The #1 Most Boneheaded Error Made By 16 Major Fast Food Chains

Fast food is an industry that feels the need to constantly innovate, even when… maybe it doesn’t always need to? Changing things up has become a bit of a double-edged sword for the consumer. One on hand, every few months we get a bunch of new food to snack on but on the other hand, a lot of times that food is straight up bad. Limited menu items are limited for a reason — they often don’t deserve a permanent spot on the menu. What’s worse is that sometimes in order to make room for these new “flavor innovations” means ditching someone’s favorite menu item to make space. We’ve seen it happen to the Mexican pizza, Wendy’s spicy nuggets, KFC’s potato wedges, and for awhile, the vanilla Frosty, only for fast food brands to later reverse course. It can be pretty frustrating.

What’s worse is, sometimes it seems brands are hellbent on not innovating for the sake of keeping things classic when a change or tweak seems like an obvious win. Why doesn’t Taco Bell have a plant-based taco? Why won’t In-N-Out add bacon to the menu? Why doesn’t McDonald’s change anything that isn’t a chicken sandwich? There is no winning!

To celebrate the worst mistake made at every single fast food restaurant, we decided to make a big list for all our fellow complainers out there. Got a fast food gripe of your own? Add it in the comments, we sincerely want fast food to be better, and sometimes the only way to do that is by making some noise. Let’s dive in!

Arby’s — Discontinuing The Diablo Chicken Sandwich


Where They Went Wrong:

I will never forgive Arby’s for giving us the hands-down spiciest chicken sandwich ever, only to take it away. The Diablo Chicken sandwich was introduced at the beginning of this year and featured multiple layers of spice courtesy of the ghost pepper jack cheese, spicy cayenne-dominated seasoning, grilled diced jalapeños, and spicy barbecue sauce.

The spicy notes on this sandwich were capable of taking your taste buds on a ride, beginning with the bright citrusy habanero-tinged barbecue sauce, bringing the fire with the ghost pepper cheese, and exploding with vegetal notes of freshly diced jalapeño. It was truly a feast for the senses, and one of the best chicken sandwiches on the market.

The Bottom Line:

Better than almost everything on Arby’s menu but sadly, it’s gone for the foreseeable future.

Find your nearest Arby’s here.

Burger King — Pretty Much The Whole Menu

Burger King

Where They Went Wrong:

Look, I’ve been covering fast food extensively for two years now and, in that time, I’ve developed an intimate knowledge of each fast food chain’s menu. So I say this from a place of authority: Burger King’s menu is trash. The king does one thing well, the Ch’king sandwich, everything else on the menu, including BK’s flagship burger, the Whopper, could do with a good revamp.

Each of the burgers is incredibly bland and dry, the chicken is questionable, the shakes are watery, and the fries are so salty they’re almost inedible. What is going on at Burger King and how is it still in business? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see Burger King fail, it’s the opposite — I want them to do better. I want them to revamp the burgers, like they did with their chicken sandwich, and give places like McDonald’s a run for their money.

Until then though, I’ll never stop criticizing this wack menu.

The Bottom Line:

You go to Burger King for the Ch’King sandwich, anything else just isn’t worth ordering.

Find your nearest Burger King here.

Carl’s Jr. — The Green Burrito Menu


Where They Went Wrong:

Some Carl’s Jr restaurants have a section of the menu referred to as “The Green Burrito,” and if you’re wondering what that’s all about we’re here to tell you. The Green Burrito originally started as a taqueria in the Southern California city of Hawaiian Gardens in the 1980s that sold Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex-inspired food. The success of the restaurant brought it to chain status throughout the Southland until it was acquired by Carl’s Jr. in 2001 and integrated into the menu.

These days it’s a lot harder to find Carl’s Jr. restaurants with the Green Burrito menu (the co-branding has all but disappeared) but they do still exist at certain Carl’s Jr. restaurants and it’s worth exploring if you find one.

I’m not mad at the Green Burrito menu but I think Carl’s Jr. hasn’t been utilizing it correctly. The menu consists of a wet green burrito, grilled burritos, crunchy tacos, taco salads, quesadillas, and taquitos, — if those menu items don’t sell it’s not because there isn’t an appetite for them. People in America love Mexican (and Mexican-inspired) food, but Carl’s Jr. isn’t doing a good enough job representing it. When you’re falling behind the marketing efforts of Taco Bell and Del Taco, you know you’ve got issues.

The Bottom Line:

The lack of Green Burrito’s presence on Carl’s Jr menus in 2022 isn’t a sign that Carl’s Jr should give up on Mexican food, it’s a sign that they should try harder.

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.

Chick-fil-A — The Lack Of Spicy Nuggets


Where They Went Wrong:

Sometimes fast food chains make boneheaded decisions that just don’t make any f*cking sense. Everybody loves spicy nuggets, look no further than the popularity of the Wendy’s spicy nugget and the number of hot chicken chains that have opened in the last two years, and yet Chick-fil-A, one of the most successful chicken chains in the nation, weirdly hasn’t tried adding spicy nuggets to the menu.

Why? How?!

They have a spicy chicken sandwich, and it’s better than their non-spicy version (especially if you order the Spicy Deluxe), which is hand-battered in restaurant — so they have the ingredients! Why isn’t this a part of the menu yet? It’s guaranteed to sell, wouldn’t cost Chick-fil-A anything extra, and would expand Chick-fil-A’s simple menu in a logical way that wouldn’t challenge people’s expectations.

It’s not like we’re adding burgers to the menu, we just want nuggets with a kick! Is that too much to ask?

The Bottom Line:

There isn’t a single logical reason why Chick-fil-A doesn’t offer spicy nuggets when they have a spicy chicken sandwich. Maybe Chick-fil-A is doing so well that they don’t need to innovate, but if they did, they’d only make their already solid menu even better.

Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

Chipotle — Those Lime Ass Chips


Where They Went Wrong:

I get it, a fresh squeeze of lime on tortilla chips is delicious, who doesn’t love that? But what Chipotle does to its chips is practically abuse. Just how many f*cking limes does this place kill in order to season these things? Because they taste like pure lime juice and salt. I’ve never tasted a tortilla chip that tastes less like a tortilla. The seasoning is so overwhelming that the citrus flavor still dominates even after you dip them in guacamole, salsa, queso, or salsa.

That’s not normal.

I’m not asking Chipotle to get rid of the lime, like I said, I love lime on tortilla chips, I’m just asking Chipotle to chill out a little bit. Maybe use half the limes? Chipotle would be saving money and saving your taste buds from being burned off by citric acid. I swear I can feel the enamel stripping from my teeth every time I eat a side order of this stuff.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t ditch the lime, just chill the f*ck out Chipotle — stop covering up your bland food in sour lime, just use some real seasonings for Christ’s sake.

Find your nearest Chipotle here.

El Pollo Loco — Discontinuing the Fries

El Pollo Loco

Where They Went Wrong:

El Pollo Loco used to have fries, and sure, it was weird that they tasted vaguely like churros (they were fried in the same oil) but they were a great addition to the menu. Throwing a few fries in a flour tortilla with beans and topping it with chicken and avocado salsa was my favorite build from this place, it was like some sort of delicious spin on the California burrito! Now, I can’t make it.

You could argue that the fries weren’t very “traditional” but what from El Pollo Loco is? They have mashed potatoes and gravy and Mac and cheese on the menu, so clearly anything goes here. What’s frustrating is that El Pollo Loco routinely brings back the fries as a promotional item. It’s like they’re playing with my heart.

Fries are the ultimate side, anywhere, and the El Pollo Loco menu is just a little weaker without them. I mean just imagine, birria pollo fries? Tell me that doesn’t sound amazing!

The Bottom Line:

I might be writing this one for an audience of one, but I really miss those El Pollo Loco fries!

Find your nearest El Pollo Loco here.

KFC — No Original Recipe Tenders/Popcorn Chicken


Where They Went Wrong:

If you’re eating at KFC it’s safe to say you’re coming here for that Original Recipe chicken. With a mix of 11 herbs and spices, the Original Recipe offers a flavor profile that no other chicken chain is attempting, bringing together herbal oregano, basil, and thyme notes together with black pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, ginger, and mustard powder, resulting in the most flavorful chicken breading on the market.

For whatever reason, that blend of herbs doesn’t result in very crispy chicken, but fried chicken doesn’t always have to be crunchy and craggily like Popeyes to be good. The Original Recipe is great, but KFC only offers its chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, and chicken sandwiches in the Extra Crispy batter — which is crunchier but way less flavorful. I believe they used to use a similar blend of spices on their potato wedges, but they replaced those with french fries. Why does KFC hate Original Recipe?!

If KFC had Original Recipe tenders, they’d be in the running for best tenders in all of fast food. Instead, they settle for mediocrity, which is why no one ever talks about their chicken sandwich or chicken tenders. This simple change could make all the difference.

The Bottom Line:

If KFC is looking for a way to bring back customers (and they are, look no further than the Jack Harlow meal) they don’t need a new chicken sandwich, or a side of Mac and cheese packed with chicken on top. They just need to show their Original Recipe more love and utilize what made them an icon in the first place.

Find your nearest KFC here.

In-N-Out — No Bacon

In N Out

Where They Went Wrong:

I’m from California so I’m just geared to believe that In-N-Out makes one of the best burgers in all of fast food. You can disagree (you’d be wrong) but you can’t deny that for the money, no other fast food chain makes a burger this flavorful and high quality. A Double Double will cost you under $4, you can’t say the same for any burger from Shake Shack or Five Guys.

But I can’t for the life of me figure out why In-N-Out doesn’t have bacon on the menu. Can you imagine how much a bacon Double Double would slap?! I get that In-N-Out has a “classic” menu and their whole modus operandi is staying consistent, but if they can add the monstrosity that is Animal Style fries, and allow you to add chopped chilis on their burgers, or wrap them in lettuce as part of the secret menu, why the hell can’t we get some bacon too?

The Bottom Line:

If In-N-Out added bacon to the secret menu, they’d have one of the best bacon burgers in all of fast food. As of now, they’re not even on the list, and that just seems wrong.

Find your nearest In-N-Out here.

Jack in the Box — Discontinuing The Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges

Jack IN the Box

Where They Went Wrong:

Like Taco Bell, Jack in the Box is beloved for its stoner-friendly menu. This is the sort of place you eat at when you’re not of a sober mind, it’s the whole reason they have the Munchie Meal, those weird mini tacos, curly fries (how do they get them curly man?), whatever the hell a Chick-N-Tater Melt is, and the Sriracha Curly Fry burger. JiB is at its best when it’s assaulting your tastebuds with madness, and the Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges, with their molten cheese sauce, crushed bacon, and crispy wedges, was a near-perfect encapsulation of that ethos.

Then they inexplicably ditched them this year. Without the Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges and Mozzarella Sticks (also discontinued) JiB has less options for cheeseheads, and that’s a true loss.

The Bottom Line:

If we can’t get the Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges back, at least give us the Mozzarella Sticks!

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.

McDonald’s — Being Slow To Innovate The Menu


Where They Went Wrong:

I understand the argument that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and clearly McDonald’s, with its 38,000 locations across the globe, isn’t broken, but the lack of innovation out of McDonald’s is frustrating. Most of the new promotions from of McDonald’s are just remixes of what’s already on the menu.

The BTS, Travis Scott, and J Balvin meals all consisted of items already on the menu. It’s the same thing with the new adult Happy Meals made in collaboration with Cactus Plant Flea Market — don’t give me toys McDonald’s, give me new food! McDonald’s released a series of menu hacks this year, which seemed promising but then required you to assemble them yourself. It’s like McDonald’s is hell-bent on never offering us anything completely fresh.

Also, back to the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ adage, hey McDonald’s, how come your soft serve ice cream machine never works? Okay, maybe ‘never’ is an exaggeration, but I can’t count on my two hands the number of times I’ve gleefully ordered a soft serve only to be told ‘our ice cream machine isn’t working right now,’ which is plausible sure, but always feels like a lie. If you’re a McDonald’s employee please chime in on the comments, what’s really going on here?

The Bottom Line:

McDonald’s menu is strong, but if they ever decide to add a new breakfast item or a new burger build we’ll be the first in line to try it!

Find your nearest McDonald’s here.

Popeyes — No Proper Spicy Chicken Sandwich


Where They Went Wrong:

This one is a bit like my gripe against KFC ignoring the Original Recipe. Popeyes makes the best fried chicken sandwich in all of fast food, clearly, but they could have an even better chicken sandwich if they breaded their boneless breast filet in the same cayenne-packed batter as their spicy-style chicken. Why don’t they? They have all the ingredients!

To be fair, Popeyes does have a spicy chicken sandwich on the menu but it’s made spicy by way of the sauce which is really sweeter and smokier than it is hot. It just doesn’t bring the heat. I know Popeyes is the GOAT and they don’t need to do anything to compete with what else is out there, they’ve already won, but they’d be wise to take a page out of Chick-fil-A’s playbook and offer a proper spicy chicken sandwich. Then they’d have that top spot on lock.

The Bottom Line:

Popeyes can make a great sandwich just a little bit better, but they seem to be holding this one in their back pocket. We’re ready for it Popeyes, bring it on!

Find your nearest Popeyes here.

Raising Cane’s — The Chicken Sandwich

Raising Cane

Where They Went Wrong:

Raising Cane’s chicken sandwich is garbage. Seriously, Raising Cane’s sells the best chicken tenders in all of fast food, and the chain has accomplished that by focusing exclusively on the chicken tender. But a chicken sandwich with three tenders thrown haphazardly between two thick buns is just a stupid idea for a sandwich.

It’s impossible to eat this thing without it falling apart, you don’t even need to bite into it for a tender to come plopping out of the sandwich, gravity does that! If Cane’s doesn’t want to add a breast filet to their menu, I can live with that, but why not throw a single tender between two pieces of grilled Texas toast as a mini sandwich? They could easily do that and would save money by not buying this terrible dry sesame seed bun.

The Bottom Line:

One of the stupidest chicken sandwiches you’ll ever eat.

Find your nearest Raising Cane’s here.

Shake Shack — Those F*cking Crinkle Cut Fries

Shake Shack

Where They Went Wrong:

Shake Shack sells gourmet Pat LaFrieda blend burgers, hand-breads fresh chicken in-house for their sandwiches, mixes up their own sauce, and yet their fry game is weaaaaaaaaaak. In-N-Out gets a lot of shit for their bland fries but I’ll take freshly peeled and fried potatoes over this frozen crinkle-cut bullshit any day.

The crazy thing is, Shake Shack knows they have shitty fries. At one point they even tried to go a more natural route until a bunch of Shack heads complained and they brought back these frozen travesties. They should’ve weathered that storm, and eventually, people would’ve gotten over it, and we’d all be better for it.

I love French fries and I also think Shake Shack makes one of the best burgers in all of fast food, but there have been many occasions where I’ve opted against going to the Shack just because I didn’t want to eat those shitty fries. That’s a true shame.

The Bottom Line:

All we’re asking is for some high-quality fries that match the rest of the Shake Shack menu. That isn’t too much to ask!

Find your nearest Shake Shack here.

Starbucks — The Food


Where They Went Wrong:

Coffee snobs have a lot to complain about when it comes to Starbucks (the misuse of the term ‘macchiato,’ the over roasted beans) but the most egregious offense out of Starbucks is the food. All of it. I get that Starbucks is trying to position itself as a one stop shop for its customers needs, but I’m not sure that offering the blandest food on the planet is the way to do it. Starbucks’ food is like airplane food, it gets the job done, but you’re only eating it because it’s there and it’s convenient, not necessarily because you want it.

I’ll give a pass for the bakery items like cookies, scones, and croissants, but if it has meat on it, you’re better off just not eating it.

The Bottom Line:

Just pretend Starbucks doesn’t even have food and you’ll be better off.

Find your nearest Starbucks here.

Taco Bell — No Complaints [Except The Beef Mexi-Melt! – ED]

Mexican Pizza Review
Dane Rivera

Where They Went Wrong:

Honestly, I don’t think Taco Bell has the best menu but they don’t really need to change anything. Taco Bell is doing its thing and that’s why people love it. Sure, you could complain about discontinuing the Mexican Pizza, or get frustrated over how often Taco Bell brings fries back onto the menu, and then ditches them (we count six since the launch of the Nacho Fries — make a damn decision, Taco Bell) but so long as Taco Bell has food like the classic taco, the Crunchwrap Supreme, and those grilled burritos, there is always something worth ordering.

And at least right now, the Mexican Pizza is back on the menu, so no… complaints!

Except… wait — my editors inform me that they love the Beef Mexi-Melt and I really whiffed this one and TACO BELL NEEDS TO BRING IT BACK IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE IT WAS CHEAP AND ALMOST MIND-BOGGLINGLY TASTY!

So… do that, Taco Bell. (Also, it’s a huge oversight that Taco Bell doesn’t have a plant-based taco on the menu yet, but they’re working on it, so I won’t hold that against them.)

The Bottom Line:

Taco Bell isn’t perfect, but they don’t need to be. They’re Taco Bell! (But seriously, my editors want that Mexi-Melt back asap.)

Find your nearest Taco Bell here.

Wendy’s —No All-Day Breakfast Menu


Where They Went Wrong:

Not every fast food chain has an all-day breakfast menu, I get how logistically that’s a tough one, but with Wendy’s it feels like a real loss because the breakfast menu is too damn good not to want all day. Potato wedges, Breakfast Baconators, Hot Honey Biscuit Chicken Sandwiches, and croissant sandwiches are just some of the gems on offer.

Look, it doesn’t have to be all day, I’ll settle for breakfast hours and late night (after 10 pm), but you shouldn’t have to roll up to a Wendy’s before 10:30 AM to enjoy food that is this good. If you’ve never experienced Wendy’s breakfast, just imagine McDonald’s breakfast menu, but amazing instead of just novel.

The Bottom Line:

Wendy’s has the greatest breakfast menu in all of fast food, I just wish there was another time of day you could order it.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.