The Burger King Sandwich Flop You've Probably Never Heard Of

Fast food became immensely popular in the 1950s and has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the restaurant industry. It has made great strides from occupying a place in American culture and evoking passion to developing die-hard fans and flourishing into a multi-billion-dollar industry. But this didn't happen overnight. Besides offering delicious, inexpensive food and even using bizarre promotional tactics, one thing that has helped fast food chains propel their sales and brand awareness is their iconic and popular menu items.

But not every fast food item is a hit among the consumers. In fact, it requires a lot of experimenting and failed attempts to come up with a bulls-eye item like Big Mac or Whopper. So when fast food chains introduce something absurd in the name of innovation, fast food enthusiasts take no time to reject them. How can we forget about some of the biggest fast food failures of all time that deserve to be lost into the dark abyss of disappointment?

Interestingly, some menu items were not that bad, yet they couldn't gain much traction and died prematurely. Take an example of the Burger King roast beef sandwich launched in 1980, which ticked all the boxes you would want in a specialty sandwich and still vanished about one year later. So what happened to BK's roast beef sandwich that was probably a thousand times better than their horribly flopped A.1. Halloween Whopper or Satisfries? 

What went wrong for Burger King roast beef sandwich?

It's hard to contemplate how Burger King's roast beef sandwich, aka a fast food item that gave away a "free Frisbee with purchase," failed to draw attention (via Retroist). How did it happen? Why? It wasn't like BK tried a failed experiment with pizza (we're talking about you, McDonald's). The taste apparently wasn't a problem, as the sandwich comprised hot thinly sliced roast beef, lettuce, tomato, and creamy real egg mayonnaise. 

While the newspapers were swarmed with coupons with offers of buying one roast beef sandwich and getting one free, Burger King tried to take the game to the next level by introducing their loyalty program (punch cards). The fast food chain even advertised their new product with TV commercials with the catchy phrase, "You just can't beat it." But nothing seemed to work for them because of one reason: Competition! 

You see, Burger King had to compete with the "big boy" of the game. They introduced a roast beef sandwich to a market that was already happily devouring Arby's roast beef sandwich. Even McDonald's and KFC tried their luck and couldn't "taste" success despite having all those resources. So, we totally get why BK decided to abandon something they thought no one could beat. Perhaps, they should've continued it for some time. Who knows, there's a possibility Burger King roast beef sandwich might make a huge comeback like other discontinued fast food items