In what is perhaps one of the least controversial pieces of food industry legislation ever, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill allowing dogs to dine with their owners in restaurants’ outdoor seating areas.
“When you sit down to dinner, it’s your husband, your partner, your wife, your kids, and your dog,” the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, told the New York Times earlier this year.
As of Monday, October 26, leashed dogs will be welcome to join their owners outside of participating restaurants. As part of the legislation, restaurants can make the individual choice whether or not to accept canines. Restaurants will also need to supply an alternate entrance for dogs and their owners so that the animals will not need to go through the restaurant itself.
“This action will give restaurants an additional option to boost revenue and grow their businesses by appealing to this new audience of dog-owning New Yorkers and their four-legged friends,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “By allowing this additional flexibility and by establishing firm health and sanitary guidelines, this legislation strikes a right balance.”