If you have been to a restaurant recently, you have probably noticed that there is at least one spicy option on the menu. Consumers today, specifically Gen Z, are craving some spice. This is partly due to the easier access we now have to different flavors and cuisines than ever before. People also seem to be more adventurous, wanting to try something new due to the high level of social media content being put out every day with the latest and greatest trends. Hot sauce searches are soaring on Google as people look for the latest spicy sauce to quench their cravings. Sriracha was once thought to be mainly for Asian food, however people are now using it in soups, on their sandwiches, popcorn, chicken and much more. So how can your restaurant jump on this spicy trend?
If you are a fast food restaurant, one of the easiest ways to add in spicy flavor is through chicken. Spicy nuggets, tenders and wings are always a favorite amongst the younger crowds and are a great way to get them into your restaurant. You probably remember the famous chicken sandwich war. Now even more restaurants are jumping on the fried chicken sandwich train but are elevating the experience with some heat.
Sauces are another great option to easily incorporate new flavors. A popular choice would be something that is sweet and spicy or as some have named it “swicy”. Whataburger has a popular promotional item called the sweet and spicy bacon burger. Sounds like a triple win! Hot honey is another trend that has gotten people’s attention. The sweet taste balances the spicy and it is a match made in heaven! You can also have spicy sauces that can accompany a sandwich or chicken nuggets for dipping. There has even been a sweet heat syrup created to add to beverages for a sweet and spicy drink option, as well as the popular jalapeno tequila.
Whether you are a casual dining restaurant or fast food you can find a way to bring the heat with appetizers or snack food options. These are great cost effective ways to test out new food. Spicy chicken, sriracha loaded fries,and spicy hummus are just a few great choices..
So many types of restaurants from pizza joints to burger and fried chicken places are adding spicy flavors to their menu. If you are unsure how customers will respond at your establishment you can always start small by adding a few spicy toppings for customers to customize their entrees. It can be anything from having a secret spicy sauce they can choose to put on their burger or jalapenos to add to nachos or burgers. Again, not every trend is for everyone, however the people have spoken and it seems clear that many are seeking new flavors that offer more spice and complexity.