Why McDonald’s Removed Breakfast Burritos and Chicken Fajitas: Unpopular Menu Items or Clever Marketing Move?

McDonald’s, the global fast-food giant, has a history of introducing and discontinuing menu items. Two such items that have come and gone are the breakfast burritos and chicken fajitas. These items, introduced in the 1990s, were eventually removed from the menu, leading many to wonder why. Were they simply not popular enough, or was there a strategic marketing move behind their discontinuation? Let’s delve into the history and reasons behind these decisions.

The Popularity of Breakfast Burritos and Chicken Fajitas

When McDonald’s introduced breakfast burritos and chicken fajitas, they were met with mixed reactions. Some customers loved the new additions, while others were less enthusiastic. The breakfast burritos, in particular, were a hit among those looking for a quick, on-the-go breakfast option. The chicken fajitas, on the other hand, were less popular, with many customers preferring traditional burger options.

Reasons for Discontinuation

Despite the popularity of the breakfast burritos, McDonald’s decided to discontinue them. The primary reason was the complexity and time required to prepare them. The burritos had to be individually wrapped, which slowed down service times. This was a significant issue for McDonald’s, a fast-food chain known for its quick service.

The chicken fajitas were discontinued for similar reasons. They required separate preparation and cooking processes, which complicated kitchen operations. Additionally, they were not as popular as other menu items, leading to waste and lower profits.

Was It a Clever Marketing Move?

While it may seem counterintuitive to remove popular items from the menu, it can actually be a smart marketing move. By discontinuing certain items, McDonald’s can create a sense of scarcity and exclusivity. This can increase demand for the item, leading to a surge in sales when it is reintroduced.

Furthermore, removing less popular items can streamline operations and improve efficiency. This can lead to faster service times and higher customer satisfaction. It also allows McDonald’s to focus on promoting its most popular and profitable items.


In conclusion, the discontinuation of the breakfast burritos and chicken fajitas at McDonald’s was likely a combination of factors. While these items had their fans, they also presented operational challenges and were not as profitable as other menu items. Their removal may also have been part of a strategic marketing move to create scarcity and improve operational efficiency. Regardless of the reasons, these changes reflect McDonald’s ongoing efforts to adapt and respond to changing customer preferences and market conditions.