On March 13th 2020 at 5:30 p.m, my dog escaped when someone opened the gate and the front-door at the same time. Jim (owner of the cafe) was present. None of the staff attempted to help, none asked if i was ok, none acknowledged my...dog went out the door. If there was a policy that staff are unable to leave the premises (the cafe was not busy at the time and two staff were available) then it was not communicated to me.
The person (owner of the golden retriever) who accidentally opened the gate did apologize to me. He was leaving because he "was done" from the incident with Jim. Fortunately, my dog is safe and I was able to retrieve him. We both hold accountability for what happened. I am not blaming him or Jim, it was an honest accident. But I am upset with how Jim handles his business practices.
Shortly before the incident, Jim was VERY hostile towards ALL the customers. The golden retriever peed in the cafe and it required a mop to clean it. Jim stated his frustrations how pee/poop was not being cleaned, it is not his job as a janitor and aggressively repeated similar statements, raising his voice each time. I understand his frustrations but this can be re-worded to be more friendly and positive instead of the accusatory and hostility tone he used. He also targeted certain customers and made them VERY uncomfortable by staring at them stating stuff like they are on their phones or Facebook instead of cleaning. He also stared at me and my friend at some of these statements. Jim's actions is considered harassment. You need to communicate your issues in a respectful manner. Customers are supporting your business! We are only human, I saw everyone clean when there was a mess. My phone was in my car so I had no choice but to watch my dog the entire time.
Jim made the atmosphere hostile and tense which led to everyone leaving except one person. Myself, my friend and the two owners of golden retriever were very upset with what happened. Jim acted as if nothing happened when I came back with my dog and showed no regard he went outside what-soever.
A good business practice is to communicate and work with customers on how to improve preventative measures from dogs pooping/peeing. How can we reduce the occurrence of dog messes while maintaining customer satisfaction and reduce the burden on staff? Work WITH your diverse clientele to problem solve, not blame. You work with people, different dogs, behaviours and personalities. Ask for feed-back on how to address the issues of dogs you perceive to be "untrained" and ones that make messes. These are all factors when running a *DOG* cafe. That is how you grow as a business, this is how you keep customers and attract more. By acting hostile, rude and demeaning you are LOSING customers.
Another good business practice is to care about the lives of the dogs being served. To show empathy and compassion. To explain if there are policies prohibiting from staff leaving the premises to help an escaped dog, to ask customers how to improve security measures to prevent future incidences and to provide support. It is traumatizing when a dog escapes. Your response to Rebecca's Google review is you wanted to create a SAFE indoor-park setting for dogs. Your actions have proven otherwise!!*
These are all qualities I expect from an owner running a dog cafe and ANY business concerning dogs. My dog's life was not a priority, it was not valued. I also felt disrespected by Jim, especially on Instagram where he directed personal insults at me from posting my experience. I expected better conflict resolution skills and manners from someone at his age.
I also ordered a sundae, which did not reflect the image of their ice-cream sundae on their menu. You can see it on their website to compare.
UPDATE: I shared my experience, this review, on a dog-meetup group because I felt it was important for other dog owners to be aware of the incident. Instead, my review was deleted and I was banned for "hate speech" (even though my review was accepted on other sites, also Jim is the admin/mod). A new thread opened up intended to make fun of my review and they harassed my friend for defending me. I was not able to defend myself due to the ban. I spoke with Jim on Instagram before I posted this review and he continued to state false accusations and assumptions. He left me on 'Seen' on Instagram but proceeded to portray a false narrative of the situation. He continued to invalidate my feelings and implied I had a mental illness in later conversations, such as telling me I need professional help for posting reviews online.More