Outback's New Sweet Heat Season Menu Is All About Hot Honey

Paired with everything from chicken and waffles to cheesy pizza pies, hot honey seems to be popping up as the condiment of choice on all sorts of menus lately. The flavored syrup maker Monin even named it the flavor of 2023 and found that 70% of spicy food fans expressed interest in consuming foods and drinks containing hot honey. Now, Outback Steakhouse is embracing the sweet-and-spicy trend with the launch of its new Sweet Heat Season menu, available at locations across the country from July 26 to October 31.

According to Outback, the new offerings will provide a "balanced flavor profile" paired with some of the restaurant's signature dishes (per FSR Magazine). The limited-time menu will reportedly include hot honey fried chicken and hot honey fried shrimp, featuring a house-made hot honey sauce served on the side. To wash it all down? A limited edition Hot Honey 'Rita will be served with a stirring dipper for sippers to add as much or as little hot honey to the boozy drink as they'd like. Of course, nothing is stopping diners from taking advantage of the accouterment to experiment with other Outback staples while it's on the table, including the famed Bloomin' Onion.

Hot Honey's popularity is on the rise

Once relegated to small, independent eateries — such as Brooklyn pizza joint Paulie Gee's, where Mike's Hot brand honey first appeared on the menu in 2010 — the sweet and spicy condiment has lately been embraced by more mainstream chains. In addition to Outback Steakhouse, Pizza Hut also hopped on the wagon this week, releasing limited edition hot honey pizza and wings in its Dallas and Cleveland markets. Other chains, such as Wendy's, Popeye's, and Buffalo Wild Wings have also incorporated it into their offerings in recent years.

In fact, the popularity of the chili-infused honey has grown by more than 200% between 2017 and 2021, according to a data report by the National Honey Board. Meanwhile, market research firm Dataessential projects that hot honey will be one of the fastest-growing menu additions over the next four years (per Restaurant Business Online). It's safe to say that fans of the so-called "swicy" flavoring will continue to have plenty of ordering options, from both fast-food and sit-down chains alike.