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Bravos and busts: Fast-food successes and flops

Posted at 10:50 AM, Aug 29, 2014

Food and innovation are natural partners.

So it’s not surprising Little Caesars has joined the crowd of fast-food chains offering significantly different items on their menus.

The company will test pretzel crust pizzas in all of its markets beginning Monday.

Whether this innovation is a hit or miss remains to be seen. Here are some fast-food marvels that had success along with a few that would have been better off left in the deep fryer.

Bravo: Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust pizza

Pizza Hut made $300 million in 1995 alone when the chain introduced its stuffed crust pizza, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Stuffed crust remains a staple offering for Pizza Hut nearly 20 years later.

Bust: Pizza Hut’s Priazzo

Remember the Priazzo? Chances are you don’t. Back in the 1980s, Pizza Hut tried to market a deep dish pizza, but the pizzas never gained traction with consumers and became extinct shortly after.

Bravo: McDonald’s McGriddles

The what-exactly-is-it breakfast sandwich had people interested (and buying) from the outset.

More than a decade later, McDonald’s used the prominent menu item in its battle with Taco Bell after the latter chain launched its own breakfast menu earlier this year.

Bust: McDonald’s Pizza

McDonald’s pizza aspirations ended relatively quickly in the early 1990s after the mega-chain could not convince people accustomed to speedy service to wait in line for a personally crafted pizza.

Bravo: Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos

After launching in 2012, the taco wrapped in a Dorito-flavored shell spiced up the menu for the late-night giant.

Not every one of the flavors has performed well, but that hasn’t stopped Taco Bell from giving customers new choices every so often.

Bust: Wendy’s Frescata menu

Wendy’s made an ill-advised effort to get into a different kind of sandwich business with its Frescata offerings in 2006.

But the burger joint pulled back the Frescata sandwiches a year later and has since created its own pretzel offering with pretzel buns for its burgers and sandwiches.

Bravo: Kentucky Fried Chicken Double Down

KFC got a lot of buzz for creating a sandwich that replaced bread with chicken, and sold 10 million of those sandwiches in the first month.

One man even got a tattoo to help promote the meal.

Bust: Kentucky Fried Chicken Double Down

But some people weren’t so excited about the 540-calorie sandwich, which prompted critics to protest the offering.

It is bacon and cheese wrapped in two fried pieces of chicken after all.