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What items have been removed from mcdonalds?

McDonald’s has shuffled menu during the pandemic to save time and simplify operations: parfaits and salads out

McDonald’s diners have said goodbye to salads. Stock investors should be glad they’re gone.

A pandemic-driven menu overhaul at McDonald’s Corp. has eliminated more nutritious menu options such as grilled-chicken sandwiches and fruit and yogurt parfaits. The world’s biggest restaurant company is trimming out offerings to move diners through lines and drive-thrus faster and with less staff—a key necessity as restaurants struggle to attract and retain workers.

These items likely won’t be returning anytime soon, and that should bolster profitability, BTIG LLC analyst Peter Saleh said. While mounting commodity and wage expenses have weighed on restaurants’ margins in recent quarters, faster service and higher sales can help to offset that. McDonald’s says it has shaved about 30 seconds off of its drive-thru wait times over the past few years, in part thanks to the menu cuts. This has a noticeable impact for investors: Restaurant margin, a key measure that takes into account operating costs, is expected to improve to 16.2% in the second quarter, up from 14% in the prior period, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“With the shortage of labor, you’re trying to keep your menus as streamlined and as simple as possible,” Saleh said. “For many of these restaurants, their menus get bloated with some of these new items, and then you cut it off to help with speed.”

Restaurant operators are happy with the new strategy, which cut some healthy items due to longer prep time and lower demand. “Our simplified menu enables for speed,” said the National Owners Association, a large group of McDonald’s franchisees, in an email last month viewed by Bloomberg News. An efficient car lane is key to sales growth, according to the group: “We love fast drive thrus, happy customers, and happy crews.” Franchisees operate about 95% of McDonald’s U.S. locations.

McDonald’s shares have fallen about 9% so far in 2022, less than the decline of the S&P 500 Index. The stock has 27 buy ratings from Wall Street analysts, with 11 holds and only one sell recommendation.

Limited options

The losers, of course, are health-conscious consumers whose options are now limited. Salads, which McDonald’s first introduced decades ago and only made up a very small percentage of sales, are still available in certain local markets, but they’re no longer listed on the McDonald’s website. There are no plans to bring them back nationally right now. Also gone: The 250-calorie Egg White Delight McMuffin, rolled out with much fanfare in 2013 amid a push for nutrition with Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. In comparison, a regular Egg McMuffin has 310 calories.

McDonald’s still offers apple slices and oatmeal with fruit. But it’s clear the fast-food chain, which has faced criticism for not offering more nutritional options, is focusing on core items including burgers, fried-chicken sandwiches and desserts such as a new McFlurry that’s made with chocolate-covered pretzels. The company’s “Favorites Under 400 Calories” menu, started in 2012, is no more. Offerings such as kale salads and wraps with cucumbers and tomatoes have come and gone over the years.

The Chicago-based company says its menu is fueled by customers’ appetites. “Our transition to a limited menu, involving taking dozens of less popular national and regional items off menus, helped simplify operations for our restaurant crew while also improving our customers’ experience,” McDonald’s said in an emailed statement. “We continue to evaluate our menu through this lens to improve order accuracy and speed.”

Since COVID-19 upended daily life, restaurant menus have been cut more than 10% on average, according to industry researcher Datassential. Nearly 60% of restaurants last year axed items, especially in the appetizer, dessert and beverage categories, up from the 37% that made cuts the previous year. Burger King, for example, has also gotten rid of salads, removing them from the chain’s national menu in December.

Meanwhile, consumers are tiring of cooking at home, which has helped restaurant sales. But companies will have to work to keep diners’ attention. McDonald’s’ healthy options, while never a big driver of revenue, helped the company to stand out, according to Tom Cook, principal at restaurant consultant King-Casey.

“You always need to have something, some news to drive traffic, particularly these days,” said Cook, who worked with McDonald’s in the mid-2000s to help introduce a handful of new salads, including one with apples. He said the leafy-green entrees were a big deal at the time—even though management knew they’d never rival burgers sales. The goal with salads was to draw in female diners and especially mothers with children, he said.

“Here’s a case of knowing that it’s never going to be popular and sell a lot, but we’re going to make a big story out of it to communicate that we’re healthy,” he said. “It was a very high priority.” Fast forward to today, and “they’re just probably saying, ‘we don’t really need those,’” Cook said.

To be sure, the menu cuts have also included indulgent items such as the McChicken biscuit and a bacon, egg and cheese bagel that had more than 500 calories and half-a-day’s worth of salt. But McDonald’s seems to have gone farther than some peers in cutting low-calorie options. For example, Wendy’s Co. and Chick-fil-A Inc. still have salads and grilled chicken on their national lineups.

The story changes to some extent for McDonald’s overseas. Australia offers oat milk, and salads are still on the menu in countries such as Italy and the Netherlands. U.K. locations offer cucumber sticks. But the disappearance of healthy items at most of the chain’s 13,000 US locations is “a huge step backwards,” said Lindsay Moyer, senior nutritionist at food and health watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest.

“You have to wonder if McDonald’s has almost given up trying to pretend they have something to offer people who want healthier items,” she said.

[Fortune adjusted the headline to this syndicated article after publication to clarify that the menu changes have been in place for the past several years during the pandemic.]

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15 Discontinued McDonald’s Items You’ll Wish Still Existed


Sure, the Big Mac has stayed on the McDonald’s menu for years, and it’s hard to imagine chicken McNuggets going away anytime soon. But not everything at the Golden Arches has been a success. There are plenty of failed McDonald’s menu items that didn’t make it, whether because fans weren’t buying them or because their production effort was unsustainable for the fast-food chain.

We’re taking a trip down memory lane with these 15 discontinued McDonald’s items. How many have you tried? And for more, don’t miss 15 Secrets McDonald’s Employees Don’t Want You to Know.

Arch Deluxe

mcdonalds arch deluxe burger

If you were feeling fancy in the ’90s, you could order an Arch Deluxe instead of a Big Mac. But there wasn’t much to differentiate the «deluxe» burger from its cheaper counterpart, so it was removed from the menu.

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Fried Apple Pie


Apple pie is still on the menu at McDonald’s, but the recipe changed in 2018, and it’s never been the same.

Just be sure to stay away from these 10 Worst Menu Items at McDonald’s.

Beef Tallow Fries


Once upon a time, McDonald’s made its fries with beef tallow. These days, the fries are vegetarian-friendly and are prepared in vegetable oil. But there was something delicious about the beef tallow spuds.

Szechuan Sauce


McDonald’s botched its rollout of this dipping sauce with a racially insensitive ad campaign. But the dip is still beloved by many fast-food fans, especially those who watched Rick & Morty. It returned briefly recently for a limited time and, as predicted, fans went wild for it.


mcdonalds salad and coffee on blue tray

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, McDonald’s has simplified its menu , and that included getting rid of its salads. It’s not clear if and when they’ll return to the Golden Arches.

Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

mcdonalds artisan grilled chicken sandwich on white background

If you prefer grilled chicken to crispy chicken at McDonald’s, we have some bad news. The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is another pandemic casualty on the McDonald’s menu, though the McChicken is still available.

Chicken Tenders

Yes, McNuggets are still on the menu, but there was something that felt a little more grown-up about ordering chicken tenders instead.

All-Day Breakfast

mcdonalds breakfast sandwich and coffee

All-day breakfast was another coronavirus casualty at McDonald’s. Fortunately, you can still order a Golden Arches breakfast the old-fashioned way: Before 10:30 am. Some locations have limited items all day.


mcdonalds bacon egg cheese bagel

If you didn’t like the traditional breakfast sandwich offerings like the egg McMuffin, you used to be able to get your sandwich on a bagel instead. Sadly, that’s a thing of the past—you’ll now have to head to a bagel shop to get your beloved bagel sandwich.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

mcdonalds fruit yogurt parfait

The only two items currently on the McDonald’s «fries and sides» menu are fries and apple slices. The fruit and yogurt parfait, which layered strawberries and blueberries with vanilla yogurt, disappeared during the pandemic.

Onion Nuggets

mcdonalds onion nuggets

McDonald’s doesn’t serve onion rings, but once upon a time, the Golden Arches served Onion Nuggets. They were a bit like the Texas Tonion from LongHorn Steakhouse, with fried onion chunks that were perfect for dipping. 6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e

Big N’ Tasty

mcdonalds big n tasty

The Big N’ Tasty was added to the McDonald’s menu in the late ’90s. But like the Arch Deluxe, the burger didn’t have enough to differentiate it from the chain’s other burger offerings like the Big Mac.

Hula Burger

mcdonalds hula burger

Cheese and pineapple slices don’t usually go together, and pineapple isn’t usually served in place of burger meat. But this inventive vegetarian creation was so out-of-the-box that we’d love to see it on McDonald’s menus again.

Fruit and Walnut Salad

apple slices in white apple shaped bowl

This wasn’t a salad, per se—it was apple slices with yogurt and candied walnuts. But it was a major upgrade from the plain apple slices, so it’s a shame it didn’t last.

Fish McBites

mcdonalds fish mcbites meal

This Lent favorite is beloved if only for the catchy jingle from the ads that went with it. Fishy, fishy!

Meghan De Maria

Meghan De Maria is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food, product, and restaurant coverage. Read more about Meghan

Five McDonald’s items being axed this week to make way for brand new burger


McDonald’s is axing a number of fan favourites to make way for several exciting new additions in a major menu shake-up this week.

From Wednesday, May 10 foodies can get their hands on the all-new Spicy Big Tasty — imagine the classic Big Tasty burger with a fiery twist — plus seven further tasty additions.

But in bad news for mozzarella lovers, the dippers are among the five items leaving the menu to make room for the newcomers.

Fans can wave goodbye to the Chicken Big Mac, Steakhouse Stack and Mozzarella Dippers. It’s the end of the run for Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry and Cadbury Caramel Egg McFlurry as well.

Burger has patty, lots of salad including lettuce and tomatoes with two layers of cheese and sauce plus seeded bun

Fans of the Big Tasty will soon have the chance to enjoy the spicy version too (


The duo are set to be replaced by The Wispa McFlurry, the Sun reports. Along with the return of this popular ice cream, customers can also enjoy the new Wispa Gold McFlurry, which will be topped with a Cadbury caramel sauce. Talk about a comeback.

What’s more, the cooling ice cream is sure to go down a treat after the new Spicy Big Tasty. It’s a 100% beef patty, served with Emmental cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomato, and Big Tasty sauce updated to include a jalapeno kick.

Garlic Mayo sauce pictured with lid half peeled

Several new sauces are being added to the menu (


Meanwhile, bacon lovers can once again enjoy their favourite meal with the return of the classic Big Tasty and the Big Tasty with Bacon. But that’s not all.

To celebrate the 40th birthday of the iconic McNugget, four new limited-edition dips are coming to golden arches near you.

The Mega Hot Sauce dip and the long-awaited Garlic Mayo dips will both be available from May 10, with the Chipotle Mayo dip and the Creamy Ranch being added soon after on May 31.

McDonald’s halloumi fries are coming back as well. Anyone for halloumi fries dipped in the new sauces?

In more McDonald’s news, the fast good giant has made a huge change to its Food for Thought offer which previously entitled customers to a Big Mac, Vegetable Deluxe, or Filet-o-Fish with either one medium Fries or Side Salad for £1.99 when they completed the required survey.

Now the deal also includes six Chicken McNuggets, a McChicken Sandwich, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, or a McPlant, with the latter replacing the Vegetable Deluxe option.

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