Access to public accommodations, such as restaurants, hostels, lounges, stores, pharmacies, or theatres, to service animals, comes under the law of federal law and state law. Keeping that in mind, are service dogs allowed in restaurant kitchens?
No, restaurant kitchens should not allow service or any other kinds of chef-owned companion dogs. Bringing any type of animal inside a place where food is being prepared can be a great health risk and result in an unhygienic environment due to animals’ hair, fleas, or other factors.
Service animals and restaurants
Besides a restaurant kitchen, any public accommodation should allow service dogs. Under several laws, such as ADA (Americans with disabilities) and NYCHRL (New York City Human Right Laws), restaurants cannot differentiate between differently-abled people.
People with any kind of sensory, mental, physical, or intellectual disabilities have the same rights to enjoy as the other person.
Moreover, the service dogs should not have extra charges such as fees or deposits of any kind. Nevertheless, the restaurants do not have to be obliged to feed, take care of, or provide any special places for the dog.
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Action and charges on damage caused by service dog
In case of any damage caused by the service dog, the restaurant may impose charges for the damage (if they charge the non-disabled customers as well).
Restaurants have the authority to remove the dog from the place in case of misconduct or bad manners or if the dog shows potential threats (such as growling and biting) toward other customers.
Suppose the disabled wish to have their service dog by their side. In that case, even if it is causing trouble within the restaurant, the restaurant manager or employees can offer the customers to sit outside with their dogs and enjoy the food or beverage that they’re having.
Signs that can help employees distinguish between service dogs and pet
There are no specific signs to determine if an animal is a “service” animal unless, of course, they have a collar or any written paper. You can never be sure that the dog is a service dog unless you ask the customer questions, which will help determine if it’s a trained service animal.
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The first question to ask the customer is what the animal is specifically trained for and if it is required due to any disability. This question automatically translates to the fact that the dog performs a specific service, and it is there with the customer as their wingman; therefore, both should be admitted inside the restaurant.
Service dogs and other animals are not allowed in the restaurant kitchens as it can be unhygienic, even if they are assisting the staff members. However, customers who bring along service animals should be accommodated in public or open spaces so that everyone can enjoy their meals in peace.