FAST FOOD FLASHBACK: McDonald’s Pizza

McDonald s Pizza

Do you remember McDonald’s Pizza? If you don’t, you’re apparently not alone. In fact, if you’d Googled “mcdonalds pizza” before March of this year, your resources would have been scarce. Since then, the subject briefly went viral – there’s even a podcast extensively devoted to the subject.

The reality is, McDonald’s Pizza was test marketed in over 500 locations between 1989 and 1991. From the jump, it seems like it was doomed to fail – a special oven was needed that took up precious space, it reportedly took 11 minutes to cook (a lifetime in fast food minutes, obviously), and special drive-thru windows had to be installed so the family-size pizzas could fit through.

In the end, it did indeed meet its demise, for any of these reasons or just because it wasn’t popular enough. But one franchisee refused to get the message, and continued to sell pizzas in two locations – Pomeroy, Ohio and Spencer, West Virginia. Unfortunately, McDonald’s corporate eventually caught wind of this rogue hero, and those two locations shut down pie production in August of this year.

McDonald’s Pizza is now well and truly gone, even if you never knew it was there to begin with.

McDonald s Pizza 2

The pizzas were available in personal or family size, and the toppings offered were cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and deluxe (sausage, peppers, mushrooms, and onions). Here’s the thing – for the first time, I’m writing about a food I never actually had the opportunity to taste.

From all the resources I’ve gathered, feelings about McDonald’s Pizza range from “bland” and “the sauce was too sweet” to fond memories of it rivaling the taste of big chain places like Pizza Hut. For the record, the podcaster previously mentioned got to try it this year, and called it “everything I had hoped for”.

McDonald s Pizza 3

I knew about the two locations still serving McDonald’s Pizza before they were forced to stop, but I just didn’t have the resources to travel 2,000 miles to try it. I sure wish I could have, though, just for the novelty of the experience.

Given the logistics, I doubt we’ll ever see McDonald’s Pizza again, and that’s probably for the best. While I never did get to try it, I doubt it could compete not only with the big chains that deliver today but also with the ability to order from mom ‘n’ pop places that can now deliver via apps like DoorDash.

9 thoughts to “FAST FOOD FLASHBACK: McDonald’s Pizza”

  1. I used to eat these all the time as a kid. Preferred them to Pzzta Hut’s pan pizzas but the latter were free more often (thanks book reading program).

  2. Had these quite a few times in Connecticut. As a matter of fact, I have read that the Mc’Donalds in New Haven Connecticut still serve them, but I cannot confirm it. Anyone know for sure?

    1. That would be a well-kept secret, because the Pomeroy and Spencer locations were the last ones to ever serve the pizza, as far as I can see anywhere on the Internet. If you do find out something though, I’d love to hear it!

  3. I worked there during that time and they were a real pain in the ass. People would complain about how long they took.

    At first we assembled them from scratch. Crust, sauce, cheese, toppings. Eventually they went to premade frozen pizzas.

    It was a really dumb idea. I don’t know why they would have greenlit something like this.

  4. I think this couldn’t compete with Little Caesar’s on a price point, or the big chains on a delivery point (or apps like DoorDash or GrubHub, as you mentioned.) So yeah, doomed to fail. Interesting idea but really surprised they ever test marketed it after all the issues you mentioned.

  5. It never occurred to them to just change the shape of the pizza so it would fit through the window?!? Pizza doesn’t have to be round.

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