The hospitality industry has arguably taken one of the worst hits in the past few years and it’s sad to say, many are really struggling.
Brexit dispersed many international hospitality workers and led to huge staffing shortages, not to mention causing the cost of food and beverage products to spiral out of control. The pandemic exacerbated this disaster even further; and now, in and amongst a raging cost of living crisis, less and less people can afford to eat out, and those who can aren’t eating out as often.
In addition to this, many businesses are claiming that energy bills are more than quadrupling, and landlords are putting up rent to cover their own increasing costs. So it’s inevitable when it comes to renewing contracts, lots of long-suffering hospitality business owners are left with no choice but to close their doors, if they haven’t gone out of business already.
Now is the time for all hospitality business owners (who are clinging on) to think outside the box, get smart, and tap into a lucrative customer base.
According to 2023 statistics, The World Animal Foundation estimates that 10million UK households now have a dog, and a Kennel Club survey across the UK’s hospitality industry has found that a around 80% of pub managers believe that their dog friendly policy is instrumental to their financial success.
So, if you’re not dog friendly already, here are some great reasons why you should think about welcoming furry, four legged friends into your hospitality business:
To expand your customer base
Modern dog owners are much more conscious about leaving their dogs for extended periods; in fact, KC research indicated that 55% of dog owners said they would stay out for longer, and therefore (hopefully) spend more, if they could bring their dog with them. Interestingly, the KC survey also found that dog owners were more likely to support local businesses than those who don’t have pets.
You could maximise on your additional, furry guests and offer a “doggy menu”. Stock some doggy treats, and owners can buy treats for their dogs to enjoy while they are eating – what a pawfect way to boost your sales! People who like to eat out with their dogs are more likely to return again and again when they find a dog-friendly atmosphere to enjoy, where the staff make a fuss of their pet.
Obtain a unique selling point
Becoming dog friendly in a competitive market can give you the edge over your local competitors. Dog friendly bars and eateries will be particularly attractive for potential customers who don’t want to choose between going out and spending time with their pet.
Capture a friendlier atmosphere
The Kennel Club also reported that 96% of hospitality participants in a survey noticed a marked improvement in overall atmosphere within an establishment whilst dogs were present, which was mostly attributed to the increased level of friendly interaction between guests and staff.
Boost your social media engagement
Dog owners love sharing their experiences with their pets on social media platforms. If your business is dog-friendly, customers are more likely to post about their positive experiences, generating free word-of-mouth advertising and valuable social media exposure.
With dogs playing an equal role in family life these days, it stands to reason that businesses who welcome our furry family members are going to attract attention.
Take a look at our dog friendly eateries on Wooflinks.