Consumers are Seeking out Spicy

Published: May 7, 2024

Things are really heating up in restaurants with ‘spicy’ being found on 70% of U.S. menus.1 Some of the more prolific flavors making their way into chain restaurants today include Nashville hot, chili lime and habanero2—making it a great time for you to consider adding a spicy LTO or bold new entrée to your menu.

Adding spicy options will also help you combat a challenge that 76% of operators share—increasing customer traffic.3 The hints below will help you serve customers what they’re craving and help you increase traffic and sales. 

Start the Day Spicy and Strong

Saturday brunch is now the busiest daypart by sales at restaurants 4—with more than 10% of all dining dollars spent Saturdays from  8 a.m. to 1 p.m.5  A great way to maximize your weekend morning sales is by introducing Hot Honey Chicken and Waffles. Hot honey has seen a +37% growth on menus over the last 12 months,2 and this recipe delivers a perfect balance between sweet and heat in every bite. 

A simple twist on a classic breakfast item can also help drive revenue. Using meticulously crafted meats from Hillshire Farm® brand can transform traditional egg dishes. For example, chorizo is a versatile option in the morning, which is why it’s among the top products on menus with the broadest appeal.Hillshire Farm® All Natural* Fully Cooked Pork Chorizo Crumbles  can easily infuse new flavors into omelets or scrambled egg dishes—and can easily transition into other daypart menu options. 

Stay Spicy All Day Long

If you’re like most operators looking to minimize labor and add quick prep methods to your back-of-house, fully cooked chorizo has endless possibilities. Serve Chorizo Con Papas Pizza for lunch or dinner or get creative and spice up soups or sauces. Considering that June is the biggest month for chain restaurants launching new pizza menu items,7 now’s a great time to introduce and test your pizza LTOs before peak season. 

Whether served for lunch or dinner, fried chicken sandwiches are a mega trend, giving operators a hot opportunity to innovate with builds, sauces, spice levels and more.8


Tyson Red Label® Uncooked Hot & Spicy Select Cut Chicken Breast Filets give you a blank canvas to create a signature sandwich or center-of-the-plate application. Partially cooked for quick finishing minimizes your prep time to get orders out quickly.

Chicken sandwiches and the sandwich category as a whole also over-index in sales March through June,9  and chicken is a great way to carry the heat of the popular spicy flavor profile. Nashville hot is a spicy standout among chefs looking for regional flavors10—so consider diversifying your menu with the Nashville Hot Grilled Chicken sandwich. And since this popular flavor has +483% 4-year growth on wings menus,11 you could consider serving it as a dipping sauce with our Tyson® Wings of Fire® Fully Cooked Glazed Bone-In Chicken Wing Sections

If you’re looking for spice-on-the-run for your grab-and-go customers, spicy chipotle is a top seasonal savory flavor,7 and one of the top five flavors on menus with the broadest appeal.1

Hillshire Farm® Southwestern Style Turkey Wrap features premium meats and is layered with Monterey Jack cheese and a chipotle mayo. Another Southwestern-inspired spicy option to consider is the award-winning Tyson® Butcher-Wrapped Spicy Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. This fully cooked thaw-and-heat solution has made-from-scratch quality without the labor, delivering a kick from the first bite to the last. 

We’ve just scratched the surface of all you can do to help increase revenue from the actively-seeking-spice consumer. And by tapping into the hot weekend morning dining trend and sandwich seasonality, you can help drive revenue, attract new customers, and keep your regulars coming back for more. Add some spice to your menu today so you can start tomorrow strong and keep it going all day long.

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*Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.

1 Datassential, The World of Spicy Flavors, August 2023

2 Datassential, MenuTrends, September 2023

3 Datassential, Pulse Industry Overview, March 2023

4 Restaurant Business Online, Saturday brunch is now restaurants’ business depart­­­, 8/8/2023

5 Datassential, Breakfast Keynote Report, May 2023

6 Datassential, Pizza Keynote Report, 2021

7 Datassential, Seasonality, February 2023

8 Datassential, Snap Food Profile, May 2023 

9 CREST, Circana Service Mode Seasonality, September 2023

10 National Restaurant Association, What’s Hot 2024, November 2023

11 Datassential, MenuTrends YE, DEC ‘22