Where pets are allowed to roam freely in the cafe, you are immediately aware that the business’ priority is the pets. Everything is done with dogs in mind – such as using cement floor because tiles are dangerous and uncomfortable especially for bigger dogs or a menu that does not include soups to minimise risk of spilling as the furkids roam around. Although Liz Kim brings along her 1 Siberian Husky, 1 Alaskan Malamute and 1 Pomeranian to the cafe occasionally, she wishes to highlight that it is not“the Husky cafe”as her furkids are not “resident dogs” which are expected to be there daily.
Originally from Korea but having lived in Malaysia for over 20 years, Liz said that pet cafes have been around long but only recently star ted trending here. She realised one of the most important aspects is managing behaviour expectations like picking up after your own pet. To her it was normal but there were customers who took offence on being requested to clean up after their pet. Therefore, Cubs & Cups now has rules placed around the premise to remind customers of their responsibilities. Liz added that mutual understanding is key to running a pet-friendly cafe. Most customers with pets come knowing that they will be sharing space with pets and as much as the cafe tries to maintain cleanliness; they cannot guarantee a 100% furfree environment. In line with that, she shares that an extra commitment is taken as the cafe closes on Tuesday for major pest control and sanitation exercise.
If running a regular F&B establishment is unpredictable, throw in pets and you’ll have more variables to contend with. Especially when you don’t know how the dogs will react to each other or people, saying that she has had to step in and diffuse situations several times. In this light, staff must also have a certain aptitude when it comes to pet sensitivity and Cubs & Cups experienced rapid turnover when previous staff only saw the job as cute. When it comes to the menu, Liz says that they serve brunch items which is popular for weekenders. There are also crowd favourites like pizza, pastas, waffles and of course coffee. While she does like her coffee, she is quick to say Cubs & Cups might not be the place if you’re looking for specially crafted coffee or roasts as the focus is for pet lovers to be able to bring their pets on their daily routine like having a meal.
One of the earliest pet-friendly cafes in Malaysia, Liz hopes that it will create more awareness about responsible pet ownership as it plans to work with non-profit organisations to run adoption drives in the future.