Beloved Fast Food Menu Items That Were Saved By The Internet

The internet has been a huge help when it comes to getting discontinued fast food items back on the menu. When we're craving a Taco Bell Enchirito, getting angry that Chick-fil-A changed its barbecue sauce, or feeling aghast that we can't find a vanilla Frosty at Wendy's anymore, we know what to do. From impassioned Tweets to petitions at, there's a way to get our voice heard. It doesn't always work. And sometimes restaurants tease us by bringing back our favorites for mere weeks. However, the internet has managed to get some of our beloved foods like Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza and Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger back on the permanent menu again (we hope).

Sometimes, it takes tens of thousands of supplications from fans for years to get a restaurant to bring back a discontinued menu item. However, sometimes, restaurant officials change their minds in a matter of weeks, like with Chick-fil-A's side salad. Let's take a look at the biggest discontinued menu items the internet loved enough to convince fast food chains to bring back.

Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza

Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza has long been one of the most unique and tasty items the fast food chain has to offer. It had been on the menu since 1985, so fans of the item were shocked and confused when Taco Bell discontinued it in 2020. Taco Bell's CEO Mark King told Fortune that the company decided to remove Mexican Pizza to help streamline the menu during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company only wanted items on the menu that employees could make quickly, and Mexican Pizzas take more time to prepare than other items like burritos and tacos.

Mexican Pizza fans took to the internet in protest. While many petitions to revive discontinued food items only receive hundreds or maybe a thousand signatures, the one to bring back Mexican Pizzas received well over 171,000 signatures. Taco Bell listened and brought the Mexican Pizza back in early 2022 to everyone's delight. Only, it underestimated how many people would flock to buy one or several of these Mexican Pizzas. The chain sold out of a six-month supply of pizza ingredients in just a handful of weeks. Once the chain had everything it needed to make more pizzas, it promised to never take Mexican Pizza off the menu again. Fans rejoiced, and Taco Bell thanked them for loving Mexican Pizzas enough to use the internet to get them back.

Burger King's Chicken Fries

Burger King's french fry-shaped Chicken Fries developed quite a large number of fans when they debuted in 2005. Only Burger King didn't know how entranced fans were with Chicken Fries until taking them off the menu seven years later in 2012. Social media was filled with people wanting Chicken Fries back on the BK menu. The online efforts were all over the place, from to Twitter and Facebook.

Two years after Chicken Fries exited the stage, they came dancing back. In 2014, Burger King announced on Twitter: "You asked. We answered. #ChickenFriesAreBack." The post got more than 14,000 retweets. Fans were ecstatic and remain happy that Chicken Fries are still on the Burger King menu. BK even decided to capitalize on the hot chicken craze and started offering Spicy Chicken Fries in March 2023. Unfortunately, they will initially be available for only a limited time. So, it seems Burger King is planning to use the hot version of a fan fave to lure customers in from time to time, like every other fast food restaurant has started doing during the past few years. Just as long as regular Chicken Fries stay on the menu, we think fans will be happy.

Taco Bell's Enchirito

Taco Bell first added the enchilada-like Enchirito to its menu in 1970. The cheesy item had a 43-year run before disappearing in 2013. Fans had not forgotten it, though. After they demanded and then won the return of the Mexican Pizza in 2022, Taco Bell decided it would turn to fans again to decide what to bring back to its menu. Fans had already expressed an interest in wanting the Enchirito back in online petitions and social media forums. Thus, Taco Bell included it when it held a "smackdown" via its app for customers to vote on which long-lost menu item would come back from the dead. The two discontinued menu items up for a vote were the Double Decker Taco and the Enchirito. The Double Decker was a throwback to 1995, and it had returned to the menu once before between 2006 and 2019.

Ultimately, the Enchirito won the bid to return to the Taco Bell menu, with 62% of app voters saying they would prefer it to the Double Decker Taco (per Today). Unfortunately, when Taco Bell brought back the Enchirito in November 2022, it was only for a short time. Despite the Enchirito being the survey winner, the chain had no intention of keeping it on the menu full-time. Instead, Taco Bell decided to trot it out occasionally to get fans to flock back to Taco Bell after a hiatus.

Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Usually, posting on social media about our cravings for discontinued fast foods get us nowhere, but when the right person does it at the right time, the results are near magic. One morning in May 2019, a few minutes before noon, Chance the Rapper started hankering for Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets, so he Tweeted his longing for them. Despite not even tagging Wendy's, the company replied on its official account: "It won't be today, but there's always a chance." Three hours later, after a conversation with the powers that be, Wendy's Tweeted, "Y'all keep asking, so here's your chance. The people in charge say if you guys can get our tweet (this one right here) to 2 Million likes, they will bring SPICY CHICKEN NUGGETS BACK. Let's freakin' do this!" The post ultimately got 1.8 million likes, 36,500 quotes, and 342,335 retweets, which was enough to convince the powers that be.

Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets had been gone since 2017, but just like that, the right Tweet and nearly 2 million likes brought them back. It took a little while for the production process to happen. However, within about three months, Spicy Chicken Nuggets reappeared at Wendy's. As of 2023, they're still on the menu, and fans are crossing their fingers that this means they're here to stay for good.

Burger King's Cini Minis

For customers who are craving something sweet rather than savory for breakfast, most fast food places don't have a lot of choices. Burger King has more sweet breakfast menu items than most of its competitors, with French toast sticks and pancakes. Customers fondly remembered that, once upon a time in the 1990s, they'd been able to get small cinnamon rolls called Cini Minis at Burger King. Cini Minis were actually a Pillsbury product, but BK employees baked fresh batches for customers every day. After Brett Pickett witnessed an online petition help bring Chicken Fries back to Burger King, he decided to create his own petition on to get Cini Minis back. He wrote, "Chicken fries aren't even worth the hype (nor price); I demand they bring Cini-Minis back so I can once again enjoy the sweet miniature cinnamon rolls of goodness."

Pickett's online petition got Burger King's attention when it ended up with over 5,200 signatures. So, in 2018, the chain brought back its Cini Minis for a limited time. Grub Hub even had a special deal that allowed people ordering at least $10 worth of food from Burger King on its app to get a free box of Cini Minis. Unfortunately, the Cini Minis comeback was just temporary. Burger King brought back the 1998 treat for only a very brief period of time. So far, they haven't returned. But one can hope!

Chick-fil-A Side Salad

The time between Chick-fil-A announcing it was discontinuing its side salad and announcing it wouldn't discontinue it was very brief, thanks to the power of the internet. We don't think there's ever been such an uproar over such a simple salad leaving a menu. It's literally just a mix of lettuce, cheese, and grape tomatoes. Although, the charred tomato red bell pepper crisps you get with your choice of salad dressing elevates it beyond the ordinary. While it's not much to write home about, customers liked having it as a healthier side option. So, when Chick-fil-A announced on March 20, 2023, that it had plans to discontinue the salad in an effort to streamline the menu, customers were distraught.

The projected doomsday date for the humble salad was slated for April 3, but it never happened. Chick-fil-A announced on March 31, 2023, that "based on feedback, this menu item is here to stay." To make fans even happier, the message came with an announcement that Watermelon Mint Sunjoy was also coming back after six years based on customer requests. In just 11 days, fans protesting the loss of the side salad everywhere from Twitter to Facebook convinced the chain to keep it. Plus, they got back a favorite drink at the same time. Nice job!

Taco Bell's Beefy Crunch Burrito

The first run of the Beefy Crunch Burrito was only five months between December 2010 and May 2011, but it was enough to incite absolute chaos when it went away. Fans loved the Beefy Crunch Burrito at Taco Bell enough to name their efforts to get it back on the menu. The Beefy Crunch Movement has a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with its very own website. People have shown their love for the burrito online by sharing everything from their Beefy Crunch Burrito tattoos to skydiving in an effort to get it back on the Taco Bell menu.

In April 2016, all the efforts from the Beefy Crunch Movement paid off, albeit briefly. Taco Bell wrote "An Open Letter to the Beefy Crunch Movement" to address the efforts, saying, "This triumphant return would not have been possible without the incredible and unrelenting passion of each and every one of the now 40,500+ members of the Beefy Crunch Movement." After its 2016 return, the Beefy Crunch Burrito made another appearance on the menu in 2018. In 2023, Taco Bell is letting fans vote on its app between the return of the Beefy Crunch Burrito and the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. With so many people following the Beefy Crunch Movement (tens of thousands more than in the early days of the movement), it's hardly a contest.

Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger

Wendy's wowed customers in 2013 with the pretzel bun. It was just different enough in taste and texture to instantly delight customers. The bun was featured on the Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger, which also contained Muenster cheese rather than American cheese and smoked honey mustard instead of ordinary condiments. With fried rather than raw onions and a delicious, warm beer cheese sauce, this is one of the star artisan burgers of the fast food world. With Wendy's selling over 50 million pretzel bun sandwiches in 2013 (per USA Today), we're not sure why the chain would ever take it away. However, for some unknown reason, it disappeared from menus in early 2014. Fans took to social media to beg for the cheeseburger's return.

Within six months, the Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger was back. Unfortunately, in 2021, Wendy's decided to discontinue its Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger yet again, but it wasn't gone for long with fans again begging for it on social media. In 2022, Wendy's wrote a letter to the public to announce the most recent return of the Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger to its menu lineup. Carl Loredo, Wendy's U.S. Chief Marketing Officer, said, "The Pretzel Bacon Pub has a fanbase like no other, and since it left menus in 2021, fans have been eagerly awaiting its return. The ingredients team up to create a burger that fans can't find anywhere else." Fans hope that this time, the return will be permanent.

McDonald's Chicken Selects

The texture of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sometimes makes us wonder if they're even made from chicken. While there are enough die-hard McNuggets fans to keep them on the menu forever, customers were thrilled when McDonald's introduced Chicken Selects, which are fried breast-meat chicken strips. Chicken strips are a popular alternative at many fast food restaurants for people not in the mood for a burger, so they were quite popular with McDonald's customers. Sadly, McDonald's decided to discontinue Chicken Selects in 2013. However, since then, there has been a constantly brewing conversation across social media platforms with people lamenting the loss of Chicken Selects and wishing McDonald's would offer them again.

In 2015, McDonald's decided to bring back its Chicken Selects. Unfortunately, even though McDonald's acknowledged via PRNewswire that it was adding chicken strips back on the menu because customers continued to demand it, the plan was never to keep them on the menu for long. Fans will continue to hold out hope and make internet posts about them until they're back for good.

McDonald's Hi-C Orange Lavaburst

It's not often that a drink makes a big enough splash with customers that they care once it's gone. However, when McDonald's took Hi-C Orange Lavaburst off its drink lineup, some customers complained. While many of us who choose caffeinated fizzy drinks may have never noticed it, the non-carbonated, non-caffeinated Hi-C drink has been available at McDonald's since 1955. In 2017, McDonald's discontinued offering the beverage in its restaurants. It was gone for four years. During that time, there was an outpouring of discontent online from customers demanding its return.

The chain announced on Twitter in February 2021 that the drink would be returning. McDonald's even instituted a tracker for the beverage so fans could find out when it was rolling out near them. McDonald's social media manager said in the announcement that "countless tweets and even IRL petitions are what brought Hi-C back." Fans were delighted for the drink's comeback. Hopefully it's permanent.

Wendy's Vanilla Frosty in Canada

Canadians have lost a lot of favorite foods from the U.S. in recent years, as shipping costs have made them less profitable to import. However, they didn't want to lose their beloved Wendy's vanilla Frosty without a fight. Customers have been dipping their fries in the Wendy's chocolate Frosty since it first showed up on the menu in 1969. As such, the vanilla Frosty is a relative newcomer, not debuting until 2006 Still, fans of the vanilla variety weren't at all pleased when it left the Canadian Wendy's menu in 2020. Fourteen years of enjoyment weren't enough. Canadian vanilla Frosty fans took to the internet to lament the loss of their beloved frozen treat everywhere from Reddit to Twitter.

Wendy's Canada didn't remove the frozen treat from its menu for long. It was back by 2021. The fans had spoken. Unfortunately, Wendy's decided to start switching up Frosty flavors in the U.S. as well. Fans of the vanilla Frosty in the U.S. panicked when strawberry and then peppermint Frosty treats replaced vanilla on the menu. However, Wendy's has assured Thrillist that the only reason vanilla occasionally disappears is that restaurants can only offer two flavors at a time. So, it seems vanilla is here to stay, and we shouldn't panic when it disappears from time to time.

Chick-fil-A's original Barbecue Sauce

When it comes to dipping chicken nuggets or chicken strips, we all have our favorite sauce. Some of us turn to ranch or honey mustard, while others prefer barbecue sauce or something else entirely. In July 2016, Chick-fil-A did the unthinkable by separating its customers from the chain's original barbecue sauce they'd come to crave. Customers were able to get a new variety called Smokehouse Barbecue, but it just wasn't a satisfactory alternative for some. When you change your sauce, you change the whole flavor experience of eating chicken. Over 2,400 people signed a petition on to bring back the original barbecue sauce flavor. Twitter users even made #BringBackTheBBQ and #BringBackTheSauce hashtags on social media to express their discontent with the new sauce and their desire to get the old sauce back.

It wasn't long before Chick-fil-A responded. Three months later, in October 2016, the old standard barbecue sauce was available again. And, thus, the internet helped return a fan favorite to a fast food chain yet again. Customers love their sauces — there are more than 10 sauces to choose from at Chick-fil-A. While customers can also pick Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce as an option, the beloved original barbecue sauce is still available.

KFC's Double Down

For people looking for eat fewer carbs and trying to stay away from bread, KFC's Double Down was the perfect chicken sandwich. The "bun" was made from two pieces of fried chicken with a sandwich filling of bacon, cheese, and a choice of sauce. When KFC first offered it in 2010, it was a bigger success than KFC could have dreamed. Within a month, the chain had already sold 10 million Double Down sandwiches, and fans kept coming back for more. Sadly, it didn't stay on the menu, and fans took to the internet over the years to beg for its return.

The first time KFC brought back the Double Down was in 2014. In March 2023, KFC brought back its Double Down yet again. In a press release the chief marketing officer for KFC in the U.S. called the Double Down "one of the most buzzworthy fast food menu items ever." In announcing the Double Down's return he said, "After nearly a decade of people begging for its return, we're embracing the chaos, bringing back our most iconic sandwich ever for just four weeks." Fans hoped four weeks would be enough to convince KFC that they're still interested in buying the Double Down, but it was gone from the menu again by April as promised.