Cat cafes have been a popular idea in Japan and other Asian countries for several years now. However, dog cafes have remained an astounding but an unrealized idea for in the US and other Asian countries as well.
Opening a cafe is itself difficult so considering opening a dog cafe is more difficult. Some simple reasons are maintaining food safety and hygiene standards because of the presence of pets in the cafe. In this article, I am going to include all the necessary information you will need to keep in mind before you make decisions for starting your dog cafe business.
Partner With Animal Shelters to Promote Adoption
This is the foremost step you need to take wisely for opening a dog cafe. New entrepreneurs have found a loophole in this business: partner with a local shelter to facilitate adoption. This won’t only bring pet parents to your cafe but also will attract people who simply are looking for a new furry family member.
This isn’t all. When people don’t prefer to own a dog yet but would like to spend some time with pets, they would pay a nominal entry fee and enjoy their cuppa joe with dogs. However, who has just come there to adopt a dog probably would love to have a coffee and undoubtedly help the dog shelter for giving a forever home to a pooch.
While visitors can’t just scamper away out of the cafe with pooches under their arms, they can fill out an adoption interest questionnaire during their visits to start the adoption process. Here’s an interview where you can know about how adoption cafe in the shelter works. You can relate the idea to a dog cafe.
For example, a cat cafe called Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California, helped 32 cats to find their forever homes. This cafe specifically offers the most juvenile cats – for maximum playfulness with guests – and works with a local cat rescue center to help many kittens they come to care for. Similar ideas can be used for dog cafes.
Create a Business Plan
Your business plan should cover all the aspects of your business including acquiring or renting the shop, finalizing the location, deciding menus, partnering with local shelters, legal documents, bank accounts, tax ID numbers, business licenses, and more. There are many websites dedicated to the process of creating detailed plans for a business. Do you have a close friend or a relative running a pet cafe? That’d be great. Seek their guidance and help for building up a business plan.
Secure a Location
The next most important decision is to decide the location of your dog cafe. The key points to keep in mind are accessibility for patrons, availability of free parking, knowing the target crowd and the possibility of converting them into your customers. In addition, you should select the place with optimum space required to accommodate all the customers as well as dogs to play and rest when they need. In a nutshell, secure a location as per your business plan and make sure you complete all the legal procedures.
Research Local Regulations and Restrictions
It is crucial to research any health regulations that might affect the whole idea of getting dogs and coffee along in the same area. Your city and or country might also require you to maintain separate dining and dog access areas.
Moreover, you will also need to check with your local agencies about the licenses and zoning permits that will be required. They will also dictate the occupancy of the cafe, meaning, how many patrons will be allowed in the cafe at one time and other such things.
Decide The Model Of Operation
There are some cafes that charge visitors an entry fee which is refundable if the person buys food or drinks, or adopts a dog. Well, you can also choose not to refund the entry fee. Some dog cafes also provide free refreshments to everyone who visits the cafe and some don’t. So, decide wisely what’s your call.
You will also need to decide if you’ll allow walk-in traffic or a reservation-based system. Most dog cafes are so famous that they have to have a reservation system, especially during prime hours. In addition, you can also allow patrons to rent the entire space for private parties.
Determine Menu and Pricing
When making a business plan, make sure you have considered Menu & Pricing prominent. You will have to figure out the specialty drinks and food according to the customer preferences and then have to decide which food and beverage items are having a discount on special hours or days. Keeping the menu enticing with great offers can lure crowds on the days you desire. In addition, the entry fee is also a decisive factor for pricing.
Decide The Name Of Your Cafe & Build A Website
While deciding the name of your dog cafe and building a website is easy and of less importance, you should do this in the first place. When you establish your cafe and people started visiting it, they are going to write reviews and suggestions. If your website is not visually and graphically appealing, that will leave a bad impression on your valuable customers. The name of your cafe should be unique and dog-friendly which is easy to be remembered, short, and easily pronounced. In short, a brandable name is required for your dog cafe.
Conclusively, I would like to go through all the pointers I have discussed here. Do thorough research, seek the proper guidance from the experts and the people who have successfully established their pet cafes and also from who failed. If you have any questions you want to ask, hit the comment section below. Long may the canines live!