Americans eat over 20 billion hot dogs each year… that’s over 60 hot dogs per person! Yet hot dogs are often the forgotten belly stuffers because of the mediocre products offered by the grocery retail and food service companies.

Forgotten no more! Finally…Tailgate Dogs & Sausages will bring “hot” back to our dogs!

Wanting to bring the same passion, excitement and customer experience of tremendous tasting food in a wide variety of selections at a tremendous value a number of Tailgate Dogs & Sausages’ (“TGDogs”) founders built while running the iconic Fairway Market in NYC, the genesis of the idea for creating Tailgate Dogs & Sausages was born!  This Fairway background, combined with all of the founders’ love for the celebration of family, fun and friends at tailgating experiences provided the perfect scenario for creating something very novel and unique like Tailgate Dogs & Sausages!  TGDogs is NOT just another hot dog restaurant but instead takes the taste of hot dogs to an entirely new level, while also going well beyond hot dogs to provide a variety of culinary experiences only this founding team could provide.  After perfecting recipes from around the U.S. and the world, TGDogs’ founders have finally created a selection of irresistibly delicious and wholesome hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, side dishes, desserts and beverages that will tempt all palates at a value very wallet will like!

Every item of our mouth-watering menu is crafted with the utmost care. We please all dietary preferences with our delectable choices of beef, pork, chicken and plant-based dogs and sausages, plus we offer gluten-free choices. Our products are free of GMO, antibiotics, hormones and preservatives, and are organically certified.

One taste, and you will definitely come back for more. We guarantee it! Yep, we’re so sure that we challenge you to do a side-by-side taste test between your hot dog brand and our unmatched dogs and sausages.

What’s more, our restaurants are community spaces where customers enjoy food and laughter with friends and families, as well as make new connections. At Tailgate Dogs & Sausages, every day is game day and filled with Doggone Good Eatin’s!

We guarantee you will love our food! If you are not satisfied we will replace your order or provide you with a credit!

THE FOUNDERS
Tod Nestor
Founder, Chairman & CEO
It all started with a tailgate party when I was six.

I was raised in southern Michigan, where sports and tailgate parties were the community’s passion. Friends and neighbors arrived several hours before high school or college games just to tailgate! I experienced my first tailgate party at age six, and was so excited that I barely slept the night before.

Tailgating was magical… laughter, friendship and my fave – hot dogs! My mom served her Slavic-inspired pork and beef kielbasas on rye bread, topped with sauerkraut and diced onions. My dad grilled plump, juicy hot dogs purchased from our local butcher– prepared to perfection with just the right caramelized flavor.

The positive energy and community experience of tailgating fuels my spirit, not only as a college athlete, but also, throughout my career as a senior executive with several food companies, including Fairway Market, PepsiCo, Pizza Hut and H.J. Heinz.

I co-founded Tailgate Dogs & Sausages, Inc. with partners who are all extremely passionate about food and delighting customers. We offer the best of all worlds: unbelievably delicious hot dogs and sausages at unmatched value! Here’s to Doggone Good Eatin’s!

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Herb Ruetsch
Founder & President
It all started with the five hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese after baseball practice.

Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, I am hooked on the Italian Dog. It is a hot dog in thick pizza bread topped with onions, peppers and deep fried potatoes. After each baseball practice, my mom rewarded me with hot dogs and mac n’ cheese. Even after five helpings of each, I still wanted more.

Americans eat billions of hot dogs each year. Yet hot dogs are the most under appreciated food. I want to change that by creating Tailgate Dogs and Sausages – a special destination that celebrates the unique hot dogs and sausages recipes from different American cities and regions. I want our customers to savor mac n’ cheese in mouth-watering varieties, including classic, bacon, buffalo chicken and truffled.

Throughout my career, I have led several renowned food businesses. As chief executive officer of Fairway Market, I built up to over $800MM in sales with 14 million customers. Even though I was the “boss”, I worked every weekend so that I can connect with my customers. At Tailgate Dogs and Sausages, our team will delight our customers every visit, every order.

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John Rossi
Founder & Chief Food Guru
It all started with forking out the homemade salciccia from the gigantic pot of ragu when mama was not looking.

I was born and raised in a first-generation Italian American family in South Philadelphia. I loved the festive street fairs, and devouring sweet Italian sausages, peppers and onions served on crusted, seeded rolls. My favorite meal was forking out the homemade salsiccia from Mama’s delectable ragu made with Italian sausages, meatballs and ribs.

For 24 years, I helped build up Fairway Market. As vice president, I was in charge of fresh and specialty foods, and was immersed in culinary trends. I love how different parts of U.S. offer their own recipes of hot dogs, sausages, toppings and rolls. The Phillie rolls have special texture and body, while Chicagoans prefer poppy seed rolls. My personal favorite is the potato roll from Pennsylvania’s Amish Country.

As a co-founder of Tailgate Dogs & Sausages, I want our menu to please everyone with versatile choices of beef, pork, chicken and plant-based hot dogs and sausages. Nothing is left to chance, and crafted with care and love!

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Lynn Leitzel
Founder & Chief Information Officer
It all started with the sweet aroma of hickory from the smoke house of our farm.

I grew up in a farm in Central Pennsylvania. All meat was either raised or hunted on or near our farm. Butchering was a multi-day community event, with several families joining forces. While a portion of the meat was taken home for freezing, the rest was sent to a local shop, Lee’s, where they would make fresh sausages and hamburgers. My parents would hang a portion of Lee’s sausages, ham and bacon in our smoke house. Words cannot describe the delectable taste of hickory smoked sausages!

Far from the farming days of my youth, I have pursued a rewarding career in technology, including being chief information officer for two national grocery chains. Yet, for a long time, I still craved for the special sausages from Lee’s…until I tasted the handcrafted sausages from the kitchen of Tailgate Dogs and Sausages! Smoke links, bratwurst and sweet Italian sausages – all prepared fresh from the highest quality beef, pork and veal. I love our sausages so much, I have co-founded the company!

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Jennifer Nestor
Founder & Controller
It all started with my Dad, the master griller, and our all-day weekend gatherings.

For as long as I can remember, as soon as the weather would get warmer, it was the start of our beloved weekend gatherings at my childhood home near NYC.  The awning covered patio was the setting of the all-day (and well into the night) friends and family get-togethers, that featured endless food, laughter and lively conversation. My Dad’s BBQ was always fired up, grilling the most delicious meats that were beyond compare. His specialties included thick Italian sausages and long thin lamb sausages rolled and fastened with toothpicks.

Tailgate Dogs & Sausages was founded in the spirit of these gatherings, where great food, friendship, laughter and celebration create wonderful memories.  Our menu pays homage to master grillers everywhere by offering the mouthwatering hot dogs and sausages that we’ve come to expect from the very best.

Having held many positions in management, accounting and retail, I’ve always felt that it is crucial to provide a welcoming environment where others can feel their best in order to be their best.  Whether you are dining alone or in a group, we will strive to make your experience at Tailgate a great one and welcoming one.

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