Hot Wings and a Waiver To Go: Restaurant Claims Patrons Must Sign A Waiver To Eat Its Wings

habaneros2.JPGApparently a Chicago restaurant has a wing recipe so hot that it will require one “to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue for injuries.” The chili used is not mentioned, but my guess is that it is the habanero or Scotch Bonnet which have high Scoville scale ratings. Whether or not this move is a publicity stunt or is motivated by the infamous Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case which involved a hot cup of coffee is hard to tell. Most likely the ability to say one signed the waiver will be a badge of honor. In fact if the restaurant wants to increase the marketing aspect of the idea, the customer might get a copy of the waiver along with an “I survived” certificate.

By the way as Dan noted in a recent post, the book Spice: A History of Temptation which I have just started reading is place to learn about the spice trade. As someone who loves spicy food, especially Indian and Chinese food, the fact that the peppers used in those cuisines originated in the Americas yet quickly have become a key part of the cuisines yet in quite different ways fascinates me. I wonder whether despite being imported, the chilies fit so well with the other spices and peppers that it was easier for those countries to incorporate and then adapt them into their recipes than it was for other cultures.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    Making people sign a waiver to eat the really hot wing is an old bit. Quaker Steak and Lube in Pittsburgh has been doing it as least since 2005, and I know there are smaller local places that have been doing the same thing for much longer. Usually the waivers are combinations of joke and marketing.

    How did this place in Chicago manage to get so much publicity over what’ really an old stunt?

  2. Dave! says:

    They are actually using a Red Savina, which clocks in around 575,000 scovilles–twice that of a regular habanero/Scotch Bonnet. It is a dated stunt, though, and if they were *really* on their game, they’d be using a Naga Jolokia…

  3. daved1980 says:

    i am using the bhut jolokia peper and my wings are almost inedible i need a waiver so noone can try to sue me

  4. Matt says:

    I tried the Chicago hot wings mentioned in the article this weekend. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap on Superior Ave. did not make me sign a waiver, so they must be lightening up on that a bit. If their web site is to be believed, the pepper is the Red Savina with a few drops of Bhut Jolokia thrown in to the mix. So so so hot, but so so so good.

  5. Joe Harman says:

    What does the waiver say? What is the result that restaurants are worried will happen and customers sue? Has there ever been a documented case where someone was rushed to the hospital, almost died and sued a restaurant for serving wings that were too spicy hot?