Who Needs Doggy Bags? Bring Me a Booster Seat.

Rules is Rules is Rules

Anyone who's worked in the culinary arts knows that there are plenty of good reasons why animals aren't allowed near food preparation areas. And many chefs find the idea of a dog sitting in the corner booth just too much to handle. But some restaurants allow customers to dine with their pets in open-air patios, or simply tie up the dog near the table. Lorie Ann Parsons-Farmer, co-owner and chef at Le Coq d'Or, a restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, allows pets to dine on the patio and reports that she regularly seats up to five pets a night.

The Culinary Art of...Dog Biscuits?

Even if you don't want to (or can't) allow dogs in your restaurant, you can find ways to meet the customer halfway. Parsons-Farmer offers a homemade "doggie burger" (a blend of hamburger, egg, garlic, salt, and rice) or a few doggie "cookies" to non-human patrons for free. Others offer a specially made dog biscuit to send off with the dog owners when they go. And still others simply offer to bring in a bowl of water to place under the table.

A Not So New Issue

For many people, the dog at their side is not at all about being spoiled, but entirely about simply getting around in the world. The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act states that anyone who depends on an animal for normal life function should be allowed full access to public places, such as restaurants. In this case, however, it's unlikely that the owner would demand any extras for the dog (though they might be happy to give her a homemade biscuit).

Though it might be outside the boundaries of culinary school, the art of catering to dogs will make you popular with doting owners, and endear you to a whole slew of new best friends.