Skip to content

15 Beloved Restaurant Menu Items That Are Quietly Disappearing

We've lost many fast casual foods to the pandemic.
Red Robin Chili Chili Cheeseburger

This year, we've lost access to many beloved restaurant menu items for good. When it came to surviving the coronavirus shutdowns, fast food chains had to think on their feet and simplify operations by cutting down their menus significantly. Some have even shuttered several locations or filed for bankruptcy.

Here are some of the latest and greatest fast casual restaurant menu items we're losing for good this year. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurants news delivered straight to your inbox.

1

KFC Wedges

potato wedges from kfc on plate
Courtesy of KFC

In a hard blow to many, KFC recently removed their beloved potato wedges from the menu, and replaced them with Secret Recipe Fries. And although there's no way those fries aren't delicious—they're coated in the chain's signature 11 spices and herbs—fans will need some time to process the loss of their beloved potato side. Want to keep the nostalgia going? Here are 19 Discontinued Fast-Food Items We Miss the Most.

2

Subway's Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich

Subway rotisserie chicken sub
Courtesy of Subway

In an effort to streamline their sandwich offer during the pandemic, Subway decided to cut one of their most popular sandwiches from the menu for good. The sad news about the rotisserie chicken sandwich shocked fans and employees alike, since some of the less popular items still remain on the menu. Not to mention, the chain also Just Pulled Their Most Popular Sandwich Deal.

3

Subway's Roast Beef Sandwich

Subway roast beef sub
Courtesy of Subway

In fact, not only did Subway remove their beloved Rotisserie Chicken option, but another sandwich that got the permanent axe was the Roast Beef. Again, fans couldn't handle it.

4

Shake Shack's Chicago Style Hot Dogs

shack cago dog shake shack
Judy W./ Yelp

During the pandemic, the burger chain announced a temporary limited menu to ease operations for kitchen staff. Several menu items were temporarily retired, including their Chicago-style hot dogs. It's an understandable move for a company that built their fast food reputation on burgers to want to narrow down and focus their menu during uncertain times. And although the move isn't supposed to be permanent, once an item is off the menu, it's hard to bring it back, especially as the restaurant continuously innovates and tests new menu options.

5

Shake Shack's Concretes

shake shack frozen custard
Courtesy of Shake Shack

Shake Shack's frozen custard desserts didn't survive the pandemic menu pruning, either. The beloved creamy sweet treats piled high with toppings are currently unavailable. Whether they're ever brought back is yet to be seen. Here's our list of Best and Worst Frozen Fast Food Desserts.

6

Red Robin's Chili Chili Cheeseburger

Courtesy of Red Robin

Red Robin is one of the several burger joints that's suffered tremendous losses in sales during the mandated restaurant shutdowns. In order to bounce back quickly, the chain decided to cut a whopping 55 items from their menu. While there are too many lost items to list here, it's worth mentioning that fan favorites like Chili Chili Cheeseburger and the Tavern Double were among the forever-gone dishes. Here are some other burger chains in danger of closing.

7

Zinburger's Gourmet Burgers

Courtesy of Zinburger

Just two short years ago, Zinburger was a rising star in the gourmet burger world, and was even named one of Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains by an industry insider magazine. However, the wine and burger chain is permanently closing 18 of their 24 locations due to the pandemic. This means that their gourmet burgers are all but going extinct very soon. Here are 7 other Regional Fast Food Chains You May Never See Again.

8

McDonald's Chicken Items

It seems that McDonald's has been rolling with the punches better than most this year—but it definitely didn't come without some sacrifices. The chain announced several drastic menu changes since the beginning of the pandemic, and in a bid to streamline their chicken offerings, they cut their Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and Chicken Fingers from the menu (good ol' McNuggets are still available though). While these cuts are supposed to be temporary, the chain has been extremely careful with bringing back items to their limited menu, so this very well may be it for these two items.

9

McDonald's Breakfast Items

mcdonalds bacon egg cheese bagel
Courtesy of McDonald's

Breakfast was a major area where McDonald's tried to cut their losses. Because breakfast sales slowed down during the pandemic, the company edited their breakfast menu to the bare minimum, and limited its availability to morning hours. And while some are speculating that all-day breakfast may actually be gone for good, the menu may also stick with the bestselling options, like McMuffins, for good. That would mean that McD's currently unavailable bagel items and yogurt parfaits are gone for good.

10

McDonald's Salads

greek feta salad grilled chicken mcdonalds
Courtesy of McDonald's

Although salads aren't the first thing we think of when we think of McD's, it was certainly nice to have the option. But the option is now gone as the chain recently announced they're discontinuing the sale of salads indefinitely.

11

IHOP's Banana Nutella Crepes

Courtesy of IHOP

Another chain that implemented huge changes to their menu this year is IHOP. After they shrunk their menu down, both literally and figuratively, several fan favorites were left behind. Gone forever are their Pancake Sliders, Simple and Fit Omelets, Chicken Florentine Crepes, and worst of all, Banana Nutella Crepes.

12

McDonald's P.L.T.

Courtesy of McDonald's

How can you lose something you never had? If McDonald's cuts a new burger from their menu before they even fully roll it out, that's how. The burger giant ventured into the plant-based meat space with a burger featuring a Beyond Meat patty that was available as part of a trial run in Canada. The company was planning to roll out the new burger in the U.S. this year, but they pulled the plug on those plans last month.

13

Torchy's Republican and Independent Tacos

Courtesy of Torchy's Tacos

Even president Obama tried the famous bi-partisan tacos at Torchy's back in 2016. But this year, the chain quietly got rid of the Republican and Independent tacos for good. The Democratic taco is still on the menu, but Torchy's said the decision had nothing to do with politics—the two nixed tacos were simply their lowest selling items.

14

All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Milkshakes from Disney World Resort

Candy cane chocolate milkshake
Shutterstock

Multiple Disney World Resorts began reopening in June, but most of their restaurants would be returning with limited menu offerings. Many popular items across several of the parks' restaurants were retired during the pandemic, but the hardest blow may come from learning that the Plaza Restaurant would no longer be offering the unlimited milkshake option. Also, Disney World Just Opened the World's Most Mind-Blowing McDonald's.

15

Chick-fil-A's Chick-n-Strips

Chick fil a cobb salad chicken strips
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

Back in January, Chick-fil-A removed six of their items from the menu, in order to make room for some spicier counterparts. Original Chick-n-Strips were therefor replaced with Spicy Chick-n-Strips, as well as the Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich and the Spicy Chick-n-Strips Biscuit. Some other items that got the boot were side salads and several breakfast items.

Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more
Filed Under