Eight Failed and Misguided McDonald’s Menu Items – What The Hell Were They Thinking?
Everyone gets so excited when the Shamrock Shake comes back, or even the McRib (like a zombie back from the grave) returns. We felt it was time to take a McLook back at some McDonald’s menu items that McFailed miserably. Some odd items are still available regionally, and some of these misguided food options were inspired by those regional offerings. Your arteries still haven’t McForgiven you.
McDLT (McDonald’s Lettuce and Tomato)
The McDLT (and it’s chicken cousin the McChicken LT) was pretty misguided – it was mostly a packaging strategy. You had your burger on once side of the Styrofoam package and the ‘fixins’ on the other half. It was introduced in 1984 and met it’s demise in 1991 when McDonald’s phased out the Styrofoam packages because of environmental concerns.
Fast food isn’t healthy, so we hear. And apparently McDonald’s heard that rumor too – so in 1991 the McLean was brought into the world. They claimed the beef patty was 91% fat free. Some science looking guy in a white lab coat somehow made this ‘healthier’ but it didn’t last long and was gone from the menu fairly rapidly. Also, you got an order of free large fries with it, so that pretty much cancels out the healthy part.
The Hula Burger was originally dreamed up by Ray Kroc, the father of the McDonald’s chain. The restaurant had a considerable number of Catholic customers who abstain from eating meat on Friday’s during lent. So instead of a beef patty, why not a pineapple patty? It didn’t do so well – but in Hawaii it’s still a favorite, for obvious reasons. The Hula Burger was replaced after Ronald McDonald discovered the Filet-O-Fish Lake and found that they were tasty. True story.
I can’t say this one is a flavor or taste fail – I mean it was not a *terrible* idea but it really failed big time. Huge. Massive failure. These were a victim of timing and pairing – they were introduced as a side for the beefsteak sandwich, one of McDonald’s ‘Dinner Menu’ items. You could also only get them from 4P – 9P.
McPizza is a sin. Just a sin. Pizza is a sacred American tradition that ought be respected – just as a pizza joint shouldn’t ever serve burgers, McDonald’s shouldn’t ever serve pizza. It’s a sacred, unspoken peace that exists between pizza and burgers.
MY GOD THE HORROR! These never really did well in the United States (and hence why they are on this list) but continue to be popular in Japan. Ray Kroc wisely prohibited the sale of these (no matter how high demand was) because he considered them unhygienic. However once he was dead and gone the chain introduced the McHot Dogs in 1995 and they survived until 1999. The biggest fright associated with them was the question of ‘what’s in them’ – a valid question for sure! Toward the end of their life span the chain offered Oscar Mayer brand but by then the marketing ship had sailed. Except in Japan, where they are just weird.
Ever wonder what it looks like when Ronald McDonald bleeds? Just open up a box of McSpaghetti and you’ll see it firsthand. In 1991 McDonalds dabbled in Italian-ish food for their ‘Dinner Menu’ and that included pasta. They didn’t stop at McSpaghetti either – they kept going with lasagna, and fettuccine alfredo too. None of those items made it past the end of the year and were served in very select ‘test markets’ but the trauma is forever burned into our memories. You can still get McSpaghetti in the Philippines by the way – for whatever reason.
The king of all McDonald’s items that we point and laugh at is the McLobster. It causes shivers in those who hear its name spoken. Lobster? At McDonald’s? You’re crazy! This item is still popular in Maine, where it originated, and you may be surprised to find out that it’s actually made from REAL lobster. McDonald’s lost a good deal of money on the national roll out of this because nobody even considered that the lobster was real but instead assumed it was made by someone on a Bunsen burner in a lab. Or fished out of the Hudson River. It’s sister the McCrab (crabcakes) appeared in the Middle Atlantic states for a while too.