Dining out with dogs - how our pets shape our social lives

Most dog owners surveyed are willing to put their dog’s needs before their own when dining out.

By Fiona Evans
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 10:36 am
More than a third of surveyed Brits refuse to dine at a restaurant that doesn’t accept pets (photo: Adobe)
More than a third of surveyed Brits refuse to dine at a restaurant that doesn’t accept pets (photo: Adobe)

Loyal and loving they are known as ‘man’s best friend’ for good reason.

Our dogs are a cherished part of our families and are factored into various aspects of our social lives, especially it seems, eating out.

Restaurateurs may ignore our beloved pets at their peril as new research reveals the extent of their impact on where we choose to dine.

More than a third (35 percent) of surveyed Brits refuse to eat at a restaurant that doesn’t accept pets - even if it comes highly recommended and means missing out on a special occasion - according to the findings from restaurant booking platform, OpenTable.

Blokes take a particularly strong stance, with 46 percent of UK men turning down the opportunity to dine out if they can’t bring their furry friend, compared to 27 percent of UK women.

When dining with dogs this summer, just under half of Brits surveyed will only take their pet with them if they’re eating outdoors.

The most common struggle owners report facing is finding a pet-friendly restaurant, followed by keeping their pet in the shade, keeping them comfortable, and keeping them hydrated.

Findings also show that 42 percent of new dog owners take their pet with them every time they socialise, including to bars and restaurants, which means newer dog owners are more likely to bring a dog to the party than those who have had their pet for more than two years.

Most (88 percent) dog owners surveyed revealed that they’re willing to put their dog’s needs before their own when dining out.

The top reasons for doing so include ensuring their pet is comfortable and that their health is not being put at risk by environmental factors such as overheating.

Whether Brits are looking to eat with their dog or simply want to enjoy the warm, sunny weather, OpenTable’s Top 50 Outdoor Dining Restaurants list provides ample options for prospective diners.

With a variety of dog-friendly locations people can rest assured that both themselves, and their pet, can find a suitable alfresco dining spot.

Robin Chiang, VP EMEA OpenTable, said: “As the warm weather continues and diners across the UK look to secure those outside spots, our Top 50 Outdoor Dining list highlights the range of brilliant restaurants that are perfect for personalised dining, alfresco.”

According to the survey of 1,000 people, representative of UK adult dog owners, 61 percent of British diners questioned are booking ahead to secure sought-after outdoor tables this summer.

And this figure increases to 71 percent among Gen Z and male diners.

The research’s findings also show that the average UK diner is most likely to choose a pub garden for enjoying a meal alfresco, followed by a beachfront, courtyard and then rooftop bars.

The complete Top 50 list can be viewed by visiting: https://www.opentable.co.uk/lists/top-50-outdoor-dining-2022

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