Having Pets on the Patio is not free or easy

By on June 7, 2016
Pets on the patios in Omaha has been a hot topic. And since Omaha.dog has taken restaurants that are not complying with city ordinances off its list of “dog-friendly” places because of the city, we’d like to inform readers of the real costs to make pets on the patio possible.
Having dogs on the patio is not as easy as just saying, “Yes! We love dogs! Bring your dogs to our patios!”
There are many costs associated with restaurants being able to have the means necessary to accommodate dogs, other customers, and staff.  If a restaurant wants to allow dogs on their patios, they are required to have liability insurance. What if a dog bites someone? That costs money to insure against.  A portable hand washing station is another cost. Staff will need separate cleaning supplies and restaurants will need a separate entrance for dogs- yet more costs.
One of the two restaurants that allow dogs and have complied with the variance’s rules says it took upwards of $3,000 to get their patio variance qualified. They weren’t happy with the costs, but they know they will benefit in the long run from being one of the only truly dog-friendly patios.
It’s a mess. It’s disheartening to hear these costs. BUT- the important thing to remember is that it’s not as simple as most think. If a restaurant is part of a corporate chain, it’s easier to afford. A local business with one location might not have $3,000 to spend on making their patio dog-friendly, though they’d love to be.
And that’s why a Change.org petition has been started; pets on the patio advocates hope to draw attention to the super high costs associated with compliance and the new variance. It will be up to the county to assess the costs and complaints, then change or not.
Stay tuned for updates.


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