A long long time ago in a far off kingdom lived a fast-food chain who believed they could make anything they wanted and sell it if it had the letters "M" and "C" in front of them. This lettering system had proven to be successful, for the McMuffin and McRib appeared as hard-hitters. So the kingdom of McDonald's figured something like the McPizza would be an instant hit. It had the letters and the blessing from the Golden Arches but sadly that wasn't enough.
Whatever Happened to the McPizza?
For only a short time in the 1980s, McDonald's locations around the nation served up freshly prepared McDonald's Pizza as a dinner option for hungry customers. Back in the day, McDonald's was most notably known for serving up bags of burgers during your lunch hour. In 1973 they invented the Egg McMuffin, bringing in a breakfast crowd. But the McDonald's menu didn't have anything specifically for families to enjoy as dinner.
Thus the McDonald's McPizza was born. It was a simple idea, especially since chains like Pizza Hut were gaining traction in the market. So after creating a quick-cook oven, the corporate office rolled out the new ovens to a few franchisees who had to remodel their kitchens to include the oven and other new equipment that they needed to prepare the pizza.
Then came some logistical concerns. How would ordering a pizza work in the drive-thru? While executives hoped people would order the pizza in the restaurant and eat it inside, there was the problem of serving it in the drive-thru. The most obvious was that the box was too big for the drive-thru window. Secondly, the wait time for the pizza, which was around 10 minutes, led to back-ups and annoyed customers.
After nearly ten years of planning, working, and brainstorming, 24 restaurants near Evansville, Indiana and Owensboro, Kentucky were chosen to test out the new pizza.
The area's pizza parlors were furious at the burger giant and Pizza Hut started referring to the competitor as "McFrozen" dough. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. McDonald's was facing problems on their own homefront. The pizza would take three times as long as the burgers to make, which left customers disgruntled after receiving their pizza and cold burgers. Not only that, the cost alone was enough to walk away. At $5.99 to $8.99 a pie, feeding a family of four with two pies and drinks could easily put you back $15. This is compared to the cost of a Big Mac which was only $2.02.
But the company wasn't giving up. By the early 1990s, pizza was available at over 40% of the locations in the United States. But by 2015, there were only three stores (one in Pomeroy, Ohio and another in Spencer, West Virginia) that were still serving up pepperoni pizza in the drive-thru. It was the end of an era for a menu item that never really found its place. Or was it?
Order Your McPizza at Epic McD
There's only one place left in the world that sells the throwback pies and it's located in Orlando, Florida. Known as Epic McD, the World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's & PlayPlace, this location is anything but your normal drive-thru. Open 24-hours with an arcade, this McDonald's serves up specialties like wood fire oven pizzas, Belgian waffles, and even pasta. One look and you'll realize this store would only fit in in Orlando among the theme parks.