Yappy Hour

Springer Yappy Hour? What's a Springer Yappy Hour?

Our thanks to longtime ESRA member Carol Sanderson for sharing these tips!

A Springer Yappy Hour is a fundraising event that takes place at a restaurant or bar that is pet friendly, as dogs are encouraged to attend with their owners. Since health codes prohibit animals from entering eating establishments, there is usually an outdoor patio or deck area where animals are permitted.

You can ask the owners of such establishments in your local area if they will be willing to host a Yappy Hour. It's great for their advertising budget, too, as such an event costs them nothing at all, and it may bring them repeat customers. Win-win! This is a really fun, easy way to raise money for ESRA.

Here's how we do ours:

1. We send out an email to our local ESRA members AND adopters telling them about it. We also make up and print flyers to let other local dog lovers know about the event. We hold ours from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., although a number of folks stay much later!

2. On the evening of the event, we set up a table just outside the door and sell "Admission Donation Tickets." $10 per adult, $5 per child is what we charge, and there's no charge for dogs, as they're the guests of honor. We use raffle tickets (the two-part kind). The price of admission includes one free drink and a chance to win a door prize (anything will work for a door prize -- you might even be able to get one of the other local merchants to donate something for advertising purposes). We use a black magic marker to write the letter "B" on one half of the raffle ticket. This stands for "Bar" and is the ticket each purchaser gives the waitress for the "free" drink. The other half of the ticket purchasers keep for their raffle chances. We write the last three digits of each ticket number on cut-up squares of paper to put in the raffle jar, from which we pull the winning number later in the evening. You have to be present to win, so this encourages people to stay longer.

3. The way the owner we work with handles things for the "free drink" is that he only charges us his cost for that drink, not the usual retail price. The charge to us is usually about $2 - $3 per drink. Therefore, ESRA gets to keep the vast majority of the admission ticket proceeds. We settle up with the owner at the end of the evening.

4. Here are some talking points to emphasize if you want to approach a local bar or eatery about hosting your Yappy Hour: The owner benefits because almost everyone will also order at least one other drink at the usual price, and people will often order food as well. Also, this event attracts people who may never have been to the establishment before but who could become repeat customers. This is such a popular event at the place where we hold our Yappy Hours that a lot of the "locals" show up for each one regardless of what rescue group is hosting!

5. Also, put out a donation jar! People will usually drop a few bucks in this, as well.

Good luck, and have fun!