Dish!Blog logo

Getting Spicy: Why & How to Get Spice on Your Menu

Scott Fadden
Scott Fadden | June 15, 2022

Information Featured From Legendary Vendor Partner Kraft Heinz Foodservice - When it comes to popular condiments, hot sauce couldn’t be any hotter than it is right now. For operators to meet demand, it helps to understand what consumers are looking for when they want restaurants and kitchens to get spicy.

Some Like it Hot:

In a recent survey, consumers were loud and clear: they like their condiments with a kick. One in five1 consumers prefer either a spicy balanced by sweet flavor or a mildly spicy flavor, with nearly as many saying “the spicier the better”.

Big Demand for Bold Flavor:

There are many factors influencing the growth of hot and spicy foods. Namely, Hispanic populations, who drive demand for spicy condiments and ingredients2. Not to mention Millennials and Gen Z’s interest in spicy flavors, incorporated into unique or traditional dishes2. For more proof, just check out the number of spicy challenge videos out there today!

With this growing demand, 93%1 of operators are now keeping some form of hot sauce in their front of house, with 41%1 of operators keeping hot sauce within reach at front of house tables. This makes hot sauce the #21 condiment on front of house tables, second only to ketchup.

Bring the Heat (and Keep It Cool):

Spicy food may not be for everyone, but there’s a way to satisfy customers looking for a bite with some bite and make spicy condiments delicious for everyone.

The key? Balancing spicy flavors with cooling or sweet ingredients like mayo, sour cream, honey and aioli to create unique combinations - like Chipotle Mayo sauce - that are appealing across demographics.

Check out these recipes for some ideas to get spicy on your menu!

Kickin' Texas BBQ Burger

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Sweet & Sour Sauce

Raspberry Chipotle Cheese Curd Dunking Platter

Chipotle Cinnamon Chicken Kabobs

Crab Cake Sandwich with Spicy Aioli

Chipotle Cinnamon Hash

Sources: 1 Datassential Condiments, Sauces, and Dressings Keynote December 2018, 2 Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report 2017


Questions or comments about this article? Feel free to contact us!


SideDish! for Martin Bros. Customers

SideDish! is delivered to your inbox every month and gives you access to tips and trends to make your business more efficient and profitable throughout the entire year. You'll learn from the experts specific to your industry including, healthcare, medical supplies, restaurant supply, janitorial supply, large kitchen equipment, restaurant marketing and more!

Become a Customer