Golden rule: Do what you do best – and stick to it. What McDonald’s does best (or sub-par-adequate) is make hamburgers. That’s what they hang Ronald’s big floppy shoes on – McDonald’s is known for selling hamburgers. Deviating from this formula – more often than most – ends in failure for the fast food giant. Take the McRib for example. In 1981, McDonald’s got the bright idea of putting out a pork sandwich – where the meat was pressed together to resemble a small rack of Flintstone’s ribs. Apparently, the ingredient that held this faux rib-rack together (azodicarbonamide) is the same plastic used in yoga mats. This meat monstrosity was pulled from the menu in 1985 – and occasionally rears its ugly head for limited runs in select cities. Namaste eaters.
Though the McRib is a horrible McDonald’s fail – let’s look back at the fast food chain’s lesser-known super fails. Bon appetite!
The time: the late ‘80’s. McDonald’s wanted to expand their dinner menu; as well as compete with big fast food chains such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Sure, people normally don’t go to McDonald’s for pizza – but the execs went mad-with-power and wanted to monopolize the market.
McPizza’s tagline: “You never had pizza so good, so fast.”
Unfortunately, McDonald’s customers were used to fast service and were irritated when they had to wait longer than 3 minutes for their made-to-order pizzas. McDonald’s pulled the McPizza – but strangely enough the food items is still available in two cities. If you’re ever passing through Spencer, West Virginia, you can still enjoy a pippin’ hot McDonald’s McPizza.
In the early ‘60’s, McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc a mad vision to concoct a meatless sandwich to lure in Catholic customers who didn’t eat meat on Fridays. Go with me on this one: instead of putting beef or a chicken paddy on a bun – the Hula Burger consisted of a grilled pineapple slice topped with cheese. Yeah, my thoughts exactly. The Filet-o-Fish solved the Catholic/Friday problem, and the Hula Burger, in all its pineapple glory, was quickly killed.
3) The McLobster
Did The Human Centipede get influenced for its “100% Medically Accurate” tagline from this?
Why the hell did this product fail? Naturally, when you think of McDonald’s your mind wanders into the territory of lobster and other crustaceans. Introduced in 1993, the McLobster was basically a lobster roll served in a hot dog bun with “lobster sauce” and shredded lettuce. Why wouldn’t this catch on with people who also wanted McNuggets? The McLobster was only available in parts of New England and Atlantic Canada – and cost $5.99 in 1993 dollars. Lesson learnt: McDonald’s don’t get all fancy-shmancy with your menu items.
The McLobster commercial is just plain frightening; a mysteriously lobster crawls around on a McDonald’s countertop – making viewers question health code standards:
Okay, what the hell was McDonald’s thinking on this one? In, 1991, the McSpaghetti made it’s presence known for a short-lived era – primarily in the Rochester NY area. First problem – is it an Italian food item or Scottish; because we are mixing ethnic names here? This McDonald’s experiment lasted a whopping 6-12 months – when it was finally realized that people don’t go to McDonald’s for spaghetti. Even worse – around the same era, McDonald’s toyed with the idea of serving lasagna and fettuccine alfredo.
McSoup was literally Campbell’s Soup served in a McDonalds cup. I remember having a McSoup at a McDonald’s in the San Francisco area – and it tasted like Campbell’s soup mixed with fryer grease. Holy McWhatTheFuc k!
Watcha’ talkin’ about McDonald’s? The McHotDog confused customers when it was introduced in several Midwestern locations back in 1995. The product was completely off-brand for McDonald’s –though it did make a comeback in 2011 by popular demand in Pennsylvania locales. What kind of meat was in the McHotDog? Only the Hamburglar knew for sure – and he wasn’t talking!
7) McJordan Special
In the early ‘90’s Michael Jordan was willing to put his name on any product on the planet. Case in point: The McJordan Special. What McDonald’s did was take a regular burger, threw some bacon and BBQ sauce on it, and slapped Michael Jordan’s name on the whole ordeal. A perfect meal for those who wanted their sandwiches to taste like a pair of Air Jordans. The irony: A jug of McJordan BBQ sauce sold on eBay for $9,995. Jordan’s rival, Larry Bird, also shilled his name to the “Big 33” burger, which featured a quarter pound of beef, cheese, and bacon; though jugs of Big 33 sauce aren’t selling as well on eBay…
8) Onion Nuggets
Before there was the Chicken McNugget, there was the moronic Onion Nuggets. In the mid-70’s, McDonald’s chopped up some onions, battered them, and then finished it off in a deep-fryer. That’s it. And then it quickly went away.
9) McSalad Shakers
Is it surprising that the McSalad Shakers went the way of the McSpaghetti? Brought into the world in 2000, the idea was salad shoved into a cup. And then, you pour in dressing, put the lid back on, and vigorously shake. Both completely off-brand and moronic in execution. Bye-bye McSalad Shakers.
10) The McStuffin
Basically, these were McDonald’s Hot Pockets. Fail! Here’s the 1993 AP Newswire press release: McStuffins are baked French bread sandwiches with sauce and a choice of flavorings including teriyaki chicken, barbecued beef, pepperoni pizza, and cheese steak.
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