8 McDonald’s menu items that were removed in 2020

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McDonald’s salads were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the restaurant industry and affected the operations of fast-food chains nationwide as they race to adapt to new health and safety limitations and changing customer behaviours.

Many chains, including fast-food giant McDonald’s, have removed items from their menus in order to streamline operations and focus on items that perform well among customers.

Customers have expressed outrage over these menu changes and while some removed menu items have made their return, many have not.

Here are eight McDonald’s menu items that were removed in 2020.


McDonald’s released and quickly removed its little and double Big Mac burgers at the start of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.

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Little and Double Big Mac burgers. Courtesy of McDonald’s

On March 11, McDonald’s launched two new iterations of its iconic Big Mac burger – the Little Mac and the Double Big Mac – at participating restaurants. The Little Mac featured a single patty and bun, while the double contained a whopping four burger patties separated by a bun, classic Big-Mac-style.

However, after the chain announced it would be shortening its menu as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the two new burgers quickly disappeared and have not returned since.


McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwiches were just one of many menu items that disappeared as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwiches. McDonald’s

The changes took effect in March, and while some items have made their return, most have not. What’s worse for fans of these items is that they may never come back at all.

“We will certainly add things back to the menu. Whether it goes all the way back to where we were pre-COVID, I think that’s probably unlikely,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said during a virtual investor conference in June, according to CNBC.


McDonald’s temporarily removed chicken tenders from the menu as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — however, the change could become permanent.

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McDonald’s chicken tender. Hollis Johnson

The fan-favourite menu item, then called Chicken Selects, first arrived on menus in 2004. However, in 2013, they were removed from menus nationwide. Four years later, chicken tenders made their way back onto menus as Buttermilk Crispy Tenders.

After they were released, they promptly sold out. The chicken tenders still appear to be a popular menu item, despite being temporarily removed from menus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, since chicken tenders have yet to reappear on McDonald’s menus, some fans fear the decision to remove tenders from the menu may be permanent.


McDonald’s salads were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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McDonald’s salad. Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Salads have surely never been among McDonald’s most popular offerings, so it’s no surprise that they didn’t make the cut for the chain’s limited menu and increased focus on high-performing items.

“To simplify operations in our kitchens and for our crew, and ensure the best possible experience for our customers, we are working with our franchisees and local restaurants to focus on serving our most popular choices and will begin temporarily removing some items from the menu,” Bill Garrett, McDonald’s senior vice president of operations, said in a statement to Business Insider.


Bagels were also cut from the menu, but have seemingly sneaked back onto the menu.

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McDonald’s sausage egg and cheese on a bagel. Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Back in March, McDonald’s decided to temporarily drop a number of pastry options from its breakfast menu, including bagels, leaving McMuffins, McChicken Biscuits, and McGriddles as the only options still available in the morning.

However, much of the breakfast menu has since seemingly returned – the McDonald’s online breakfast menu now includes its Big Breakfast, bacon egg and cheese bagels, sausage burrito, oatmeal, and more.


Yogurt parfaits have also been removed from menus.

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Previously available as a side, McDonald’s fruit and yogurt parfaits were cut after McDonald’s announcement of a limited menu. Now, the only sides available at the chain are fries and apple slices.


McDonald’s famous All Day Breakfast might also be on its way out for good.

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McDonald’s breakfast. Sorbis / Shutterstock

As outlets were reporting the departure of McDonald’s All Day Breakfast back in March, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger tweeted, “All day breakfast’s response to this news: ‘I’ll be back.'”

However, nearly eight months later, All Day Breakfast still has not returned, and many McDonald’s franchisees and workers are rallying for the famous all-day menu to never return.

“As McDonald’s and franchisees evaluate if and how we bring All Day Breakfast back to our menus, we want to ensure these improvements will remain consistent for our customers,” McDonald’s said in a statement to Business Insider. “Any final decision will be made in partnership with our franchisees, based on consumer demand, and designed to drive the business while minimising operational disruptions.”


McDonald’s spicy chicken McNuggets left just as quickly as they arrived.

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McDonald’s spicy chicken McNuggets. Irene Jiang/Business Insider

The new limited-time-only menu item was thought to be in response to the flourishing market for fast-food chicken products, as well as the smash success of Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets.

The chain’s spicy nuggets, as well as the Mighty Hot Sauce they came paired with, quickly sold out just two weeks after being released, proving how much customers loved the new version of its classic nuggets. While some restaurants may still have stock, most are completely out of them. However, all hope is not lost for spicy nugget fans.

“We’re thrilled with the positive response to these limited-time offerings,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “If our customers truly can’t get enough, there’s always a chance we’ll bring limited-time menu items back in the future.”