How to Build a Treat Bar

Treat bar 500

Nearly every client loves to reward their pet after a visit to their favorite groomer. That’s YOU!

What if I told you that adding well merchandised pet retail can help you to lower your payroll, increase your profit margins and keep your clients coming back for more? Why not keep your retail clients “in-house” instead of sending them to another business?

Through my upscale, retro pet salon and boutique I help groomers all over the United States and abroad by teaching them how to add small sections of profitable, well-merchandised pet retail to their salons. I break down small segments of retailing and merchandising through live Facebook videos in a group called, “Pet Boutiques.”

My aim is to inspire and educate small business groomers and pet retailers wanting to add or improve their pet retailing. Right now I’m going to teach YOU how to start retailing with a dog treat bar!

A dog treat bar can be as large or small as you like! I started years ago with three penny candy jars on my front counter! Now one-third of my retail business comes from my pet treats!


Find a reputable treat vendor that sells chicken strips, bully sticks, pig ears, bacon twists or whatever you would like to sell in your salon. Pro Tip: Start with 3-5 different meats or treats and add or change accordingly until you get a feel for what your clients require.


Buy glass jars, buckets, vases or other types of containers that look good when merchandised together depending on your salon decor. Keep in mind that you will most likely be adding to these so make sure you can get more.

Although not required, I recommend getting jars with lids to keep them fresher longer. Pro Tip: You can buy multiple containers and jars online from restaurant stores offering wholesale pricing on larger quantities.


Now that you have your jars and treats, you need to effectively merchandise them. The placement of your treat section is very important! Buy shelving for your treat collection or add them to the counter near your checkout or reception area for last minute spontaneous purchases! Pro Tip: You can create the feel of a “dressed-up boutique” by buying used dressers, buffets or armoires. Paint them with chalk paint to match your salon and then house all your treats in a collection! Try to find ones in good condition. Lighting is a bonus!


Now that you have your treats, containers and location, it’s time to label and price your treats! Until you get comfortable with pricing your treats, I suggest adding temporary labels like chalkboard stickers to your jars. Pro Tip: Sell treats in multiples to sell your inventory more quickly which keeps them fresh. Example: 4 Chicken Nibbles for $1.


If you want to merchandise and sell retail professionally, invest in signage like the pros! How many corporate retail stores do you go to that have ZERO signage? Exactly! Hire a local sign company to make a “treat bar” sign. Hang it above your treat bar section. Pro Tip: Think carefully about the design and layout of your sign. You should use the same font, colors and themes for your future retail signage!


Now that you have all the important elements for your treat bar, create an “instruction station” for your clients. This area should include tongs, bags for product and simple instructions. Pro Tip: Type and laminate a “how-to” sign for your clients to increase your sales. These are known as “shelf talkers.” They act as unpaid assistants while you’re busy grooming and making those retail sales! Happy pet retailing!