Idea Zone: Hot Honey’s Epic Rise in the Pizza Industry

Mike’s Hot Honey's balance of sweetness and heat pairs especially well with a cup-and-char pepperoni pizza.

From rave reviews in the press to enthusiastic fans posting on social media, the hype for the product is palpable and growing rapidly. It can be found on the menu at some of the best pizzerias in the country, including Paulie Gee’s, where founder Mike Kurtz worked as a pizzaiolo and launched the product 10 years ago.

“For the first five years of the business, I was a one-man operation, personally producing and delivering the product to customers,” says Kurtz. “I would pack cases of hot honey into my car and drive around New York City, making deliveries to our early restaurant and retail partners.” The brand has now grown to over 10,000 points of retail distribution and is on the menu in thousands of restaurants nationwide.

Mike’s Hot Honey offers multiple pack sizes for retail and foodservice and has just launched a 1-oz. dip cup that’s perfect for delivery and to-go orders. From labor savings to allowing consumers to drizzle the hot honey on their pizza just before eating for the best flavor experience, the dip cups are already proving to be the favored format for pizza delivery.

Building the price of Mike’s Hot Honey into the menu item—or offering it as an upcharge—is key to a pizzeria’s success. The product is made with pure, high-quality honey, so consumers in the know have shown no resistance to a $0.50 charge for a drizzle on a slice, $2 for a full pie or $1.25 for a dip cup. It’s the flavor and the brand that keep customers coming back for more, which is why restaurants typically list not just “hot honey” but the brand name “Mike’s Hot Honey” on their menu. The trend of featuring brand names on restaurant menus as a way to increase sales is nothing new. Mike’s Hot Honey is an easy way to refresh your menu and gain new and loyal customers with one simple ingredient.

While pizza isn’t the only menu item that can benefit from a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey (think wings, fried chicken sandwiches, ice cream and even cocktails), it was the original pairing of fresh mozzarella, soppressata and Mike’s Hot Honey at Paulie Gee’s that put it on the map. To taste it for yourself, request a sample from Mike’s Hot Honey at https://mikeshothoney.com/pages/foodservice.