Beloved Chain Restaurant Dishes That Are Gone Forever
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 the 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 restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
KFC Potato Wedges
In a hard blow to many, KFC recently removed the 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 this iconic side dish. Want to keep the nostalgia going? Here are 19 Discontinued Fast-Food Items We Miss the Most.
Subway's Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich
To streamline its sandwich offer during the pandemic, Subway decided to cut one of the most popular sandwiches from the menu for good. The sad news about the rotisserie chicken sandwich shocked fans and employees alike because some of the less popular items remain on the menu. Not to mention, the chain also Just Pulled Its Most Popular Sandwich Deal.
Subway's Roast Beef Sandwich
In fact, not only did Subway remove its beloved Rotisserie Chicken option, but another sandwich that got the permanent ax was the Roast Beef. Again, fans couldn't handle it.
Shake Shack's Chicago Style Hot Dogs
During the pandemic, the burger chain announced a temporarily limited menu to ease operations for kitchen staff. Several menu items were temporarily retired, including the Chicago-style hot dogs. It's an understandable move for a company that built its fast-food reputation on burgers to want to narrow down and focus its menu during uncertain times. And although the change 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.
Shake Shack's Concretes
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.
Red Robin's Chili Chili Cheeseburger
Red Robin is one of the several burger joints that's suffered tremendous losses in sales during the mandated restaurant shutdowns. To bounce back quickly, the chain decided to cut a whopping 55 items from the 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.
Zinburger's Gourmet Burgers
Just two short years ago, Zinburger was a rising star in the gourmet burger world and was even named one of the Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains by an industry insider magazine. However, the wine and burger chain is permanently closing 18 of its 24 locations due to the pandemic. This means that the gourmet burgers are all but going extinct very soon. Here are 7 other Regional Fast Food Chains You May Never See Again.
McDonald's Chicken Items
It seems that McDonald's has been rolling with the punches better than most this year—but it didn't come without sacrifices. The chain announced several drastic menu changes since the beginning of the pandemic, and in a bid to streamline its chicken offerings, the chain cut its 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 the limited menu, so this may be the end for these two items.
McDonald's Breakfast Items
Breakfast was a major area where McDonald's has tried to cut its losses. Because breakfast sales slowed down during the pandemic, the company edited the breakfast menu to the bare minimum and limited its availability to morning hours. And while some are speculating that all-day breakfast may be gone for good, the menu may also stick with the bestselling options, like McMuffins. That could mean that McD's currently unavailable bagel items and yogurt parfaits are gone for good.
Although salads aren't the first thing we think of when we think of McD's, it was nice to have the option to order them at the Golden Arches. But that option is now gone as the chain recently announced that it's discontinuing the sale of salads indefinitely.
IHOP's Banana Nutella Crepes
Another chain that implemented huge changes to the menu this year is IHOP. After the chain shrunk the menu, both literally and figuratively, several fan favorites were left behind. Gone forever are the Pancake Sliders, Simple and Fit Omelets, Chicken Florentine Crepes, and worst of all, Banana Nutella Crepes.
How can you lose something you never had? If McDonald's cuts a new burger from the menu before the chain even rolls it out fully, 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 the chain pulled the plug on those plans last month.
Torchy's Republican and Independent Tacos
Even former President Obama tried the famous bipartisan 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 the lowest-selling items.
All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Milkshakes from Disney World Resort
Multiple Disney World Resorts began reopening in June, but most of its 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.
Back in January, Chick-fil-A removed six of its items from the menu 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.
And for more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.