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14 Beloved Fast-Food Items That Returned After Huge Customer Demand

Fans spoke out and companies listened. Eventually.

Many fast-food menu items come and go as a matter of course. McDonald's fans are by now more than used to the beloved McRib sandwich appearing on the menu for a limited time, departing once again, only to return a bit later down the line. So too will seasonal menu items come and go, such as the Dunkin' Peppermint Mocha Latte, via Business Insider.

Then on the other hand we have fast-food menu items that are gone for good, and are little mourned. Consider in this category things like the famously flopped McDonald's Arch Deluxe burger, Taco Bell's awful Waffle Taco, and the horrific KFC Double Down, in which slabs of fried chicken stood in for bread.

In a third unique category, we find discontinued fast-food menu items that were originally slated for permanent cancellation, only to have been returned to the menu after an outpouring from customers. Today, we'll look at 14 discontinued fast foods that came back because the people spoke out. Plus, don't miss 23 Secrets Fast Food Employees Don't Want You to Know About Your Food.

1

Taco Bell: Mexican Pizza

taco bell mexican pizza worst
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Taco Bell cut the Mexican Pizza from its menu in the autumn of 2020, according to Pop Culture, and the outrage was immediate. Fans of this stacked tortilla demanded it returned to the menu so vociferously that it was back available again less than a year later and remains securely in place on the menu today.

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2

Burger King: French Toast Sandwich

burger king french toast sandwich
Courtesy of Burger King

The French Toast Sandwich (yes, it's a breakfast sandwich wherein the bread is French toast, you guessed correctly) made a glorious return to the Burger King menu in the early spring of 2021 after having disappeared, to customer dismay, in 2019. While it's not entirely clear if the sandwiches made a permanent return, for now, the people are happy.

RELATED: 8 Secrets Burger King Doesn't Want You to Know

3

Pizza Hut: Detroit-Style Pizza

pizza hut detroit style pizza
Courtesy of Pizza Hut

When Pizza Hut introduced Detroit-Style Pizza, which is a deep-dished, rectangular-shaped pizza with toppings and cheese that reach all the way to the edges, it was meant to be a limited-time product. The pizzas proved so popular it sold out at locations nationwide, and soon, heeding customer response to the new pies, the company added it as a permanent menu item.

4

Wendy's: Spicy Chicken Nuggets

wendys spicy chicken nuggets
Courtesy of Wendy's

It was almost inexplicable why Wendy's pulled their spicy chicken nuggets off the menu in 2017, as according to Mashed they were a popular and well-regarded item. Upset fans rallied for the return of the nuggets, with efforts including a petition with more than 10,000 signatures and public statements released by Chance the Rapper. The nuggets made their comeback a couple of years back and are still available today.

5

Taco Bell: Toasted Breakfast Burritos

toasted breakfast burrito trio taco bell
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Taco Bell further repaired the rift caused between it and many customers when, in addition to the reinstatement of the Mexican Pizza, the company also brought back its Toasted Breakfast Burritos. The Cheesy Toasted Breakfast Burrito, the Hash Brown Toasted Breakfast Burrito, and the Grande Toasted Breakfast Burrito were all back on the menu at most Taco Bell locations as of the late summer of 2021.

6

Hardee's: Roast Beef Sandwich

arbys classic roast beef sandwich
Courtesy of Arby's

The Hardee's Roast Beef Sandwich was a menu staple for most of the 1980s and 90s, but it disappeared from the menu at almost all of the chain's locations sometime in that last decade of the 20th century. Then, according to Business Wire, following years of customer requests, the company returned the sandwich to the menu nationwide in April of 2019.

RELATED: The Worst Fast-Food Sandwiches in America

7

McDonald's: Hi-C

mcdonalds hi c
Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald's customers went without the sweet, bright orange beverage known as Hi-C Orange for more than four years, but they never stopped clamoring for its return, via STL Today. The company, which had replaced Hi-C with a fruity soda from Sprite, relented and returned a noncarbonated sweet orange drink to menus in 2021: Hi-C Orange Lavaburst.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Sodas in America—Ranked!

8

Wendy's: Baconator Fries

wendy's menu baconator fries

Originally introduced as a limited-time promotional item back in 2015, according to Mashed, Wendy's Baconator Fries became an immediate sensation. So much so that when they were removed from the menu as planned, leaving behind the Baconator burger, fans were not happy and spoke out. The next year, in 2016, Baconator Fries were added to the permanent menu, where they remain today.

9

Taco Bell: Cheese Fiesta Potatoes

taco bell cheesy fiesta potatoes
Courtesy of Taco Bell

After they were culled from the menu as Taco Bell sought to streamline operations in the early days of the pandemic, the chain finally added Cheese Fiesta Potatoes back into the mix about a year later, in early March of 2021, according to Yahoo!. They remain there today, a vegetarian option in a menu packed with meats.

RELATED: 6 Major Changes Taco Bell Made This Year

10

KFC: Chicken Littles

kfc chicken littles on plate

The original KFC Chicken Little sandwiches came out in the late 1980s and cost less than 40 cents, which was surely part of their appeal. When they were removed from the menu in the early 1990s, they left an empty spot in the hearts of many KFC fans, via Serious Eats. Responding to regular requests, the chain added a similar sandwich, the KFC Snacker, in 2005. But fans were not impressed and continued to call for the Littles to come back, which they finally did in 2012, though many claim the 1980s version was better.

11

Wendy's: Taco Salad

wendy's menu taco salad

The history of Wendy's Taco Salad starts nearly 40 years ago. It was added to the menu in 1982 and promoted with a campaign saying: "It's more than a salad, it's a meal," via Mashed. The "meal" salad stuck around for 28 years before being cut in 2010, a move fans did not appreciate. They had six long years to wait, but in 2016 the Taco Salad was back by demand, and it remains on Wendy's menu today.

RELATED: The Worst Restaurant Salads in America

12

Burger King: Chicken Fries

Burger king chicken fries
Facebook/Burger King

As unsettling as it may be to eat chicken in fry form, which is to say chicken meat sliced (or extruded?) into long, thin slivers that are then battered and deep-fried, fans loved them. So much so that they were outraged when the company nixed the "fries" in 2012 after a seven-year run, via TIME. By 2014, BK relented and Chicken Fries were back on the menu.

13

Starbucks: Eggnog Latte

starbucks eggnog frappuccino on black background
Courtesy of Starbucks

Fair warning, this story does not have a happy ending. The Starbucks Eggnog Latte was added to the menu way back in 1986 and was beloved by coffee fans far and wide. So much so that when the company planned to ax the drink in 2014, there was such an uproar that company execs admitted a mistake and reinstated the beverage, via Eater. But the second run of the Eggnog Latte came to an end this year, and so far customer ire has not been enough to bring it back.

RELATED: 30 Secrets Starbucks Employees Wish You Knew

14

Subway: Roast Beef Sandwich

subway roast beef
Courtesy of Subway

When the decision to cut the roast beef sandwich came down from on high (meaning from corporate) in 2020, the move surprised and dismayed not only customers but many franchise owners. A higher-cost sandwich, the decision was purely about numbers, not customer taste. Fortunately, when customers revolted, the suits listened, and within a year the sandwiches were back.

Read more about your favorite fast-food restaurants:

11 Secrets Arby's Doesn't Want You to Know

The Worst Fast-Food French Fries

11 Secrets Popeyes Doesn't Want You to Know

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more