Fast food restaurants are growing in popularity all over the world because they deliver what they promise — fast food. But, these calorie conglomerates don’t always pick winners for their menus. Here are 15 fast food items that didn’t stand the test of time.
McDonald’s decided to explore its Italian roots in the late ’80s when it came out with an Italian menu including lasagna, spaghetti and of pizza. They quickly found that even the quickest pizza took much longer than their slowest items, and customers lost patience.
McDonald’s released a short-lived Italian menu, including things like fettuccine and McSpaghetti. The menu didn’t last in the U.S., but if you’re really curious, visit some locations such as McDonald’s in the Philippines that still carry the McSpaghetti.
Remember when Wendy’s tried to become a little Italian sandwich shop? Wendy’s came out with these artisanal sandwiches to compete with Subway, but the sandwiches took much longer to make than the standard Wendy’s customer had patience for. They were discontinued.
In order to appeal to its Catholic clientele who avoided eating meat on Fridays, McDonald’s came out with something in the 1960s called the hula burger. It featured a big hunk of pineapple instead of meat. Luckily, McDonalds eventually realized it could instead just put fish on a bun and ta-da, we have the fish filet.
McDonalds briefly attempted to make its own version of BLT called the McDLT (McDonald’s Lettuce and Tomato.) Here’s what it was: a two-part Styrofoam container with hot meat in one part, and cold lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and cheese in the other part. The idea didn’t take off too well since this was basically a deconstructed burger.
In 1988, Wendy’s introduced three different types of buffets in all its restaurants. Buffet offerings included Italian food, Mexican food and a salad bar. It was quite popular at first, but eventually customers were off put by the long wait times that naturally came with maintaining a buffet.
From the ’70s to the ’80s, Taco Bell offered something called the bell beefer—taco meat inside a burger bun. Basically it was like a Sloppy Joe but Taco Bell customers —accustomed to compact little tacos and burritos — got upset that the sandwich fell apart too easily.
Many consider Frings as part of the Jack in the Box secret menu today, but they were actually on the real menu in the ’70s. Frings are a side order made of half french fries and half onion rings, which sounds kind of perfect when you think about it.
Today fried pickles make for a popular appetizer at many major restaurants, but when Sonic tried to sell them in 2004, nobody was buying them. The item was quickly discontinued.
Believing its customers wanted a more worldly experience, McDonald’s came out with the McAfrika: a sandwich made with beef, cheese and tomatoes on pita bread. In the early 2000s the sandwich got a lot of bad publicity due to famines in Africa, and it was discontinued.
Perhaps jumping on the White Castle bandwagon, Burger King came up with small sliders called burger buddies. You could get a pack of sliders in one box, but apparenttly the small patties were falling through the grill grates in Burger King so they discontinued them.
Burger King tried to become the breakfast king when it came out with its enormous omelet sandwich, made with a large omelet, sausage and cheese on a sesame seed bun. Customers found it too big, and the sandwich was discontinued.
In the ’80s Pizza Hut introduced the priazzo — a pizza similar to a Chicago-style deep dish. But Pizza Hut forgot its customers went there for speed more than anything else. The deep dish took too long, and people weren’t buying it.
McDonald’s big n’ tasty was meant to compete with the Burger King whopper and consisted of a quarter-pound beef patty, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise and bacon upon request. McDonald’s discontinued the burger and opted instead for its line of Angus burgers.
When the McDonald’s brothers first started selling food, it was hotdogs they were known for! In 1948, however, the brothers changed their business model and started selling burgers and shakes. The hotdog is still available at some McDonald’s locations outside the U.S.