Chef News

Brad and Kat Moore of Short Leash Hot Dogs on What to Expect at Their Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant and the Best Part About Owning a Food Truck

Brad and Kat Moore Short Leash Hot Dogs and Sit...Stay 110 E. Roosevelt St.

This is part one of our interview with Brad and Kat Moore, owners of the Short Leash Hot Dogs food trucks and Sit...Stay in downtown Phoenix. Today, they dish about their soon-to-open permanent location and about the values that have made them one of the city's most successful food trucks. Come back tomorrow when we discuss what made a banker and an interior designer want to start a mobile hot dog shop -- and which local restaurant inspired their spot-on aesthetic and design.

See also: Short Leash Hot Dogs to Open Permanent Location in Downtown Phoenix

The Short Leash Hot Dogs brick-and-mortar location, Sit...Stay -- located off Roosevelt Row -- is set to open Tuesday, July 23. The Moores, as you might expect, are excited -- and just shy of overwhelmed. When we stopped by with just more than two weeks to go, they were still looking at an unpainted space with stacked tables and no chairs. They know -- or at least, they have faith -- that everything will fall into place. But until it does, they'll have their hands more than full. In addition to the permanent space, they also added a second truck. And they say both vehicles are busy.

As far as the Sit...Stay menu goes, the Moores are sticking with what they know works: their well-loved hot dogs, a few carefully selected items from their year doing Sit . . . Stay in the parking lot of Frances, and beer and wine.

The biggest changes will be in the presentation of the hot dogs. At the restaurant, your Aiko (a naan-wrapped dog with mango chutney, diced jalapeños, red onions, fresh cilantro, and mayo) will come with a side of chips to make it a more complete meal. And the nosh plates and other dishes they've been rotating and testing at Friday night Sit . . . Stay events will be tweaked slightly to become either more conventional appetizers or meals.

The couple says they combed through a year's worth of specials, picking out the most popular ones to put on the new menu. In more ways than one, that Friday night dinner service was the thing that made them confident a move to a brick-and-mortar space would work.

"It was our first step outside the group dynamic of food trucks," Brad says.

Even though they had been successfully running the truck for two years, they worried whether their customers would be willing to drive to a location specifically for their food. Unlike at food truck courts or farmers markets, this was their first chance to stand on their own. It was a success.

These two love getting to know their customers; Brad has a knack for remembering names -- a skill he says he's always had but never thought would be of any use. But as fate would have it, it's exactly that skill and attitude that makes them such impressive food truck owners -- not that they'd ever admit it.

But that's just the nature of these humble entrepreneurs, who realized recently that they have a habit of thinking small . . . maybe even too small.

Case in point: their 50-seat restaurant space.

"It's small -- but it's big to us," laughs Kat, who's used to working in their 80-square-foot trailer. "We're still figuring how to work efficiently with so much space."

Five words to describe you: Community, grateful, energetic, innovative, and consistent

Five words to describe Short Leash Hot Dogs: Community, grateful, energetic, innovative, and consistent

Favorite dish or special on your menu: Brad: Igby on the spicy Beer Hot. I eat at least one almost every week. Kat: The Brat Slider

Best thing about owning a food truck: Meeting so many great people. We have created lifelong friendships and business relationships with so many amazing people. Since this business is mobile it allows you the unique opportunity to collide and interact with a wide variety of people.

Worst thing about owning a food truck: The summer months are the worst. The heat is brutal, especially during July and August. We always say that you have to work twice as hard for half the money.

Best piece of advice for a potential food truck owner: Become a quadruple threat: Have a quality product; have exceptional customer service; create an innovative marketing package; have the discipline to see it through.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria