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10 Fast Food Menu Items That Never Should Have Existed

10 Fast Food Menu Items That Never Should Have Existed

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If there’s one style of food that’s more synonymous with American dining than any other, it’s fast food. And while it could be argued that the majority of fast food items deserve their places on their respective menus, some of them really never should have existed at all.

10 Fast Food Menu Items That Never Should Have Existed (Slideshow)

Fast food menus have exploded in size in recent years, with more and more items being added, many seemingly at random. Even though the success of chains like In-N-Out and Shake Shack has proven that it’s wiser to focus on a making handful of core menu items really good than constantly throwing things against the wall (in this case, the wall being an unsuspecting American public) and seeing what sticks, the fast food parade marches on as more and more people opt for seemingly healthier options at fast-casual chains like Panera Bread or Chipotle. These are desperate times for fast food, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

That’s not to say that all completely pointless fast food menu items are recent innovations (as you’ll see), or that all recent innovations have been pointless. For example, take Wendy’s recently launched Baconator fries: besides being a wise extension of their Baconator brand, they’re fries topped with cheese sauce, bacon, and more cheese, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And we’re willing to admit the hot dog stuffed-crust pizza from Pizza Hut is brilliant. In this era of preposterous mashups, it’s almost refreshing to see a fast food combination that should have been invented years ago: pizza and pigs in a blanket.

Some of these fast food items were experiments that were never really meant to last; others were big-budget menu items with huge marketing programs behind them that ended up failing miserably. A few are still on menus as of this publication date, but that doesn’t make them any less pointless. Read on for 10 fast food items that really shouldn’t have ever existed in the first place.

When McDonald’s decided back in the summer of 2013 that they were finally going to roll out their Mighty Wings — breaded and fried chicken wings — on a national scale, the timing seemed right: wings were everywhere, competitors like Buffalo Wild Wings were booming, and everyone was tiring of burgers. But they were too expensive and too spicy, and people just didn’t really feel right eating wings at McDonald’s. The product failed miserably, leaving 10 million pounds of unsold wings sitting around. Even though they actually tasted pretty good if you could handle the spice, there was just no reason for these to make it onto the menu.

Burger King spent millions of dollars developing and rolling out a lower-calorie French fry in 2013, even though there was zero demand for them. Despite a marketing push, nobody bought them, because nobody who’s eating fries cares if they’re healthy or not. They fell off just about every location’s menu within a year of their release. More like saddest fries.

19 discontinued fast food items we wish would return

Many fast food chains have come to be defined by their most timeless menu items — McDonald's has the Big Mac, Taco Bell the Crunch Wrap Supreme, and Wendy's its Frostys.

But there are probably some dishes you had no idea existed — and no longer do.

We took a trip down memory lane and unearthed 19 delicious fast food menu items that have unfortunately been discontinued.

Keep scrolling to see what was being served at your favorite chains in the '80s, '90s, and early 2000s.

McCafé drinks

Courtesy of McDonald's

One McDonald's employee wrote on Reddit that the fancy drink machines are "routinely neglected," in terms of cleaning, and they called the machines "horrifically dirty" because they aren't cleaned often enough.

Still, other McDonald's employees noted that their locations clean the McCafé machines nightly, so it depends on what location you're visiting. And if you want even more McDonald's, check out these 20 Failed McDonald's Menu Items You Won't Believe Existed.

Most Popular Restaurant's Secret Menus, Nutritional Info, Prices, etc.

We feature the latest fast food menus like McDonald’s menu prices, Panda Express menu prices, and and even Papa Johns menu prices. These restaurants offer secret combinations and additions that revolutionize the dining experience. Check out the nutrition facts behind your favorite meals and sides, full menus and prices, along with full secret menus and descriptions of each item.

Secret Menus

For decades your choices at your favorite restaurants were limited to what was on the menu. If it wasn’t listed in black and white on the menu, you would have a hard time ordering it. The increasing popularity of secret menus has changed all of that. We finally found a whey protein powder we can recommend if you want to boost up any of your secret menu experiences. Secret menus are unofficial and unadvertised items on menus at restaurants around the world that allow you to customize what you eat to serve your unique taste buds. Secret menus items are passed from person to person through word-of-mouth. At, we compile secret menu items from people just like you. The community then votes and weighs in on items to make sure the best always comes out on top!

How to Order from the Secret Menu

Ordering from secret menus is not hard but you should follow some basic rules. Since secret menu items are no on the official menu, when you order, you should know not just the name of the item, but also the recipe. It’s a good idea to have the page loaded on your phone, so that way when you are in the store, you’re ready to order your favorite secret menu item. Occasionally, some secret menu items will cost a little bit more because of additional ingredients, but most of the time, you will be getting more for the same price.

Taco Bell is said to have one of the most complex menus of its kind, and we're not just talking about the well-known public menu.

The restaurant's secret menu includes items like the Chili Cheese Burrito, Double Grilled Quesadillas, and the Enchirito, which is an enchilada stuffed with beef, beans, cheese, diced onions, and topped with red sauce.

Ranker points out that aside from being secretive, the Enchirito is one of Taco Bell's only items that is typically eaten with a knife and fork (well, spork).

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

It’s the chicken sandwich that spawned long lines, brawls, and even a fatal stabbing. Popeyes’ crown jewel debuted in August 2019, and demand was so brisk that the chain shortly ran out, even spurring one Tennessee man to sue, alleging false advertising and deceptive business practices. Why all the hubbub? Well, between the buttered brioche bun, the thick, buttermilk-battered filet, and the tart pickles, the sandwich really is that good, fans insist. So good that even The New Yorker says its ingredients form “a combination so intense, and so perfectly balanced, that they meld into one another to form a new, entirely coherent whole.” Come to think of it, we’ll take two.

Fast food workers of Reddit, what should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?

EDIT: This thread got way more popular than I had ever expected.

Former starbucks worker here. Please don't order anything off the "Secret Menu". It doesn't exist.

If you want a snickerdoodle, nuttella, or captain crunch frappuchino (or whatever other overly sugery thing someone has since come out with), know the base drink and the modifications, and order that. If you just say the name, it's up to the barista to come up with what's in the drink, and it may not be what the last barista you ordered from put in there.

The only popular place with a "secret menu" is probably In-N-Out. And it's not that secret.

Customer: I'll have a <insert stupid drink name>.

Me: I have no idea what that is.

Customer: It's on your secret menu.

Me: We don't have a secret menu.

Customer: But I read online that you have a secret menu.

Me: Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

I currently work at starbucks and I shit you not about 2 months ago I had this interaction:

Me: Hi, welcome to Starbucks. What can I get for you? Lady: Hi give me a Nutella frappucinno. Me: Well, we don't actually have anything called a Nutella frappucinno, but if you have the recipe for it weɽ be happy to make it for you. Lady: It's on the secret menu. Me: We don't actually have a secret menu, some people just enjoy creating their own drinks and sharing their recipes with others. So if you have that recipe, I can make it for you. Lady: No. whispers I know about the secret menu. Me: facepalms for an eternity

Luckily for me my Starbucks has a relatively small base of customers. I'm not in a big city, so we have a good mix of regulars and people that think Starbucks is a glorified McDonalds. I've reinforced the idea that we can make whatever you want us to, so long as you have the recipe and the cash, and if you're cute and/or buy drinks every day anyway the second part is optional.

I actually enjoy the "secret drinks" these crazy ass motherfuckers come up with. Most recently is the base for a smoothie (no flavor, just milk to the second line), 2 pumps chai, 1 pump SF vanilla, a pack of oatmeal, and a pack of mixed nuts.

"Please, for the love of god, don’t order a lettuce wrap. There’s nothing gross or anything, it’s just so annoying to put together and to put toppings on."

"The tuna isn&apost even refrigerated. It comes in a bag as a pink rectangle that we break apart. It&aposs one part tuna to two parts mayo (and then customers will order even more mayo with it. We go through so much mayo per day that it makes me want to vomit.) The only thing I would advise against eating is the tuna."

14 Fast Food Menu Items You Should Never, Ever Order, According to Employees


Put down that burrito, friend! Fast food workers of Reddit are here to save your life. Sort of. But you can finish that burrito if you really want. Don't let it go to waste.

There are certain things on menus across the country you should never, ever order, either for sanitary reasons, for food quality reasons or because it'll really, really piss the employees off. And you know what happens when you mess with the people who handle your food.

Keep in mind that a lot of these issues are due to poor management and vary from franchise to franchise, meaning not all Taco Bells will be guilty of what foul practice one T.B. employee is revealing. Plus, many servers and bartenders have some tips for you, too. Basically, the ice machine is a death trap that will surely bring about the end of mankind.

So before you head out to lunch/dinner/middle of the night shame-eating fest, here are 14 menu items you should probably avoid:

Ice machines, even when cleaned regularly, are still disgusting in general, and if there isn't anything to scoop the ice with, guess what employees will use? And if you want lemon with your water, think againk. Many Reddit employees of restaurants reveal that lemons are often not washed before slicing, they sit out all day/night and they are handled with bare hands a lot. So maybe just order water, no ice, hold the lemon?

Every Fast Food Restaurant Milkshake Ranked

Milkshakes were first created in 1885 and meant to be a frothy alcoholic treat usually accompanied with whiskey. By the 1900's some genius we're all super appreciative of started using ice cream and thus the modern day milkshake was invented. Each fast food joint makes them differently. From Shake Shack to Whataburger, we've ranked the best shakes from every fast food joint we were able to find.

Official Menu Description: "However your Crave shakes out, we've got the perfect flavor just for you. Flavors may vary by Castle." - White Castle

Verdict: This shake is as basic as it can get. Made with a healthy dose of dairy and other essentials, the chocolate shake from White Castle is great if you're looking for a quick fix. Besides chocolate, you can get this in strawberry and vanilla. Frankly, there are better options available considering the flavors available taste as basic as your elementary school milk box. The shake is less flavorful than competitor offerings and lacks any White Castle signature (that can be found in items like the sliders).

Official Menu Description: "Thick, indulgent banana chillness." - Checkers

Verdict: We know what you're thinking and yes, people do enjoy banana-flavored sweets. The classic milkshakes from Checkers or Rally's (name depending on your location) also comes in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. The real winner here is the banana iteration since no other fast food joint makes this one so smooth and silky. Made with just bananas, vanilla ice cream and cold milk, the banana milkshake is as simple as it can get for better or worse. What drives it down is the lack of banana chunks that could have been introduced.

Official Menu Description: "Each shake is made with real ice cream that is hand-scooped and individually blended with milk and a choice of chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, or peach syrup, just the way they were made in the 'old days. ' We'll even mix in real malted milk powder for those guests who want to go super retro and order a malt." - Hardee's

Verdict: Made with the upmost fair typical ingredients, the milkshake at Hardee's is one tough contender. The usual ice cream, milk and flavor syrup is mixed together to create this delectable treat. What it lacks in flavor originality, it makes up for in a pleasant taste and texture. The consistency is where this one falls flat. Nine out of ten times, it's melted into a sloppy puddle by the time you sit down to dig in.

Official Menu Description: "Sorry, Milk, but OREO® has a new best friend&mdashold-fashioned thick shakes. Made with real vanilla ice cream, OREO® cookie pieces, topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Seriously, Milk. Move on. Sign up for online dating or something." - Jack In The Box

Verdict: Finally, something different! The shakes at Jack In The Box are standard to most with typical flavors like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but then comes the fan-favorite Oreo flavor to rise above the rest. Although not the best on the list. in terms of price, contrast to other competitors, and originality, this Oreo shake is worth the drive over to the nearest Box.

Official Menu Description: "Whataburger Shakes contain between 430-860 calories, depending on your choice of sizes." - Whataburger

Verdict: Now we're reaching a new standard. Whataburger is an expert of rotating seasonal flavors that don't disappoint. The only drawback is their permanent flavors only come in in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate and their seasonal flavors aren't widely available during peak periods. If you catch them on a good month and in certain states, you can get flavors like Dr Pepper, salted caramel and root beer. These shakes would be higher on the list if you could get the seasonal flavors outside of a few southern states and if said flavor packed more of a punch: "Good for a fast food joint. However , their new Dr.Pepper shake taste nothing like Dr.Pepper it taste like a vanilla chocolate malt candy bar. " said a Yelp review.

Official Menu Description: "The flavors of chocolate and coffee were made to go together. And humans were made to drink milkshakes. We took these two undeniable truths and created our famous Jamocha Shake. It's a frosty, chocolate-y, coffee-y treat."

Verdict: We don't know why coffee-related shakes aren't more of a thing, but the Arby's Jamocha shake is one of wonders. "Decided to stop in at Arby's roast beef for a bite. Forgot how nice a roast beef sandwich is with a Jamocha shake. Very filling and delicious" said a Yelp reviewer.

Official Menu Description: "Chocolate, strawberry or vanilla made with real ice cream." - In-N-Out

Verdict: If you're not ordering off of a secret menu then you're doing fast food wrong. Made with all three different flavors normally available (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) the Neapolitan shake is probably the best shake on the In-N-Out menu. It's a great start to hacking menus everywhere. The flavors (compared to others) might not live up to the hype that the California brand gives to tourist and locals alike.

Official Menu Description: N/A - BurgerFi

Verdict: This offering from BurgerFi somehow manages to capture the experience of eating red velvet cake, but in drinkable shake form. While it may not be a groundbreaking flavor option, this shake maintains the acidic and cream cheese flavors synonymous with its cake brethren. Other shakes come in vanilla, chocolate, black + white, strawberry, Oreo and coffee mocha.

Official Menu Description: "A spin on our classic OREO® Shake, the OREO® Chocolate Shake is a smooth shake made with velvety vanilla soft serve and blended with OREO® cookie pieces and chocolate sauce." - Burger King

Verdict: This shake flavor has mass appeal, but the Burger King version tastes a little artificial when held up against other Oreo shakes.

Official Menu Description: "Make it your lucky day with the shake that started it all. Creamy, dreamy vanilla soft serve blended with Shamrock Shake syrup and topped with delicious whipped topping. Available in small, medium and large." - McDonald's

Verdict: Made with reduced fat vanilla ice cream, shamrock shake syrup and whipped light cream, the Shamrock Shake® from McDonald's is notorious among shake purists. Leaning more on novelty that can sometimes wear off, the shamrock shake doesn't always deliver. "It was not nearly as good as I remember it being. A bit overboard on the minty-ness and it had a slight taste of plastic." Said a Yelp reviewer.

Official Menu Description: "Creme de Menthe blended with milk & creamy DQ vanilla soft serve into a classic DQ shake garnished with whipped topping." - Dairy Queen

Verdict: The impressive pastel green color shines as much as the flavor. The shake is also topped with delicious whipped cream. It's heavy on food coloring which can leave the taste a little artificial, but the winner is its pastel green color which is derived from the actual mint plant.

Official Menu Description: "Hand spun vanilla milkshakes with or without whipped cream." - Five Guys

Verdict: The best thing about these shakes from Five Guys are all the different mix-ins you can add alongside the hand spun vanilla. Bacon, bananas, cherries, chocolate, coffee, malted milk, oreo cookie pieces, peanut butter, salted caramel and strawberries offer you the chance to make a shake that's completely your own. The base flavor vanilla is just average, but the toppings make this shake really shine.

Official Menu Description: "Fresh Frozen Custard blended with mint and chocolate flakes." - Culver's

Verdict: This shake comes in six different flavors (chocolate, vanilla, mint chip, strawberry, regular mint and raspberry.) Culver's is known for being a custard pro and we have to agree. The smoothness of the mint custard leaves a cool sensation that will have you running back for more.

Official Menu Description: "Hand-Spun Heath Shake" - PDQ

Verdict: PDQ was created in 2009 and meant to make people the focus. They now have a strong line of milkshakes that garnered a spot in the top ten. Made with a Heath candy bar and vanilla ice cream, it's a perfect alternative to any coffee milkshake. They also offer flavors like vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, Oreo and Reese's.

Official Menu Description: "All of our hand-spun shakes are made with the finest USDA Certified premium vanilla ice cream, whole milk & topped with whip cream." - Johnny Rockets

Verdict: How can you be in a Johnny Rockets and not order a milkshake? The Oreo® Cookies and Cream milkshake is perfectly blended. The different ingredients add a chunkiness to the shake that make it a special treat. You'll also find a sand-like texture where the Oreo meets the vanilla ice cream. Overall, this shake will take you on a texture adventure, but don't let that scare you. Each bite (and texture) is filled with the best quality ingredients.

Official Menu Description: "The Chocolate Frosty® was born out of Dave&rsquos desire for a signature dessert to go with his vision of the perfect meal. Thick enough to use a spoon, smooth enough to use a straw, and perfect when enjoyed on the end of a fry." Wendy's

Verdict: You know what they say about reinventing the wheel. this is exactly that. The Frosty from Wendy's is iconic and only comes in two flavors: vanilla and chocolate. Each slurp, spoonful or sip is filled with a thick consistency that always stays the same. "Food is all right. I mainly go there for their chocolate frosty. A classic item on their menu. Their frosty is delicious. It's in-between ice cream and a milkshake. Not thick like ice-cream but not thin enough to suck through a straw. You have to eat it with a spoon. Lots of memories with this place." Said a Yelp reviewer.

Official Menu Description:"Yellow birthday cake and sweet buttercream frosting topped with festive sprinkles." - Steak 'n Shake

Verdict: Considering having a milkshake on your birthday? Try the Birthday Cake and let us know what you think. We know you'll love it. Yellow birthday cake chunks mixed with vanilla ice cream topped with buttercream and sprinkles is just pure euphoria. The vanilla ice cream itself has a medium-thick consistency which is great for people who hate struggling with the straw for a sip. With 24 other milkshake variations, Steak 'n Shake is the perfect place for a cool down.

Official Menu Description:"Real Ice Cream mixed with rich peanut butter and Oreos® into a thick and creamy shake, finished with whipped topping and a cherry." - Sonic Drive-In

Verdict:The Sonic Drive-In is a prime example of perfectly blended ingredients with just enough top layer crunch that will make anyone happy. 12 different variations of milkshakes exist here and we recommend going with the hand-mixed master shakes. A Tripadvisor reviewer said "Stopped here for the first time ever to try the Oreo peanut butter shake. It was yummy! Too thick hard suck using the straw. I had to wait for it to thin out a little bit hence why I gave only 4 stars instead of 5. My husbands shake and daughters shake were thick as well. again great flavor, but take it easy with the thickness. Will definitely come back to try other items on the menu the next time I am in CT. But, reasonably priced! 3 shakes 1 small 2 mediums for 12 bucks. Generous portions too. Their whip cream is delicious."

Official Menu Description: "Hand-spun the old-fashioned way, this refreshing milkshake features Chick-fil-A Icedream® and real peaches, topped off with whipped cream and one crucial cherry. Available seasonally for a limited time" - Chick-fil-A

Verdict:According to a Tripadvisor reviewer "The peach milkshake is to die for&rdquo and we have to agree. If sunshine was a milkshake, this would be it. The Chick-fil-A peach milkshake is seasonal and only available during summer months. Made with vanilla icedream, peaches and cream, this shake should be on everyone's radar. Real chunks of peaches are added to the semi loose mixture creating a rich surprise with each gulp. If it wasn't for it's seasonal status, this milkshake would have been number one.

Official Menu Description: "Don&rsquot call it ice cream: our dense, rich, and creamy frozen custard is the real deal&mdashand we spin it fresh daily at the Shack!

Our vanilla and chocolate recipes only use real sugar (no high-fructose corn syrup), cage-free eggs, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones." - Shake Shack

Verdict:The Shake Shack Black & White milkshake is a favorite among fans from every region. "I have a long distance love affair with Shake Shack. Every time I am able to visit one I do. Their burgers are wonderful and the cheese sauce on the fries is heavenly. It was fun to be able to have a casual dinner in a neighborhood full of swankier restaurants. I highly recommend the Black and White Milkshake. It is just amazing." mentions a reviewer on Tripadvisor.

Made with equal parts chocolate and vanilla ice cream, the decadence of this shake is incomparable. With a thicker texture and more pronounced taste, it may take a while for you to get used to gulping it down. Don't let that bog you down, this shake is worth the work. Simplicity matched with high quality dairy make this number one on the list.


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