- Fast-food menu items like Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch Burrito, McDonald’sMcPizza, and Burger Kings’ ribs have become the stuff of legend after disappearing from chains’ menus.
- Some menu items command such loyalty that customers continue to beg chains to bring them back.
- Read on to learn more about 18 menu items that have disappeared from fast-food menus.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In the world of fast food, some menu items are gone, but not forgotten.
Items like Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch Burrito, McDonald’s McPizza, and Burger Kings’ ribs have become the stuff of legend. Customers beg the chains to bring back the iconic items. And, sometimes, these movements produce results.
Starbucks recently announced that the beloved S’mores Frappuccino will be returning to menus, sparking customer celebration. Burger King brought back Cini-Minis in 2018, after fans demanded the miniature cinnamon rolls’ return. The chain also brought back chicken fries in 2015, following a petition to resurrect the menu item.
“It was a great example of our team mining social media and connecting with our younger guests,” José Cil, CEO of Burger King’s parent company Restaurant Brands International, recently told Business Insider. “We have a very loyal following of millions of guests, and they were demanding chicken fries.”
But, some things are still stuck in the graveyard of beloved fast-food menu items.
Here are 18 menu items that may have disappeared from menus, but that at least some customers desperately want to see return:
Beefy Crunch Burrito
Support for the Beefy Crunch Burrito is one of the most organised movements around a fast-food item in the restaurant business. Since the item first appeared on menus in 2011, fans of the menu item have waged a vocal war with Taco Bell, in an attempt to bring the menu item back permanently.
The Beefy Crunch Facebook group has more than 73,000 members, many of whom regularly take to Taco Bell’s social media pages to express their displeasure that the Beefy Crunch Burrito isn’t available all the time.
In April, the founder of the Beefy Crunch Movement, Richard Axton, announced he planned to shutter the page in May after eight years of fighting. Axton is a Taco Bell celebrity, even starring in an advertisement for the chain when the Beefy Crunch Burrito returned to menus for a limited time.
“As you know, I flew down to HQ on my own dime in December of last year to find out if there was any commitment to us or the Beefy Crunch Burrito in 2019. There was none,” Richard wrote on the Beefy Crunch Facebook page. “But they didn’t rule out the possibility that it could come back later in the year.”
Wendy’s Chicken Caesar Pita
Wendy’s Chicken Caesar Pita was a customer favourite in the late ’90s. Boasting low-fat Caesar dressing and warm bread, this dish (and the two others versions the chain introduced) was supposedly Wendy’s answer to the “wrap craze” that was taking over fast-food restaurants at the time.
McDonald’s McSalad Shakers
McSalad Shakers were only on the menu for three years. But, at least some people wish they would return – there’s even a Facebook group trying to bring back the menu item.
Jack in the Box’s Cheesy Macaroni Bites
For some fast-food fan, Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos pale in comparison to Jack in the Box’s Cheesy Macaroni Bites.
Jack in the Box launched the macaroni bites back in 2008. These little triangles were filled with Kraft mac and cheese “enveloped in a crunchy, tempura-style coating.” Touted as “finger food” that was “convenient and portable,” it’s a mystery to us why these little bites didn’t become a permanent fixture on the chain’s menu.
Pizza Hut’s Taco Pizza
You can get a Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell – but you can no longer get a Taco Pizza at Pizza Hut.
Introduced in the late ’70s, the Taco Pizza was just what it sounded like: a regular pizza smothered in taco toppings. If you’re still confused, take a look at the classically ‘70s commercial that introduced it.
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
McDonald’s spent an estimated $US150 million to $US200 million advertising the Arch Deluxe’s rollout in 1996 – at the time the most expensive promotional campaign in fast-food history,The New York Times reported.
Though the fast-food chain’s executives had predicted it would bring in $US1 billion in sales in 1996, the burger – which at $US2.09 to $US2.49 was on par with or pricier than typical McDonald’s fare – failed to win over customers and was discontinued in the late ’90s.
However, the burger won over a cult following. In early 2018, the chain tested a revamped Archburger, made with fresh beef, at a handful of location.
Burger King’s ribs
In the summer of 2010, Burger King debuted what turned out to be a wildly successful limited-time menu item: pork ribs. People loved them so much that the chain sold 10 million of them and ran out a week before the offer was meant to end.
The $US8 per order ribs featured a light glaze, and fans speculate that their appeal came from the fact that they were real – not frozen – meat.
Wendy’s Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty
Sonic’s French Toaster Breakfast Sandwich
Two breakfast classics moulded into one? Yes please.Sonic had the genius idea of squeezing eggs, cheese, and bacon or sausage between two mega-slices of French toast back in 2015 – and there’s never been a better breakfast of champions since.
The chain did come out with the Breakfast Toaster, which is similar but lacks the best part of the original: the French toast.
McDonald’s onion nuggets
A true fast-food relic from the late ’70s, these deep-fried onion bits, part of McDonald’s dollar menu, were short lived. They were discontinued shortly after being introduced, though why remains a mystery.
Arby’s Sourdough Melts
KFC’s Double Down Sandwich
KFC debuted what can only be called one of the unhealthiest fast-food sandwiches in history in 2010, when they first put the Double Down on the menu. Made up of two fillets of deep-fried chicken and bacon, cheese, and special sauce, it was a short-lived calorie bomb that we can only think would make the best drunk food ever.
The sandwich’s artery-clogging ingredients didn’t stop diners from loving it. KFC was only planning on selling the Double Down for six weeks, but it decided to extend that period after selling close to 10 million sandwiches in the first couple of months after the menu item debuted.
Although you may have heard of this late-’80s-era menu itemcalled the “McPizza,” it was never actually named that by McDonald’s. Instead, the chain just called it pizza and hoped that it would bring in customers who frequented other pizza chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Starting out as full-size pies, McDonald’s pizza was then offered in individual sizes with toppings like sausage, peppers, onions, pepperoni, and mushrooms before it was discontinued.
Two McDonald’s locations, one in Pomeroy, Ohio, and the other in Spencer, West Virginia, that kept pizza on the menu since the ’90s were forced to take the item off the menu in 2017, West Virginia Illustrated reported.
That means that pizza is now only on the menu at one McDonald’s location in the US – a restaurant in Florida that actually added pizza to the menu in 2016.
Taco Bell’s Bell Beefer
Even the most devout Taco Bell fans might not know that the chain dipped its toes into the burger world back in the ’70s with the launch of the Bell Beefer. Basically a sloppy joe, the Beefer featured taco meat, onions, lettuce, and mild Border Sauce sandwiched between burger buns.
Taco Bell hoped the creation would compete with offerings from big burger chains like McDonald’s and Burger King, but it only lasted till the mid ’90s thanks to diners’ declining interest.Over 4,500 Facebook fans would still like to see the Beefer’s return, though.
Wendy’s Frescata Sandwiches
Served on what the chain called “artisan bread,” these rolls were stacked with turkey or Black Forest ham and Swiss or chicken salad. An early-2000s commercial claimed there was a “picnic in every bite.”
Wendy’s hoped the sandwiches would draw customers from Subway, but they were removed from the menu shortly after being introduced in 2006 due to issues with assembling the sandwiches and keeping them consistent.
McDonald’s Chicken Selects
Still, demand continued on social media. The Selects returned for a limited time in 2015, but they disappeared again by the end of the year.
In 2017, McDonald’s tried again. The fast-food chain debuted Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, which seem to be intended to fill the Chicken Selects-sized hole in customers’ hearts.
Wendy’s salad bar
In the ’80s and ’90s, Wendy’s offered a “Superbar” buffet,The Daily Meal reports. People could get salad, fruit, Mexican fare, pasta, and more.
The chain killed the “Superbar” in 1998 and discontinued all salad bars in 2006. But, some people still want to bring it back, forming a Facebook group in honour of Wendy’s past glory.
The goal of the McDLT was to keep the burger’s hot patty warm, while the lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise would stay cool and crisp. The burger was served in a two-part polystyrene container, with the warm elements on one side and the cold toppings on the other, Serious Eats reports.
While McDonald’s more gourmet burgers have come and gone, the McDLT represented a major step forward in the fast-food chain’s attempt to improve the quality of its menu offerings.
Sarah Schmalbruch and Ashley Lutz contributed reporting on earlier versions of this article.
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