Ahead of National Dog Day on August 26, OpenTable, the world’s leading online restaurant booking platform, has revealed research which finds that one in ten dog owners would prefer to dine with their dog than their friends and family.
This new ‘Doggie Diners’ tribe is taking over the restaurant scene and bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘doggy bag’.
Google searches in the UK for dog-friendly restaurants have steadily risen over the past five years, and with a fifth of 25-34 year old dog owners (19%) preferring to have dinner with their dog than family or colleagues, British consumers are making no bones about the importance of their dogs in their lives. With over half of Brits (57%) saying they would base a pub/restaurant choice on whether or not they could take their dog, and two thirds of women (62%) admitting they would dine at a restaurant if there was a designated doggie offering, it’s clear that restaurateurs would do well to keep man’s best friend in mind when aiming to create the perfect dining experience. Most notably, almost one in three dog owners in Scotland (32.22%) would be more likely to dine at a restaurant if it offered a bespoke doggie menu.
OpenTable’s research has also revealed that restaurant and pub staff are having to deal with a rise in unusual requests by dog owners, with staff reporting demands for everything from spare scraps of meat to dog-friendly cheeseboards and even steaks.
In light of the research, OpenTable has compiled an insider guide to dog-friendly restaurants across the nation. OpenTable already offers users the ability to book a table at an array of restaurants and their insider guide means users will be able to involve man’s best friend too. The list includes dog-friendly hot spots such as Bronte in Charing Cross, a restaurant that not only boasts amazing interior by Tom Dixon but also includes a dog-friendly area, and newly refurbished Bibendum, vision of Claude Bosi which allows dogs into its airy and elegant Art Deco tiled ground floor Oyster Bar.
Adrian Valeriano, Vice President, Europe, OpenTable, comments: “Our research shows that man’s best friend is quickly becoming the ideal dining partner for many owners, and we are seeing restaurants embrace this trend. For diners and their pooches to get the best out of their experience, we have an amazing selection of dog-friendly restaurants and pubs on OpenTable, which allow ‘Doggie Diners’ to dine in style! With traditionally ‘human’ foods such as chicken, salmon, carrots and sweet potato, amongst others, proving to be tasty and nutritious to our four legged friends, dogs and their owners can definitely enjoy fantastic dining experiences together... often from the same menu!”
It’s not just the restaurant industry that has seen a change in the way Brits are treating their dogs. Previous research has shown that millennials are willing to spend more to ensure their pets can enjoy premium, health focused dog food brands. Brands such as Butternut Box are revolutionising the UK pet food market, bringing the recipe box concept to the pet food market they have already cooked over half a million individual meals for our canine companions.
Kevin Glynn and David Nolan of Butternut Box commented: “People view dogs as part of the family, but often, diet-wise, pets get left behind. Pet owners are left choosing their dog food in an aisle cluttered with washing powder and bin bags and dominated by a few unhealthy choices. Butternut Box makes it easy and convenient to ensure dogs get the very best diet tailored for each individual, our products are made with ‘human grade ingredients’. OpenTable has some fantastic restaurants and pubs that you can take your dog to. If you do need to feed your dog whilst out, we would always advise sticking to cuts of cooked meat and vegetables such as peas and carrots.”