6 tips to make the dog days of summer the doggone best time around.

Hot dog! (And human.) The heat is on, creating cravings for cool treats and even cooler experiences. Here are four ways to make your cafe the hot spot for customers and their four-legged friends as the mercury rises.

Tip 1: Create creature comforts.

Hear us out: making your coffee shop a pet-friendly space increases visitorship–and gives customers a wag-worthy vibe.

In many households and communities, pets are considered part of the family. And while some coffee shops only allow service animals due to health codes, allergens, or personal preference, making your space pet-friendly can also make it human-friendly, widening your circle of prospective customers.

If you don’t like the idea of adding furry friends to your clientele, we can dig it. The tips in this post are designed to increase creature comforts for coffee shops’ other best friends, as well: human customers seeking optimum refreshment.

Barista dogs

Tip 2: Keep their (and your) options open.

Some people prefer the climate controlled oasis of an air conditioned coffee shop. Others enjoy the rarefied air of cafe al fresco on outdoor patios. If you have the ability–and real estate–offer customers a variety of options for seating and to help regulate their temperature.

For air conditioned seating, keep it chill while also keeping it comfortable. Make sure people are having a blast–and aren’t being blasted out by air conditioning.

Interested in offering outdoor seating, but don’t have a patio? Don’t worry. Consider adding small chairs and tables in the front and back of your shop (as allowed) to maximize customers’ people-watching–and to implicitly advertise your shop as the perfect place to hang out and grab a cup or a snack.

Tip 3: Apply the SPF.

To your outdoor spaces–not your guests. (Because that would just be weird.)

Keep guests comfortable and sun-safe by providing “sun protection factor” via umbrellas and sunshades. These easy-to-procure, easy-to-set-up additions can also serve as a means to reflect your brand’s personality as they tie into your shop’s palette, theme, brand vibe, and more. (No shade to tree shade, of course.)

Overachiever? Up the cool factor with other summer decor options that set your place apart and make your environment even more picturesque.

Barista dogs

Tip 4: Say A-OK to H2O.

Hydration is life–and it can add new life to your cafe. In addition to providing plenty of water and ice, stock up on Liquid Death, an uber-popular brand customers love. Stock up on reusable water bottles branded with your logo so customers can take their hydration on the go–and your brand goes with them. If your porch is open for pooches, offer them water in non-breakable, chemical-safe bowls.

Tip 5: Have treats on tap.

Humans and pets love getting their paws on snacks. Offer warm weather favorites (fruity pastries are always a winner) for people, and get brownie points with the dogs by providing a variety of healthy biscuits and treats. You can even make your own with these great and easy recipes. (Psst: There are people-friendly recipes there, too!)

Barista dogs

Tip 6: Win Best in Show for community engagement.

Put your time and money where your heart is. Benefit a local animal shelter with a Paws on the Patio event. Options abound, including inviting adoptable dogs to connect with humans on the patio, a humorous pet show that garners donations to the shelter, a fundraiser (emphasis on the fun) with themed drinks to those who adopt or give, and more. No matter how you express your support, you’ll create pawsitive vibes in your community.