Fast Food Slogans That Disappeared

Fast food advertisements usually feature cute and catchy slogans designed to entice hungry customers to stop by for a quick meal — not just once, but time and time again. Just like fast food menus continue to change over time, the same is true with fast food taglines and jingles. The world of fast food is highly competitive, so marketers are always looking for ways to adapt their offerings and promotions to boost business.

While some classic slogans have stood the test of time, many beloved fast food jingles have disappeared from the advertising campaigns of the quick-service restaurants they once so proudly promoted. You may even be able to recall some fast food jingles note-for-note that aren't in use anymore. After all, a lot of fast food slogans have disappeared over the years. We've collected some of the most iconic fast food catchphrases that aren't around anymore. Is one of your all-time faves on this list?

Where's the beef? (Wendy's)

In the 1980s Wendy's wanted customers to know that its hamburgers were beefier than those of other fast food restaurants. That's how the famous "Where's the beef?" slogan came into being. Wendy's didn't call out its competitors by their names, but it successfully used this slogan to get the point across that Wendy's burgers are quite beefy while burgers from other fast food establishments seem to be more bun than beef.

The "Where's the beef?" ads featured the tiny, great-grandmotherly actor Clara Peller glaring at a big bun with a tiny burger and demanding in no uncertain terms for someone to answer this pressing question. At age 81, with her small stature and assertive tone, Clara Peller was a true TV sensation. This slogan is credited with increasing Wendy's revenue by more than 30%. 

This saying was Wendy's primary slogan for only a short time, but it made a lasting impression. The restaurant chain has actually brought back versions of the slogan a few times for limited-time campaigns. It was most recently revived — with a twist — for March Madness 2023 as part of Wendy's 2023 "Square's the beef" promotion. 

You deserve a break today (McDonald's)

In 1971, McDonald's launched its famous "You deserve a break today" campaign, with the goal of enticing busy (and hungry) customers looking for a getaway from cooking every day to eat at the chain. The fast food chain used this slogan in its advertising messaging on and off for a couple of decades. McDonald's has had a lot of slogans since then, but it's this one that's recognized as an all-time great slogan in the world of advertising.

Nearly 30 years after "You deserve a break today" was first introduced, the trade publication Advertising Age named it the top jingle of the 20th century (via The New York Times). That's right — this slogan from long ago was named the number-one jingle out of all 20th-century slogans. Not just quick-service restaurant slogans, but all slogans across all industries. That's quite an honor. 

Even in light of such high accolades, it doesn't seem that McDonald's ever intends to bring back this classic slogan. Why do we say that? Because McDonald's dropped its trademark on "You deserve a break today" back in 2014. That's not something the company would have done if it intended to reintroduce this classic slogan, even for nostalgia's sake.

Have it your way (Burger King)

Fast food chains don't always change slogans every few years — some of their catchphrases stick around for decades. Burger King kept its long-time slogan "Have it your way" in its marketing for 40 years before nixing it in 2014.  The chain, which had long focused on making sure that customers knew that Burger King would always be more than happy to accommodate special orders, decided to replace "Have it your way" with a similarly sounding saying with an entirely different meaning.

"Be your way" was the saying Burger King chose as a replacement for "Have it your way." Instead of seeking to differentiate the brand via special orders (after all, most food service operations have long been cool with special orders), "Be your way" conveyed to customers that it was cool to be themselves. Burger King stayed away from "Have it your way" for a few years, but the chain couldn't quit its famous slogan permanently — the phrase reappeared in a jingle in 2022.

This is how you Sonic (Sonic)

Burger King isn't the only quick-service chain to nix a long-time slogan only to replace it with one that sounds somewhat similar. In 2020, Sonic retired its "This is how you Sonic" slogan, replacing it with "This is how we Sonic." That may not seem like a big change — after all, only one word is different between the old slogan and the new one — but the strategy behind the new message is completely different.

By transitioning from "you" to "we," Sonic is refocusing its advertising messaging away from a comedic tone featuring the same two guys enjoying silly antics at a Sonic drive-in to highlighting real ways that real people — families, couples, groups of friends — make memories at Sonic as they go about their daily lives. That's why Sonic is embracing the "we" in its slogan to transition away from the "you" of the old one. There's not just one way to enjoy Sonic; the new slogan emphasizes that Sonic can meet our needs, whatever they may be.

You gotta eat (Checkers/Rally's)

For seven years, Checkers/Rally's relied on the tagline "You gotta eat" as the backbone of the company's marketing strategy. Checkers introduced this fun yet straight-to-the-point slogan early in the 21st century and stuck with it until 2007. Not long before the new tagline was introduced, Checkers and Rally's merged to become one company, which is why the slogan was used for both. The idea behind this slogan was to brand Checkers/Rally's drive-throughs as the ideal place for super-busy people to grab something to eat. After all, you might not always have time to stop and eat in a sit-down establishment, but you do — in fact — still have to eat. 

It's not surprising that Checkers/Rally's stuck with "You gotta eat" for several years, as the slogan is credited as playing a major role in the restaurant chain's growth during the early part of the 21st century. Still, fast food franchises have to keep their marketing fresh, so Checker's decided to make a change. In 2007, the company retired "You gotta eat" and adopted a new tagline: "Little place. BIG TASTE." 

Slicing up freshness (Arby's)

From 2012 to 2014, Arby's used the slogan "Slicing up freshness" as the focal point of its marketing messages. This tagline proudly called attention to the fact that the fast food chain serves roast beef that's freshly sliced in-house. Why is that a big deal, you ask? Because freshly sliced meat is a truly unique offering among the major fast-food restaurants. Sure, you could get sliced meat at Subway, but Subway didn't do any meat slicing in-store — at least not at that time. (Subway began slicing meat in-store in 2023). 

Long before Subway started in-store slicing, Arby's had already moved on to another slogan. "Slicing up freshness" disappeared in 2014, when Arby's changed its tagline to "We have the meats," a slogan that still (as of 2023) seems to be standing the test of time. Arby's (of course) still has sliced roast beef — but the fast food chain doesn't stop there in the meat category. The Arby's menu features several kinds of meat, some of which aren't sliced at all. With that in mind, it's not surprising that Arby's changed its slogan

$5 footlong (Subway)

Speaking of Subway, this fast food chain has had quite a few slogans over the years. The sandwich chain's catchy and easy-to-remember "$5 footlong" slogan — which went hand-in-hand with a pricing promotion — was everywhere for a while. The "$5 footlong" tagline became part of the franchise-based company's nationwide marketing strategy in 2008 and it stuck around for quite a while — a good bit longer than many franchise owners would have liked. Sure, offering full-size subs for a low price attracted customers to the store and drove revenue, but it's hard for a franchisee to turn a profit on sandwiches when they're required to sell them at such a low price point. 

Subway's "$5 footlong" promotion officially ended in 2014, though the company has unsuccessfully tried to reintroduce it — at least on a temporary basis — a few times since then. The most recent attempt was in 2020, but that lasted for only two weeks. Food costs have risen quite a lot since that time, a reality that makes it highly likely that Subway's "$5 footlong" campaign will forever be a thing of the past. 

Buy 'em by the sack (White Castle)

During the 1920s, White Castle became the world's first hamburger chain. Shortly thereafter, White Castle started packing up its tasty and tiny burgers in sacks and sending them home with customers. The restaurant promoted this option with the slogan "Buy 'em by the sack." The concept of fast food carry-out was born just like that. Pretty amazing, right? Having been in business for well over 100 years, White Castle hasn't stuck with that slogan for all that time. After all, many of its burgers and meals now come in boxes. 

White Castle has adjusted its slogan over the years many times to keep its marketing fresh and keep up with the changing marketplace. Its more recent taglines emphasize the craveability of the restaurant's food. Even so, though, White Castle does still pay homage to the company's humble yet groundbreaking origins. You can, indeed, still get a sack of burgers from White Castle restaurants. 

Freaky fast delivery (Jimmy Johns)

Jimmy John's used the slogan "Freaky fast delivery" for several years during the 2010s but that particular turn of phrase is now gone from the sandwich store's delivery marketing. This slogan came under fire in the court (both in the court of public opinion and in actual courtrooms) after drivers for Jimmy John's were involved in speed-related accidents that resulted in serious injuries, lawsuits, and financial settlements. It didn't help that an undercover news investigation caught Jimmy John's drivers speeding as they rushed to deliver on time. 

Even with all of that, Jimmy John's didn't give up on the "freaky fast" part of that saying. In 2019, the company introduced its "Freaky Fast Rewards" customer loyalty program. In this case, the name is apt because it's designed to allow frequent customers to quickly earn freebies and other rewards. We think this is a better use of the phrase, and apparently so do the powers that be at Jimmy John's. 

Think outside the bun (Taco Bell)

Remember when Taco Bell used to urge us to "Think outside the bun?" If that saying is still stuck inside your head, it has been there for quite some time. Taco Bell stopped using "Think outside the bun" as its tagline in 2012 when it introduced the saying "Live más" (The Spanish word "más" means "more" in English).  

"Think outside the bun" was a cute play on words that could be interpreted in a few different ways. Burgers may be the most widely available fast food option, but this slogan reminded quick service seekers that there are options that don't come in buns. The snappy slogan — which sounds a lot like "think outside the box" — can also be interpreted as urging customers to dare to be different or to go outside the norm, such as by going to Taco Bell instead of a burger joint. 

It's a cool slogan, but alas, "Think outside the bun" is no more. Why, you ask? It has been reported that Taco Bell adopted "Live mas" as its tagline in an effort to position the Tex-Mex chain as more of an upscale lifestyle experience rather than focusing so much on the food. 

Best thing that ever happened to a chicken (Chick-fil-A)

Chick-fil-A has featured those wacky sign-writing cows in its advertising messages for so long that we wouldn't be surprised if you presumed that "Eat mor chikin" had always been the company's primary slogan. That one has been around for quite a while (since 1995), and the restaurant also continues to use the tagline "The Original Chicken Sandwich." But what came before? 

Way, way back in the 1960s, Chick-fil-A used the phrase "The best thing that ever happened to a chicken" as its tagline. We guess the folks who came up with this saying weren't thinking about it from the chicken's point of view. We're not really sure when that slogan went away, but we're kind of glad that it did. We can't help but wonder if that slogan just might be where the inspiration to promote tasty chicken sandwiches from the point of view of cows came from. 

Time to make the donuts (Dunkin' Donuts)

"Time to make the donuts" factored prominently in Dunkin' Donuts advertising from the early 1980s through most of the 1990s. In every "Time to make the donuts" commercial, a bleary-eyed baker known to TV viewers and donut lovers everywhere as Fred the Baker diligently toiled early in the morning to make sure fresh donuts would be available as customers started coming in. As Fred worked, he uttered the famous slogan over and over.

The "Time to make the donuts" campaign, though long-gone, is iconic because of how long Fred the Baker's weary mantra has remained in our cultural memory. This saying is much more than a slogan — it's a true catchphrase and a stroke of sheer advertising genius. It's fun to reminisce about this nostalgic Dunkin' slogan and the memorable ads in which it was featured, but company leadership has made it clear that there are no plans to revive "Time to make the donuts" in the future. 

Avoid the Noid (Domino's Pizza)

During the 1980s Dominos Pizza introduced its "Avoid the Noid" slogan as part of a long-running, catchy advertising campaign designed to drive home the pizza chain's commitment to getting pizza to customers within 30 minutes of ordering. The campaign featured an animated character called the Noid which was basically a gremlin/troll figure focused on foiling your desire to have hot, fresh pizza delivered to your door in half an hour, which — at that time — is what Domino's promised to do. The idea was that Domino's would get your pizza to you no matter what, thus empowering you to avoid the Noid.

In a superhero movie, Noid would be the villain and Domino's would be the superhero. Domino's stuck with the "Avoid the Noid" campaign through the mid-1990s, even though the campaign was marred by controversy when a man with the last name Noid held up a Domino's at gunpoint. Domino's Pizza has moved on to other slogans, but the chain did actually reintroduce "Avoid the Noid" in 2021 in a campaign that presented him trying to outsmart driverless delivery vehicles. 

Pizza! Pizza! (Little Caesars)

"Pizza! Pizza!" was the tagline for Little Caesars for a long time. The company introduced the slogan to accompany the two-for-one pizza deal it launched in 1979 and stuck with the tagline until 1997. It makes sense, right? "Pizza! Pizza!" is the perfect slogan for a restaurant where you can pay for one pizza and get two. Why in the world would Little Caesars replace such a cute and catchy slogan? Well, once the company changed its business model to no longer emphasize two-for-one pizza deals, the slogan didn't fit quite so well. That's why Little Caesars stopped saying Pizza! Pizza!

Little Caesars replaced "Pizza! Pizza!" with "Hot-N-Ready," a slogan designed to convey that you can stop by Little Caesars anytime to snag a freshly baked pizza without having to call ahead to order. The company temporarily brought back "Pizza! Pizza!" for an advertising campaign in 2012, but Little Caesars has stuck with "Hot-N-Ready" as its slogan since it was first introduced. We think that's a good decision since it so accurately represents the company's business model and clearly communicates what distinguishes Little Caesars: It's a pizza chain that truly offers fast food.