticking time bomb.

On a more logical note, I think some establishments, destination restaurants for example, which are busy and have lots of people (customers, small children & staff) about, and can at times be a bit frantic, are not dog appropriate establishments (guide dogs excluded).

It’s bad enough on a Saturday night having to navigate, avoid and hurdle small children whilst carrying 4 (hot) plates, imagine throwing 3 dogs on leads into the equation, recipe for disaster.

That being said, if you want to come and sit outside and bring your dog, enjoy a cold beverage (or 2) and have some food, by all means you are more than welcome. When it comes to the inside of my establishment, I’m old fashioned, the sanctity of a restaurant should remain intact and be the exclusive right of humans.

What about the example our continental brethren are setting, our European neighbours in countries such as Italy, Spain and France it’s quite common to see dogs in cafés and bars and the odd restaurant. It’s more of a cultural issue, rather than a legal one. They’re just more open, friendlier and a bit more relaxed. There is no explicit law that dictates dogs cannot enter an establishment (as long as they don’t enter where food is being prepared and cooked) it is a business to business policy and the decision is made at the behest of the proprietor.

According to statistics from 2017/18, just over a quarter (26%) of British households, have a dog, now that is a HUGE amount of potential money to be gained from them frequenting your business. If you want more statistics (secretly we love a good statistic) according to a recent survey by The Kennel Club, 97% of dog friendly business stated that allowing them onto the premises of the their business had added value.

Will I be allowing dogs into the restaurant, in short no, will I allow them and encourage them and their owners to come and sit outside and enjoy some fresh air, food and drink with us, a resounding yes.

Come along, take a seat (outside) and bring the dog.

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