Fewer than two months after pinning rabbit skins to billboards, the sadistic team at Hell Pizza has now decided to turn its sadistic streak toward consumers by creating what it is being dubbed as the "hottest pizza in Australasia".
Topped with a generous helping of ghost peppers (which measure one million Scoville heat units), the Angry Dragon pizza is sold with a quirky disclaimer that every purchaser must sign before the fiery delicacy is handed over.
According to the Inject Design-crafted contract, the pizza cannot be eaten by anyone who is pregnant, under the age of 18 or suffers from any condition that may be exacerbated by eating hot food. Customers must also sign a mandatory waiver that indemnifies Hell from all risks of personal injury, possible loss of life, loss of earnings, and risks of damage to or loss of personal property.
“We are taking safety very seriously,” says Hell general manager Ben Cumming. “As well as strict rules around who can buy and consume the pizza, Hell employees have also received detailed instructions to prevent any injuries. This includes having to wear gloves at all times when preparing the pizza, which are then removed and thrown away immediately when finished.”
Those who are able to successfully consume the culinary horror will receive a full refund of the cost of the pizza, a pair of dragon slayer undies, a dragon slayer certificate and inclusion on the in-store Hell 'Wall of Flame'.
“Believe us when we say that this pizza is hot – we have had it tested at a New Zealand lab and it has been verified as the hottest pizza in Australasia. When we taste-tested the pizza, not one of the eight people trying it could finish more than two snack slices,” says Cumming.
Those who find the flavour a little overwhelming are encouraged to chase the pizza with a soothing cucumber and yoghurt gelato, which has been created by the pizza chain's supplier, Carello del Gelato. According to a release from Hell, the frozen dessert won't necessarily remove the burn entirely, but it might soothe the pain slightly.
“We know our customers are adventurous and are open to trying new things, which is why we are constantly striving to push the boundaries with innovative, new products like the Angry Dragon,” says Cumming. “We think our customers, especially spicy food fans, are going to love this latest addition and will be open to giving it a go.”
And if the impressive statistics from Hell's 'Pizza Roulette' campaign are anything to go by, then there certainly is some truth to this. In 2012, when the campaign by Barnes, Catmur and Friends was running, 17 percent of its customers were new, nine percent of all orders were for 'Pizza Roulette' pizzas, and Friday April 13, which fell smack bang in the middle of the promotion, was the biggest day of sales in Hell's history, with some shops having to stop taking orders for the first time ever.
Although it will be difficult to top the response of the previous campaign, it will be interesting to see how fans respond to the latest stunt from the sadistic team behind pizza chain's initiatives.
UPDATE: So far, they've responded as expected, with TVNZ's Breakfast hosts and Jono and Ben attempting to slay the dragon and suffering from some severe mouthburn as a result.