As mentioned towards the end of 2017, the team at Pupp decided to close the cafe side of the business to spend more time on other projects (more on that below!). Today we're delighted to introduce you to the new occupants of 37 Clanbrassil St Lower - The Thursday Cafe!
The Thursday Cafe is a delightful local restaurant focused on honest, hearty food with organic Irish Ingredients. Featuring a tasty menu with lots of options for vegetarians, vegans, and everybody else, the cafe is open now in the spot where the Pupp Cafe used to be. You can find more details about The Thursday Cafe on their Facebook page, and we wish them the best of luck!
We're delighted to say The Thursday Cafe is also dog-friendly, so you're welcome to bring your pup with you!
The cafe has been open and serving delicious food and coffee for the last few weeks (7 days a week).
While the cafe is now closed, Pupp is still selling a great range of fun and exclusive dog accessories through www.Pupp.ie. Later in 2018 we'll also be examining some new and exciting business ideas so stay tuned on that front!
In the meantime, we're not the type to sit on our hands :) Since closing the cafe Paul has been working hard on a very different project - creating Dublin's newest video game studio! Their first game has just been released for Android phones, with more details below.
Zombles is a free puzzle game for Android phones featuring a cast of shambling undead as they try to turn the last remaining survivors and reclaim the planet from humanity's grasp. Download it for free from the Google Play Store today!
An eclectic update this time, but lots of exciting things happening at the moment! Be sure to pop into The Thursday Cafe next time you're in the area, and give Zombles a go if you have an Android phone.
Thanks again to everyone who has been part of the journey, we'll be taking a bit of time off over the next few months but will be back with more news on Pupp later this year!
Ella & Paul
Two and a half years ago we created Pupp to make Ireland more dog-friendly, and feel incredibly proud that it has driven such progress towards that goal. There are now over 20 dog-friendly food businesses in Dublin (check out IComeUndone or Lovin Dublin for details), the Food Safety Authority have updated the law to officially permit dogs in restaurant and bars, and The Dog-Friendly Association of Ireland (our b2b organisation helping companies become dog-friendly) has grown to over 100 members including some of the largest employers in the country.
We are delighted with the progress and as outlined in our October announcement (read all about it here), feel it is now time for us to take some time off before we start exploring some of the other, more radical ideas and ambitions we have for Pupp. To that end, we have decided that December 17th 2017 will be our final day running the Pupp cafe.
We received a flood of interest since the announcement, and as of January 2018 will welcome an incredible food business that we are HUGE fans of to the Clanbrassil St premises. We're really excited about their food and offerings, and think their values around community, health, and wellbeing will be a great continuation of the cafe.
Having considered the future of the business at length, we chose not to include the Pupp name, brand, website, etc as part of the deal with the new occupiers. The new tenants of 37 Clanbrassil St have a clean slate to run their business as they wish, and the cafe will rebrand as part of the change. We'll be able share more details soon!
Though the restaurant be changing, we'll still be very much continuing the other elements of Pupp. Pupp's online store will continue to sell a great range of fun and exclusive dog accessories in Ireland. Similarly, our work on the Dog-Friendly Association (www.DFAI.ie) will carry on as before.
As mentioned in the previous blog post, we have some other projects planned for early next year however now have the flexibility to explore some other ideas for the Pupp business in the longer term. Stay tuned for more news on that front!
In the meantime, we're super excited to tell everyone about the fabulous business that will take over the Clanbrassil St space as of January 2018! Thanks again to everyone who has been part of the Pupp journey so far, and we look forward to introducing you to a brand new Clanbrassil St food business soon!
Ella & Paul
Over the last few years Pupp has been a fantastic, challenging, rewarding, insane adventure. Today, we’re announcing our intention to take a step back and allow someone else the opportunity to continue the journey.
This may not come as a surprise to some - we’ve been running Pupp in our spare time since Ella returned to full-time employment earlier this year. As any restaurant owner can attest, there’s a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, and managing from a distance requires extra attention to ensure food quality, service levels, cleanliness etc remain best in class. It’s very much a labour of love, but with a few more adventures planned for next year we’re looking to free up some time and maybe even enjoy some time off!
We’re delighted with the development of the cafe over the last few years, and have proven the concept both commercially and from a legislative perspective. It’s been great to see so many other places opening up to our canine companions, and we plan to continue our work on the Dog-Friendly Association of Ireland (www.DFAI.ie) to share our expertise with other businesses.
The reception Pupp received, and the continued support of lots of loyal customers, demonstrates the enormous demand for dog-friendly environments in Ireland. It also shows that being dog-friendly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or experience for visitors that don’t have a dog - a huge number of Pupp guests just come for the food and atmosphere, and don’t even have a furry friend with them. The restaurant has continually received some of the highest customer reviews in Dublin (currently 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor, 4.9/5 on Facebook, 4.8/5 on Google) as testament to the passion of our team and the vibrancy of our community.
The amount of encouragement and recognition we’ve received has been enormously rewarding - here are just a few highlights:
Jun - Oct 2017:
Mar - Jun 2017:
TripAdvisor awards Pupp a certificate of excellence based on customer reviews, Pupp tops TheTaste.ie’s list of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Dublin, and the restaurant keeps the top spot for the 2nd year running in Lovin Dublin’s best dog-friendly spots in Dublin
Sep 2015 - Sep 2016:
We’ll soon be subletting the restaurant premises, so prospective owners would have full autonomy to run their business however they see fit. It’s a fantastic spot and now has an established customer base from the locality and beyond, so would be a great investment for any budding restaurateur. You can find more details and get in touch with our estate agent Mason Owens & Lyon via this Daft.ie listing. We’ve received quite a bit of interest already so would suggest reaching out immediately if it does sound suitable!
Thank you for all of the support and encouragement you’ve shared over the years, and for helping us make Pupp what it is today! Hopefully the adventure continues for the next generation of restaurant owners, and we (and Toby!) finally get to enjoy some of the other dog-friendly hotspots that have appeared since Pupp opened!
Ella & Paul
Over the last year more and more restaurants and pubs are welcoming our four-legged friends, but getting there with a pooch in tow can still present a challenge for many. In February TheJournal.ie spoke to a number of public transport companies, with mixed results:
Not taken in Ireland...
When travelling within Dublin taxis are often more convenient than public transport, so we thought we'd try to identify a few dog-friendly companies to help customers navigate the city with their canine companion.
Neither myTaxi or Uber enable you to specify that you have a dog when booking, and in our experience it's pot luck whether you get a driver who will let in even small dogs. Because of this, it's probably easier to go old-school and call a taxi company. We called around, and managed to find two pet-friendly companies in the vicinity of Pupp:
Both companies said their pet-friendly policies extend only to small dogs, and we're yet to find a company that will accept large dogs. If you're looking to book a taxi be sure to let them know in advance that you have a dog - maybe with a bit of sweet-talking they might allow a well-behaved larger dog, though it will very much depend on the driver (and your persuasion skills).
Slowly but surely the city is becoming more dog-friendly, and any company that's interested in making the transition can join the Dog-Friendly Association of Ireland (www.DFAI.ie) for help and advice.
On Wednesday we announced the biggest change to Pupp since our launch last year - evening meals! Starting Thursday May 18th, Pupp will offer a delicious, wholesome menu four nights a week (Wed-Sat). We're incredibly excited, and have been working hard on a brand new menu, expanding our team, renovating the restaurant, and lots of celebratory goings-on! Read on for more...
On 13th May we're thinking of hosting an exclusive friends and family preview night. Be the first to test the new menu, input your suggestions before launch, and enjoy a cozy and casual night with Pupp friends! Enter your details here if you'd be interested in attending.
This weekend we've partnered with Pawtrait.ie to give away three(!) doggy photoshoots - head over to Facebook to enter. Winners get an A5 photoblock of their favourite photo, and a spot on the new Pupp art wall! Be quick, competition closes on 2nd May!
Evenings officially start on 18th May, and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, drop us a message on Facebook, or phone 01445 45 42 to book a table today!
Just in time for the summer days (both of them), the Pupp Garden is now open! Chill with a coffee or enjoy your brunch in the sun.
It has been a busy few months, and the news doesn't stop there! On the Pupp blog we (being the geeks that we are) dug into the data behind customer reviews, plus we chatted to the founder of the innovative Irish startup K9 Connectables about developing the next generation of dog toys.
Pupp was also featured in the news, taking the top spot in both TheTaste.ie's best dog-friendly restaurants and Lovin Dublin's updated list, and chatting to Pawshake.ie about the cafe.
If you're interested please do follow Pupp on your social media site of choice, or come in and chat to us in person! We love a good natter :) We'll be closed on Monday for the bank holiday, but otherwise open as usual. Hopefully see you soon!
Since their introduction to the Pupp shop K9 Connectables have quickly become a firm favourite, so we thought it might be interesting to find out more about the unique Irish startup. The Pupp team recently sat down to chat to lead designer James McIlvenna about how the concept came about.
In a nutshell, what are K9 Connectables?
The idea with the K9 Connectables series of toys is that you stuff the dog’s favourite food and treats inside and connect them together. The dog can smell the food but has to break the connections apart to get at it.
Established dog toys are quite rudimentary – they have a hole in it and you put treats in it. K9 Connectables are essentially dog toys 2.0, and work with your dog’s instinct to hunt and work for food, challenging them to unlock the treats inside. Unlike other food filling toys you can increase the difficulty level as your dog gets better at the game by connecting more together.
What were the main changes from original design to final product?
Our first designs were so basic... kind of like most dog toys today! They were simple shapes with different sized holes around them to put treats into but I wanted to make something better, or more evolved that would challenge dogs more than your average toy with a hole in it. So the idea of connecting toys together came pretty quickly which we thought would also satisfy dogs primal instincts to break things apart.
Some of the many iterations of K9 Connectables
Would you have any advice for budding Irish entrepreneurs going through a similar process?
Test and test again. We were lucky that we had someone on our team that has expertise in 3D printing so we made literally hundreds of prototypes that we tested on every dog on the street and showed them to experts and trainers. Don't be afraid to talk about your idea and get feedback all the time. We are still learning about our products and working all the time to improve them.
At Pupp we've been very careful to set the standard high for dog-friendly cafes in Ireland. For anyone interested in developing toys, what kind of regulations might they need to think about?
We chose the British standards for children’s toys as there are no safety standards for dog toys. K9 Connectables are made from the same durable Thermoplastic Elastomer material as teething rings.
Thanks James! Final question - What's next for K9 Connectables?
We have a kibble / dry dog food dispenser, rope toy and tug toy that will all connect into the full range. We are also looking at Mini K9 Connectables for the small and toy breeds under 8kg in weight.
James, his wife Lauren, and Connectables mastermind Sandy
K9 Connectables are available to purchase on the Pupp website here, or pay us a visit to see them in the flesh. If your dog has been enjoying K9 Connectables let us know! Drop us a note in the comments, or chat to us on Facebook or Twitter.
In this series of posts we detail our experiences creating the first cafe for dog lovers in Dublin, and try to feature a few tips for the would-be cafe owner. If you're interested in how Pupp came to be, or potentially opening your own venue, you can find more articles on Facebook, Twitter, or The Pupp Blog.
As any restaurant business will attest, reviews play a critical role in the success or failure of an enterprise. Sites like Tripadvisor help people discover new places, but a few negative reviews early on can easily de-rail a fledgling restaurant. At Pupp we're lucky that people embraced the concept from the outset, and now have a growing base of word-of-mouth recommendations as well as strong online reviews. Most people likely have experience giving reviews, but we thought it might be interesting to examine the topic from the perspective of a business.
Review volumes grow organically as businesses become more established, though there are also other ways restaurants can encourage feedback (EConsultancy have some creative ways to generate reviews for those that are interested). For example, we have a little reminder at the bottom of our menu (pictured below), and occasionally post to social media to ask for ideas or suggestions. Tripadvisor provides "Review Us" stickers, cards, etc but we're not big fans of clutter so tend not to use them. We think it's better to focus on continually improving service levels rather than pestering people. Interesting posts about review stats on our blog don't count... ;)
Our menu footer
Being the data geeks that we are, we did a bit of analysis on our online reviews to see what we could find. First of all, we looked at which platforms were most popular for our customers:
Facebook accounts for the majority of our online reviews
Pupp has a strong following on Facebook, so it makes sense that a lot of customers choose to leave a review there. The user base is also huge, so people don't need to create an account just to leave a review for a particular business. The format is a great source of feedback - we read every one and action any suggestions - however of the various sites it is the least likely to help potential new customers discover Pupp. Facebook isn't indexed by search engines, and reviews don't seem to impact the exposure of our Facebook page.
Google and Tripadvisor account for most other reviews, and are both focused on helping users discover new places in addition to rating places they've been.
(As a quick side note it's probably worth mentioning that Pupp has never paid for any reviews or tried to influence scores - we love when customers leave reviews and encourage them to do so, but we believe a reputation that is legitimate and trustworthy is just as important as one with good ratings.)
Next, we broke down the review scores by platform:
81% of reviews were 5*, with 96% of customers rating us 4* or above
While overall scores were overwhelmingly positive, there are a few interesting trends in the numbers. Our Tripadvisor users are much more likely to use 4* ratings compared to Facebook or Google. Yelp is the only platform where we received more 4* reviews than 5* (though volumes are very low so this may not be significant). By separating the stats by platform we can see Facebook users have a high tendency towards 5* reviews, as do Google users. Tripadvisor is more balanced, and relatively Yelp tends towards lower ratings:
% of users on each platform that left each rating
We try to take action and make changes on any feedback, though we see any 3* or below as a failure on our part. On the other end of the spectrum, we try and share positive review text with our team as much as possible. Don't underestimate how much a positive review can brighten someone's day! A few examples that really made us smile:
Absolutely fantastic. Very genuinely friendly welcome, for both humans and dogs alike. The food though, fabulous. We noticed people who don't have dogs stopping for food which speaks for itself!
Great, friendly service.The best breakfast I've had in Dublin in a very long time. The homemade hash browns and beans are a must and the coffee is top notch. Couldn't recommend more highly.
Just had the yummiest Greens & Grains salad in this fabulous establishment! The staff couldn't be friendlier or more helpful..really can't recommend it enough. The dog friendly policy is lovely too if you have a mutt. Thank you Pupp!
A good review is a really easy way to create a bit of happiness, as well as supporting the businesses you like. Have a think about the great places you've visited recently or really love - maybe you can gift a little joy in just a few clicks!
For more behind-the-scenes insights on running a dog-friendly cafe, be sure to follow us on Facebook or subscribe to the Pupp newsletter at the bottom of this page. If you'd like to read more "The Pupp Story" posts you can find them here.
It probably goes without saying at this point, but if you like Pupp... Review us! Quick links: Leave a Facebook review, a Google review, a Tripadvisor review, a Yelp review, or a Zomato review. Thank you - it means a lot to us!
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and we want whatever you buy to be comfortable and well fitted for your pooch. Sizing can often be confusing, with manufacturers using different standards and metrics. At Pupp we list all our sizes in cm's so you can find the perfect fit.
Neck: Measure right around the neck, allowing enough room to slide 2 fingers in for comfort
Chest: Measure right around the body around the deepest part of your dog's chest, usually just behind the dog's front legs.
Neck: Measure right around the neck, allowing enough room to slide 2 fingers in for comfort
|BREED||AVERAGE NECK SIZE|
|BULLDOG AMERICAN/ ENGLISH||45.7-61.0cm|
|JACK RUSSELL TERRIER||25.4-35.6cm|
|OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG||45.7-61.0cm|