- Food and Cooking
5 Things That Did Not Work As Fast Food - With Pictures and Videos
One of the most expressive consequences mass production and globalization (it goes into your stomach, after all) fast food services have spread all over the world as a way for a person to acquire comfort food of (hopefully) reasonable quality at a (again, hopefully) low cost. As such, it became a profitable and very competitive universe in the food business, which leads its entrepreneurs to attempt create new, daring ways to appease the appetite of the masses, which sometimes have catastrophically failed.
Either due to poor marketing or just being outright disgusting, the following fast food ideas never really became popular with the modern world's digestive systems.
Alas, Every Good Thing Has A Dark Side
Some food types just aren't fast enough, but lets be honest here, everyone loves pizza, including your dog (author's note: do not give pizza to your dog)
During the 1980s, pizza was already largely popular among America's restaurant chains, and Pizza Hut's global success was at its peak. Good old MacDonalds, obviously, did not want to leave such profitable niche unexplored, and so decided that serving pizza would be the next big thing on its menu, and created McPizza.
Why It Failed
Anyone who knows how a pizza restaurant works can tell you that pizza ovens are definitely not cheap, requiring a decent investment in money and space to properly work. Pizza is also rather complex in its preparation, requiring the dough which will make the crust to be prepared beforehand, and the distribution of the many different ingredients plus the sauce also take certain skill to look pretty for a customer level pizza, meaning you need to spend more time and money training your employees. The actual cooking also takes some time and can be very sensitive, meaning a pizza can be easily ruined due to a timing mishap.
All of this meant that pizza just wasn't fast enough to keep up with McDonald's other choices. Most menu options were only available after significant preparation time, and waiting patiently isn't something the McDonald's target crowd is known for. McPizza's prices were also significantly above those of other, more ordinary food items.
This, combined with the fact the pizza market was already filled with strong competitors that provided richer menus and more product quality signaled the failure of McDonald's pizza misadventure, which had mostly disappeared by the early 90s.
The Hula Burger's Pineapple Patties
God disapproves of lots of things, and pineapple patties may be one of them.
You see, during the sixties, MacDonald's was facing a major sales problem: the sales dwindled during fridays due to catholic enforced fasting. At that time, in some countries, the local conference of bishops obtained permission to allow its adherents to substitute the need for pious or charitable acts with abstinence from meat during every friday of the year, with the exception of Good Friday. This was true for the US, and caused a major headache to poor Mr. Ray Kroc. But he had just the idea for dealing with it..
So, how do you deal with a crowd who will just not eat meat at a certain day of the week? Well, you could use something as a meat substitute during, obviously. But use what as a meat substitute, you ask. Why, pineapples of course! Thats the greatest idea since poutine!
Why It Failed
Well, you see, contrary to every expectation that did not stem from common sense, not many people found this option to be very delicious, as pineapple is packed with acids and sugars that make for a strong taste when cooked, which does not please most palates, specially the meat devouring crowd of MacDonald's. Plus, its a very juicy fruit, meaning the bread would often get soggy with the pineapple's juices infused into it.
Not only that, but pineapple isn't the cheapest fruit out there, and it was only used in exactly one item of MacDonald's menu, the so called Hula Burger, making it not the most economic investment ever.
As the Hula Burger crashed (thankfuly), in 1962, Lou Groen, the owner of the first MacDonald's in Cincinnati who faced the very same problems due to his heavily catholic clientele, decided to create the Fillet-O-Fish, the sandwich that saved his restaurant and would eventually become a commercial success, and putting all the nails in the Hula Burger's coffin less than a year later.
Taco Bell's Seafood Salad
Some things don't need to be carefully explained to make your stomach scream NOPE NOPE NOPE.
While Taco Bell is known for many good reasons, including being the first fast food chain to hire women as managers, doritos tacos and those adorable commercials with that one Chihuahua (which were eventually deemed controversial and later pulled from the screens), it was at one point known for food poisoning, and not the kind that just keeps you locked in your bathroom.
In another case of fast food chains taking a "don't put all your eggs in one basket" approach to things, during the mid 80s, Taco Bell decided that it was time to expand its target audience by adding seafood to the menu, and not only with fish tacos. Thus came the birth of the Taco Bell Seafood Salad.
Why It Failed
As anyone with minor knowledge of seafood and fast food chains though, this couldn't end well. And it didn't. Taco Bell had to pull the product from the shelves due to several cases of food poisoning due to poorly preserved seafood popping up.
Of course, this is hardly news, as taco bell keeps getting peppered with food poisoning complaints every other Thursday, but such is life in the fast food business.
Burger King's "Satisfries"
Sometimes an idea isn't bad, but fails anyway due to poor execution. Such is the tale of the Satisfries.
Burger King always had a hard time competing with McDonald's fries, and recently made an attempt to strike back against its biggest competitor, by creating squiggly french fries that supposedly have less calories and fat than the normal fries.
Its all very simple, really, Burger King would release a new type of fries, give it a squiggly shape, call it "satisfries" and claim it has 30 per cent less fat and 40 per cent less calories then the regular fries everywhere else. Add that to a huge marketing campaign centered around how your company is worried about making "healthier fast food" and you got a recipe for success! Right?
Why It Failed
You see, while Burger King sure did make a huge marketing campaign around the satisfries and its drive for creating healthy fast food, it still failed to properly advertise it at the actual Burger King restaurants. You see, for a long time, nobody really knew why exactly the satisfries would have less fat and calories than normal fries. We now know that this is due to a less porous surface which kept the fries from absorbing more oil, thus lowering their caloric value (and the amount of stains in the packaging).
Not only that, in the US, they were about 30 cents more expensive than "regular" fries, which made them even less appealing, specially as people rarely think of fries as a main course when they go to a fast food restaurant, and likely don't matter to pay less for a slightly less fatty substitute.
If anything, the satisfries represent a growing trend in fast food industry of presenting "healthier" food alternatives to their customers.
Sometimes things are too good (or too shady) to work.
Alas, behold the result of years of cautionary tales about fast food selling seafood. When the McLobster was released into the icy lands of Canada, it did so like an UFO. It was mysterious, hauntingly suspicious, questionable and possibly terrifying.
Few people have been brave enough to make contact with this creature.
McDonald's insists that the McLobster is just a simple, innocent lobster roll, filled with "100 per cent authentic Atlantic lobster", covered with "lobster sauce". This would be hard enough to swallow (figuratively, I was never brave enough to try it), coming from a fast food giant and all, but not only that, McDonald's is also selling it for under 7 USD.
- A mysterious lobster delicacy.
- Under 7 USD per roll.
- Sold by McDonald's.
Why It Failed
Well, uh, it hasn't.
But it kinda has.
Its hard to say when people are just too terrified to try it. Granted, some people were oddly enthusiastic about it, but it just didn't seem right for many people. McDonald's has never actualy pulling the product from its shelves, and it ocasionally returns to haunt people in the northen hemisphere.
Don't worry when it will come, because it certainly will come.
The question is, will you be ready for it?
Stay safe, readers.
Are you brave enough to face the McLobster?
Which of these items have you eaten in the past?
© 2015 Guilherme Radaeli