Fail Food

28 Fast-Food Items That Failed

McDonald's Mighty Wings

Not every item on a fast-food menu can be a hit.

We’ve highlighted items from top fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King that just didn’t resonate with customers.

From unappetizing to flavorless, here are some of the biggest fails.


McDonald’s Mighty Wings

McDonald's Mighty Wings

The McDonald’s chicken wings were too spicy, too expensive, and too unappetizing for the average customer. Before taking mighty wings off the market in November 2013, McDonald’s put the remaining product on sale for 60 cents each instead of $1.

McDonald’s McHot Dog

McDonald's McHot Dog

Customers weren’t particularly thrilled by this new menu offering, and the item was later pulled.

Since the disappearance of the McHotdog from the McDonald’s menu, the hot dog has reappeared in Japan as a breakfast item.

McDonald’s Pizza & McPizza

McDonald's Pizza & McPizza

McDonald’s offered pizza in the late 1980s and in the early 1990s.

This made-to-order pizza didn’t go over too well with customers, who weren’t fond of the long wait times and who preferred to purchase their pizzas somewhere else.

Burger King’s Enormous Omelette Sandwich

Burger King's Enormous Omelette Sandwich

The huge sandwich was way too big for customers, who apparently didn’t want oversize omelettes — and a surplus of cholesterol — first thing in the morning. 

McDonald’s McSpaghetti

McDonald's McSpaghetti

McDonald’s continued its streak of introducing foods other than burgers onto its menu in the late 1970s with McSpaghetti.

McDonald’s customers were not intrigued, but some international McDonald’s restaurants still sell this item.

McDonald’s Hula Burger

McDonald's Hula Burger

The Hula burger was McDonald’s failed option for Catholics who couldn’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent. The sandwich combined pineapple and melted cheese. If people weren’t going to eat meat, it was clear that they would rather have a filet-o-fish than a pineapple-and-cheese sandwich.

McDonald’s McLean Deluxe

McDonald's McLean Deluxe

McDonald’s attempted to appeal to dieters in 1991 with the McLean Deluxe, a burger that was marketed as 91% fat-free. To make up for the absence of fat, the burger was infused with water and carrageen (seaweed extract).

McDonald’s McDLT

McDonald's McDLT

The McDLT wasn’t anything special — it was simply a burger with lettuce and tomato.

McDonald’s tried to entice customers with styrofoam packaging that separated the lettuce and tomato from the burger for maximum freshness. It didn’t work, particularly because environmental advocates attacked the packaging.

Friendly’s Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

Friendly's Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

This calorie bomb featured a burger inside of two grilled cheese sandwiches, for a whopping 1,160 calories. Consumers found this enormous sandwich-burger combo unappetizing.

Burger King’s Burger Shots

Burger King's Burger Shots

Burger King tried to compete with White Castle sliders on numerous occasions. The burger chain offered burger bundles in the late 1980s, burger buddies shortly after, and burger shots in the late 2000s. Changing the name didn’t help; Burger King’s customers did not seem to want to purchase these tiny sliders.


Taco Bell’s Bell Beefer

Taco Bell's Bell Beefer

Even though Taco Bell’s slogan is “think outside the bun,” the taco chain made a taco burger, bun and all. Customers were not intrigued by the ground-beef taco burger, deciding to stick to tacos at Taco Bell and burgers at other establishments. However, some customers miss the retired item; a small but loyal Facebook group, “Taco Bell Please Bring Back The Bell Beefer,” begs the taco chain to revive the product.

Taco Bell’s Seafood Salad

Taco Bell's Seafood Salad

The name alone might make your stomach turn. In the 1980s, Taco Bell attempted to diversify its menu with this item, but the chain was forced to pull it after numerous reported incidents of food poisoning.

Burger King’s Satisfries

Burger King's Satisfries

William Wei / Business Insider

Burger King attempted to lighten up its fries with this low-calorie alternative, but customers seemed to prefer the real thing. The burger empire dropped them from its menu in 2014.

Dairy Queen’s Breeze

Dairy Queen's Breeze

Dairy Queen’s Breeze was offered from 1990 to 2000, and it was marketed as a healthier option to the chain’s iconic Blizzard milkshake. The Breeze used frozen yogurt instead of ice cream as an ingredient, but Dairy Queen’s customers weren’t interested. In fact, so few people purchased the product that the frozen yogurt would often spoil before it was used.

Wendy’s Breakfast

Wendy's Breakfast


Wendy’s has tried to sell breakfast items multiple times, but it has yet to prove to be a success. For now, it has pulled breakfast items off the menu again.

Wendy’s Frescata

Wendy's Frescata

Wendy’s made another attempt to go healthy with these Subway-esque sandwiches. This option was not appealing to customers, and the item was later pulled.

Burger King’s Shake-Em-Up Fries

Burger King's Shake-Em-Up Fries

These cheesy fries asked customers to do a little work: shake up fries in a bag with powdered cheese. In theory, it sounds as if it could work, but this product didn’t stay on the market very long.

McDonald’s Afrika

McDonald's Afrika


The McAfrika — a pita with beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomato — was an enormous PR disaster. The sandwich was released in Norway during a famine in southern Africa. Unsurprisingly, McDonald’s pulled the sandwich.


McDonald’s McLobster

McDonald's McLobster

In summer 2013, Canadian McDonald’s chains released the limited-edition McLobster, which promised “100% fresh Atlantic lobster,” for a curiously low price below $7. Unsurprisingly, stomachs were turned and reactions were strong.

Wendy’s Superbar

Wendy's Superbar

Wendy’s attempt at a salad bar offered an all-you-can-eat buffet addition with hot food to the chain restaurant, but it was unsuccessful.

Arch Deluxe

Arch Deluxe

McDonald’s tried to appeal to gourmand grownups with this quarter-pound burger. The “secret sauce” on the burger didn’t help; after a huge marketing campaign, it wound up being one of the most expensive failures in McDonald’s history.

McDonald’s Salad Shakers

McDonald's Salad Shakers

This healthy option didn’t last too long, even if some people were fans of the shakable salads. But that was the problem — not enough people wanted to purchase it. Proof: a Facebook page called “Bring Back The McDonald’s Salad Shakers” exists, but has less than 500 members.

McDonald’s Onion Nuggets

McDonald's Onion Nuggets


In the 1970s, McDonald’s introduced this fried snack that replaced chicken with chopped onions. It didn’t last very long.

McDonald’s Chicken Fajitas & Breakfast Burritos

McDonald's Chicken Fajitas & Breakfast Burritos

McDonald’s attempted to do Mexican food in the early 1990s with chicken fajitas and breakfast burritos. Much like its other attempts at new cuisines, it did not go over particularly well. The item was discontinued.

Jack-In-The-Box’s Frings

Jack-In-The-Box's Frings

This combo of onion rings and fries was introduced to customers in the 1970s and discontinued shortly after. Customers wanted either onion rings or fries, not both at the same time.

Sonic’s Pickle-O’s

Sonic's Pickle-O's

Sonic attempted to bring back this fried pickle snack from the 1960s in 2003, but customers were not enthused.

McDonald’s Big ‘N’ Tasty

McDonald's Big 'N' Tasty


The burger chain added this addition to the menu in an attempt to compete with Burger King’s staple, the Whopper. The sandwich couldn’t prove to be popular with customers over time, and it was pulled from the menu in 2010.

Pizza Hut’s Priazzo

Pizza Hut's Priazzo

This mega-pizza with two layers of crust, ample cheese, and a ton of meat, was intended to imitate Chicago deep-dish pizza. Customers didn’t appreciate how long it took to prepare the pizza, and given the enormous advertising campaign leading up to its release, the Priazzo was a failure.

You’ve seen fast-food items that failed…

You've seen fast-food items that failed...





One reply on “28 Fast-Food Items That Failed”

In Hong Kong and China, Pizza Hut had a one bowl, one visit salad bar. They ‘misunderestimated’ the local culture and people would compete to engineer the largest possible serving. Google images for “Pizza Hut Salad Tower”. A whole family of six could eat for the price of a single side dish. Occasionally, the tower would collapse on the way back to the table. So Pizza Hut tried cutting short carrot sticks and even cut cucumber slices in half. They were decried as stingy. Eventually (AFAIK) the pulled the menu item.

The same thing happens in Vegas. Chinese tourists do a survey of the priciest menu items and bypass the pasta, salad and sides to plunder the crab legs and foi gras.

In Cantonese it’s called “seet die” and means you would be stupid to make less than the maximum benefit from an opportunity. They feel no shame at all in doing it/ instead, there is a sense of pride.

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