For a fast-food brand that has ‘I’m lovin’ it’ as its motto, it is quite contradictory when its own staff refuses to eat certain menu items, let alone love them. Whether it’s items on the menu now, or items that were discontinued (because heck, even the staff didn’t like them), these are 10 more McDonald’s menu items that even the staff wouldn’t eat.
10. Big Breakfast with Hotcakes
If there is one thing that Americans have celebrated with great abandon in recent times is the introduction of all-day breakfast at McDonald’s. And among the most popular breakfast items on the menu is their Big Breakfast with Hotcakes. As the name rightly states, this is a big breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, a fatty sausage, greasy hash browns, buttery biscuit and a stack of indulgent pancakes known as ‘hotcakes’. The big breakfast is accompanied by a small container of syrup and extra butter, just in case you thought that there wasn’t enough fat in your big breakfast! As you may have guessed, this Big Breakfast with Hotcakes has a ton of carbs, sugar, sodium and fat; all the ingredients that are not recommended for an ideal start to the day. The breakfast may be tasty, but the instant sugar spike and sugar crash after a few hours are not at all good for you. Is it any wonder that most McDonald’s staff won’t ever eat this breakfast? With an entire day’s intake of sugar, fat and sodium consumed at breakfast, what are we left for the rest of the day? Thus, having the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes is clearly not how to start your day right.
The McDLT is, at best, an eccentric McDonald’s creation that involved a deconstructed burger and a special polystyrene container. It was served in two joined containers that held the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ ingredients of a burger separately. The top bun and toppings were placed in one container and the bottom bun and patty were in another. And the customer was required to assemble the burger when it was time to eat. The logic behind this arrangement was probably to ensure that the toppings, like sauces and veggies, would not make the bun soggy or get weirdly warm from the hot burger. But unfortunately for them, customers simply didn’t get the fuss behind the special container, and after paying for a ready-to-eat burger, the last thing they wanted was having to assemble it on their own. This caused one of the problem for this burger, customers didn’t want to assemble their own burgers and the staff was just doing what they were told, separating the burger and sending it out on it’s way. The staff was being paid to separate the burger, while the customers thought they were paying for a fully assembled burger, conflict arises. The other, very real issue, was the packaging of McDonald’s McDLT. The styrofoam packaging used for the McDLT was terrible for the environment, and with this becoming of greater importance, there was outcry from both customers and staff to have this item taken off the menu, and they got there way as it was discontinued in the late 1990s.
8. Shamrock Shake
Working all day at McDonald’s, handling fast-food, and getting to see how it’s made has probably wisened them up into not consuming many items on the menu, including the Shamrock Shake. Though it has a catchy name, the Shamrock Shake is more of a sham than a shake. There is nothing Irish about it and is loaded with sugar. Clocking in at well over 500 calories for just 16 ounces, this shake is bad news for your heart, blood pressure, waistline and overall health. The McDonald’s Shamrock shake has an insane amount of sugar in it. It comes in at 63 grams of sugar for a small and 112 grams of sugar for a large. That’s roughly 15 packets of sugar for a small and 28 packets of sugar for a large… yikes!The Shamrock Shake gets most of its calories from the sugar and carbs, which in such large amounts per serving is quite detrimental to your well-being. And if you are wondering about the actual ingredients of the shake, they’re quite simple – vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and Shamrock Shake syrup, which is where the beverage gets its green color from. Most adults should ideally limit their daily sugar intake to about 24-36 gm per day, but just one serving of the Shamrock Shake and you’ve already crossed your daily limit, two-fold, or even three-fold. This frozen treat generally makes its appearance around St. Patrick’s Day, and McDonald’s has sold millions of these. But we’re quite sure that the staff has never tried it.
7. Onion Nuggets
Long before the now-famous Chicken McNuggets came into being, there were Onion Nuggets. In simple terms, you just remove the chicken and replace it with chunks of onion. An invention of a McDonald’s cook, Rene Arend, Onion Nuggets were first launched in the late 1970s and consisted of onion pieces coated in a breadcrumb batter and fried till golden brown. They were the chunky version of onion rings – soft and juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Like most other fried sides, these were served with a dipping sauce. But what is most fascinating about the Onion Nuggets is that there is hardly any information available about them and most customers don’t recall tasting them. This is mainly due to the success of McDonald’s own Chicken McNuggets, which just dwarfed the Onion Nuggets in popularity. Even though the concept of Onion Nuggets doesn’t sound very abnormal, customers probably couldn’t get their mind around the combination of chicken nuggets and onion rings. Like the staff, they probably weren’t able to fathom what this unusual item would taste like. It’s no wonder then that Chicken McNuggets made their debut soon after and continue to be loved even today.
6. McCafe Chocolate Shake
As many employees have mentioned on the internet, the milkshake, smoothie, soda and McCafe machines at McDonald’s outlets are rarely cleaned. And this confession comes directly from the staff at various McDonald’s outlets. Shakes and sodas top the list of items that McDonald’s staff would rarely ever consume themselves. Reddit is full of threads from former or current McDonald’s employees who go on to state that the drink machines at McD’s outlets are extremely dirty, neglected, and unhygienic because they are not cleaned very often. So ordering milkshakes at McDonald’s is probably a bad idea. But some staff members do maintain that their locations clean out the McCafe machines on a nightly basis. So, the hygiene factor of the beverages really depends on the outlet that you are visiting. But there is no way of knowing which outlet has clean McCafe machines and which does not! Besides the hygiene bit, most McDonald’s staff admit that the McCafe Chocolate Shake is one of the items that they themselves would never order. It is a sugar bomb, where a small serving has about 74 gm of sugar, 530 calories and 15 gm of fat. All-in-all, it reportedly has more calories than a McDouble or several sugary glazed donuts. A McCafe Chocolate Shake has more calories than many chocolate shakes at rival fast-food outlets. And if you order a large serving of the McCafe Chocolate Shake, the calorie count is through the roof.
Though McDonald’s was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald (the McDonald brothers), it was Ray Kroc who took the small burger chain to international heights. He was a visionary leader who made McD’s a giant in the world of fast food. And while he was the man behind the global popularity of McDonald’s, there was one item that he was thoroughly opposed to – hot dogs. We don’t know if it was from personal bad experience or something else, but Kroc really hated hot dogs and had reportedly mandated that they would never be served at McDonald’s. But soon after his death, the executives at McD’s went in for the kill and released the McHotDog in the 1990s. Not the wisest decision. It would have served the successors of Kroc to have heeded his advice and refrained from selling hot dogs at McDonald’s because the McHotDog was a huge flop. Customers just couldn’t associate hot dogs with McDonald’s and the sales never translated to profits. Perhaps the customers and staff both agreed with Kroc’s repulsion of unknown meat served in a bun, which could be the reason why the McHotDog didn’t quite take off. And probably the reason why even the staff wouldn’t eat it. No wonder it was soon discontinued.
An item from the 1980s, McSpaghetti is one of the many pasta-based items that McDonald’s tried to introduce in the American market. Along with McPizza, lasagna, and a fettuccine-Alfredo-like dish, McSpaghetti was not much liked by customers or the staff. It reportedly tasted like noodles served with ketchup to some customers or like pasta topped with generic sauce from the supermarket, which is quite unappetizing. It was apparently served in cardboard containers that made it difficult to eat. And it didn’t look very appealing either, even in the commercials. It is rumored that McSpaghetti was introduced in order to compete with the likes of Pizza Hut and Domino’s in the area of Italian fast-food. But customers found the taste lacking and the staff reportedly found that the McSpaghetti took too long to prepare. Thus, it was subsequently removed from McDonald’s menus in the U.S. Though it does have a large fan following in several Asian countries like the Philippines and Japan. In fact, it is extremely popular in the Philippines and is a regular menu item there. We wonder if the staff there likes it too!
3. McLean Deluxe
Another weird McDonald’s item that the unfortunate staff was once upon a time forced to make was the McLean Deluxe. Also unfortunate are the customers who tried it, for the McLean Deluxe was described by most as gross or funky tasting. The idea behind the McLean Deluxe was that it was a low-fat burger that was meant to appeal to diet-conscious eaters. The words ‘McDonald’s’ and ‘diet-conscious’ do not belong in the same sentence, for most of McD’s food is far from healthy. The McLean Deluxe was said to be 91% fat-free, but when they removed all the fat from the beef patty, they reportedly replaced it with water and then added a seaweed-based coagulant called carrageenan to hold the patty together. So, it would essentially be a gummy and watery burger with some bits of meat thrown in. Unsurprisingly, not many found this savory or appealing, including the staff. When customers caught wind of the fact that water and seaweed was being added to the McLean Deluxe, it grossed them out and the orders stopped coming in. The item failed and the staff breathed a sigh of relief.
2. McGratin Croquette
Japan seems to be a popular place for many fast-food chains to introduce wacky items and McDonald’s did just that by launching the McGratin Croquette. It is a burger with a patty made up of mashed potatoes, creamed shrimp, and macaroni that has been deep-fried to a golden brown color. This fried patty is placed on a bed of lettuce and sandwiched between two buns. It made its debut in Japanese McDonald’s locations and was actually really liked by some fast food go-ers in Japan. It’s also known as Gura-Koro, gura meaning deep-fried and koro meaning croquette. The McGratin Croquette never made it’s way to the U.S. market, for obvious reasons. The problem with the dish is that many felt it was just an odd combination of flavors, even for a market keen towards this sort of flavor mash-up. Enough so that it was actually discontinued not very long after its initial release. This upset some people who enjoyed this obscure meal, so much so that now McDonald’s Japan does periodically re-introduce this onto their menus seasonally at select locations. This is a just a weird one, loved by some, disliked by others. But unless this is a flavor pairing you’re dying to try, listen to the staff and stay away from this one.
1. The Hula Burger
By now we’ve seen some really outrageous McDonald’s creations. But there are a few more examples that can be included in this list of ridiculous food items that were once sold at McDonalds and The Hula Burger is definitely a worthy candidate. Invented in the 1960s by none other than Ray Kroc, the man famous for taking McDonald’s to unprecedented heights, the Hula Burger was primarily aimed at attracting Catholics practising abstinence from meat on Fridays. He saw that sales at McDonald’s outlets where there was a large population of Catholics took a big hit on Fridays and decided to come up with an alternative for them. Since tofu was unheard of and plant-based proteins were not very well-known at that time, he decided to replace the meat patty in the burger with a slice of grilled pineapple. The resulting burger was pineapple, cheese, and bun. Try to imagine the taste and we’re sure that unless your tastebuds are on a vacation, you’re highly unlikely to take more than a single bite of this ridiculous combination. This pineapple-based sandwich is reportedly one of McDonald’s earliest failures, and we can only imagine what the staff felt while making it. We’re pretty sure that no McDonald’s staff of that time ever tasted it. The Hula Burger was quickly killed and replaced with the Filet-o-Fish, which as we all know, is still going strong.