Love it or hate it, fast food is the backbone of American cuisine. But there are really only a handful of truly iconic fast food menu items. For every Big Mac, or Whopper, there are hundreds of other McNothings that somehow made it out of the test kitchen and had fast food fans scratching their heads. It’s safe to say these are the biggest fast food failures of all time. “The french fries are pretty good. French fried potaters? Yeah, french fries”.
McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
While it started out as a family restaurant, these days McDonald’s remains focused on making kids happy. But in 1996, the Golden Arches wanted appear more grown up, so they released the hamburger equivalent of an awkward 16-year-old. “Tina, eat. Eat the food. Eat the food” The Arch Deluxe featured a quarter-pound patty on an artisan bun, with peppered bacon, lettuce, and tomato. McDonald’s promoted it as the burger for sophisticated tastes, but this off-brand attempt was an epic failure. Hey, McDonald’s…just do you.
Burger King Satisfries
In 2013, Burger King launched Satisfries, announcing their fried foray into semi-health-conscious eating. “It’s time to get Satisfried. 40 percent less fat, 30 percent less calories. Only at Burger King” But BK’s Satisfries were more like, “saddest fries,” — and the lower-cal side failed for many reasons. First of all, everyone knows french fries aren’t a health food. Second, the fries cost more money than the regular ones. And finally, the fries weren’t even that healthy! “You cannot eat fast food! Why not? Because it will go down your throat and drop instantly to my thighs” A medium order of the crinkle cut fries clocked in at 340 calories. Despite also replacing regular fries with Satisfries in kids’ meals, Burger King phased out the side item a year later, due to unSatisfrying sales.
“Welcome to Wendy’s. Good evening, Wendy” Before they became known for sending out epic Tweets, back in 2006 Wendy’s wanted to give Subway a run for their money. So Wendy’s launched a line of healthy, deli sandwiches. “Ah-ah, not until we come up with a name.” “How bout Frescata?” “Dig in” But although the Frescata sandwiches were a fan favorite, Wendy’s pulled them from the menu less than a year later because prep was difficult and slow. The artisan rolls were baked fresh and every sandwich was made to order. Wendy’s may be all about freshness now, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be offering any Frescata’s ever again. “Hey, where’s the beef?”.
While it might have helped launch the career of Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, the McDonald’s McDLT wasn’t a successful burger — even though it graced the menu from 1984 until the early 1990s. “Could be the best tasting lettuce and tomato hamburger ever. New McDLT” The McDLT was served in a styrofoam container which was the main reason for its demise. The fancy container was designed to “keep the hot side hot, and the cool side cool.” And it was the customer who had to do the work of stacking the two sides together. “When those that are kept apart, finally come together, it’s not just good, it is fantastique” McDonald’s grillmaster, Ken Forton told Serious Eats that a lot of McDonald’s locations couldn’t properly prepare the burger saying, “There was a special heating-cooling machine that we had. It was like a rack heater, but cold on one side, and hot on the other. I think a lot of locations just used regular heaters, so customers only ever got warm burgers.” Lukewarm burgers? We’re…not loving it.
Burger King A.1. Halloween Whopper
Back in 2014, Burger King Japan released the Kuro burger. A year later, Burger King stateside released the A.1. Halloween Whopper, with a black bun that got its color from the A.1. Steak Sauce baked inside. But although this was going to be a seasonal menu item, the chain took some heat, regarding that black bun. In October, 2015 USA Today reported that several Burger King customers complained via Twitter that after they ate the bun, their poop was green. “You gotta be kidding me. Everything you just said is my favorite thing to do every day” A certified nutrition counselor told the mag, “To make poop turn that color green, it would require far more dye than is in the typical type of A.1., my guess is that they’re using a concentrated form.” “What do you put in that sauce? Well, start off with a little lemon juice and some ketchup (tackle)”.
Burger King BK Dinner Baskets
Burger King wanted to change the way their customers ate their food by offering BK Dinner Baskets in 1992. “It’s a whole new thing, and it’s happening at Burger King” From 4 to 8 p.m., your local Burger King would serve their food in dinner baskets and bring it to your table. Even though Burger King promoted the BK Dinner Baskets and table service using Dan Cortese from MTV Sports, the fast food chain quickly retired the gimmick and the whole thing was forgotten. Along with Dan Cortese. “Come on. You know you’re a big TV star… “Look, I’m used to be a big TV star. I’m not anymore.”
McDonald’s Mighty Wings
There was a brief moment when the Mighty Kids Meal wasn’t the only “mighty” thing at McDonald’s. “Hey, what’s going on? Oh nothing. We just forgot to get you a mighty kids meal (scream)” McDonald’s Mighty Wings were an epic failure, yet for some reason they were brought back in 2016 at some locations and then quickly ditched again. “I feel like a Kentucky fried idiot” When McDonald’s launched the product at the start of the 2013 NFL season, they were charging $1 per wing. Considering you can get a McDouble for the price of a measly little chicken wing, they weren’t exactly a good value. Bloomberg reported back in 2014 that McDonald’s began to sell the wings at 60 cents per piece because the chain had an astonishing surplus of 10 million pounds of frozen wings. Not only was the price still too high, Advertising Age reported that many customers found the wings too spicy. Of course, any spiciness can be cured with a dip in some ranch dressing, but we all know how stingy they can be with the dipping sauces at the drive-thru. “No soup for you. Come back one year” .
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