Sat. May 25th, 2024

Why is taking your dog to the cafe hard?

By ki0nk Apr15,2024

In spite of the fact that there are more dogs in Quebec households than ever before, it is still extremely challenging, if not downright impossible, to bring your dog along with you when you want to grab a bite to eat.

According to Le Devoir, dog cafes, which are hidden establishments that have opted to open their doors to man’s best friend, continue to face a great deal of opposition.

Co-owner Vincent Métivier, who founded the business with his sister Audrey two years ago, gave Café Lewis its name in honor of the dog that he owns. Café Lewis is located in Victoriaville. The pleasant expression of a bulldog can also be found on the emblem of the company, and it can be found on a variety of accessories that are sold on the website.

However, there is no possibility of encountering Lewis or any other fuzzy animals inside the institution, which is located on rue Notre-Dame, the town of Victoriaville’s primary commercial thoroughfare.

After being the subject of a complaint that was sent to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ), the management of the café decided to stop accepting canine companions from its clients. This decision was made one month ago.

An inspector stated that the location “was placed under surveillance and risked a fine of $1,000 if a dog was on site,” as explained by Vincent Métivier. This information was provided during a subsequent inspection.

What is the justification that was given? The animals were in the same room as the counter where the grilled cheeses, sandwiches, salads, and soups that are supplied by this “third wave” café are cooked, despite the fact that they did not have access to the counter.

Vincent Métivier says that in order for this to make it through with MAPAQ, there should not be any complicated food preparation taking place on the premises, and the sandwiches should be made in a different area. The quality and freshness of our products are both negatively impacted as a result of this. The act of unwrapping a sandwich that has already been made is not the same as creating a sandwich on the spot.

The regulation (P-29) on food mandates that animals are prohibited in all locations where catering activities are carried out. This is the case even if there are no explicit regulations that prohibit dog cafes.

Yohan Dallaire Boily, a spokeswoman for MAPAQ, stated that the organization is willing to permit the presence of animals in “animal cafes” since “consumers who frequent these places are aware that the vocation of these establishments implies the presence of animals in the food service areas.”

Nevertheless, establishments of this kind are required to implement a number of precautions in order to lessen the likelihood of food contamination. These precautions including taking “reasonable measures to ensure that animals are unable to access food that is made available to the public.”

In spite of this, Vincent Métivier emphasizes that the configuration of the premises had not presented any difficulties during the two prior routine inspections that were conducted by MAPAQ regulators.

“We were always open about our desire that it would be a dog-friendly café café throughout the entirety of the process of acquiring our restaurant license. It is an integral component of both our mission and our values.

In spite of the fact that MAPAQ chose not to comment on the Café Lewis issue, the organization did acknowledge that its inspection service was aware of the file and that “interventions under the Food Act and regulations have taken place and are still in progress.”

Camille Boulanger, the author of the blog Are we going for a walk?, has been compiling a list of “dog-friendly” locations in Quebec and the provinces that border it since the year 2017. Over the course of the past seven years, she thinks that approximately twenty-five dog cafes have opened their doors in Quebec; however, only “two or three” of these establishments are still in operation.

“It comes and goes, and most of the time it doesn’t stay open for very long, but there are still some that actually see the light of day on a regular basis.”

In the past year, Café Emma, which is located in Victoriaville as well, announced that it will no longer be operating as a dog café. In his particular instance, the high cost of his civil liability insurance coverage, which increased from $6,000 to $10,000, was the factor that ultimately decided the outcome.

“In the event of an incident, such as a dog biting a customer, we are required to provide proof of insurance coverage. As a result of the ever increasing expenditures, we were no longer able to afford it. In the midst of a pandemic, Julie Gosselin, who launched the establishment with her boyfriend in September 2020, notes that they made the decision to eliminate the coffee component from the menu.

Instead of being a restaurant, Café Emma has transformed into a day center for dogs, sometimes known as a dog daycare, where owners can leave their pets for a half day to play. Although customers are still able to purchase coffee there, they are required to serve it themselves.

All for the sake of canines
In the case of dog cafes, the formula for success has not yet been discovered. The Café Arthur in Laval is making an effort to get there, despite the fact that there are a growing number of hurdles.

Having opened its doors in 2019, the restaurant, which is located in an old garage that has been totally restored, put out the red carpet to welcome customers who bring their dogs.

The presence of heated flooring guarantees that the pads of guests will remain dry, while the presence of a double door system prevents Fido and his companions from escaping. The animals have access to water bowls at all times, and the terrace is constructed in such a way that even a chihuahua of a little size is unable to escape.

When asked about the costs associated with running a dog café, Sébastien Bourget, who launched the establishment alongside his partner Maria Bermudez, recalled that the costs were substantial.

He believes that the expense of paper, feces bags, and disinfecting alone amount to between $300 and $350 a month for the organization.


By ki0nk

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