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What happened to the chicken tater melt?

The chicken tater melt was a fan favorite item on KFC’s menu for years. However, in 2020, KFC quietly removed the sandwich from menus across the country, leaving many customers wondering why it disappeared and if it will ever return.

What was the chicken tater melt?

The chicken tater melt consisted of an extra crispy chicken fillet, pepper jack cheese, and KFC’s signature tater tots sandwiched between two buns. It was introduced to KFC menus in 2009 and quickly became a popular menu item due to its indulgent combination of fried chicken, cheese, and tater tots.

Fans loved the crispy crunch of the extra crispy chicken paired with the gooey pepper jack cheese and starchy tater tots. The combination of flavors and textures made it a craveable sandwich that had customers coming back for more.

When did KFC discontinue the chicken tater melt?

In early 2020, customers started noticing that the chicken tater melt was disappearing from KFC menus. By the summer of 2020, it was nearly impossible to find at KFC locations across the United States. KFC never made an official announcement about discontinuing the sandwich. It simply removed it from menus without warning or explanation, leaving loyal fans confused.

Why did KFC get rid of the chicken tater melt?

While KFC has not provided an official reason for discontinuing the chicken tater melt, food industry experts have some theories as to why it was removed from menus:

  • Streamlining menu options – KFC has aggressively trimmed down its menu offerings in recent years, getting rid of less popular items to simplify operations.
  • Focusing on core menu – With a slimmed down menu, KFC can better highlight its core offerings like fried chicken on the bone and chicken sandwiches.
  • Supply chain issues – COVID-19 strained supply chains, making it difficult for restaurants to get ingredients. KFC may have cut the tater melt if key ingredients were hard to source.
  • Preparing for new products – KFC may have cut the tater melt to make room for new sandwiches and promotional items in development.

While the exact reason is unknown, it seems the tater melt was a casualty of KFC’s efforts to streamline its menu and operations in recent years.

Will the chicken tater melt ever come back?

Fans who miss the chicken tater melt are still holding out hope it will return to KFC’s menu one day. However, given that it’s been gone for over two years now, the chances of it coming back seem slim.

KFC has not hinted at the possibility of bringing the tater melt back. And given the rationale for discontinuing it in the first place, a permanent return does not seem likely unless there are major changes to KFC’s menu strategy.

That said, fast food menus are constantly evolving, so it can’t be ruled out completely. Other discontinued KFC items like the Doublicious Sandwich have made short-lived comebacks thanks to fan demand. Fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed for the possibility of the chicken tater melt returning in limited-time promotions.

What are fans saying about the disappearance of the chicken tater melt?

The disappearance of the chicken tater melt did not go unnoticed by fans who considered it one of KFC’s best menu items. Many have taken to social media to express their love, nostalgia, and hopes for its return:

Social Media Reaction Quote
Twitter “Noooo!! KFC got rid of the chicken tater melt??? That was hands down their best sandwich…”
Facebook “Bring back the chicken tater melt!!! My favorite KFC sandwich ever.”
Instagram “Chicken tater melt was the GOAT. So sad it’s gone from the menus! KFC please bring it back!”
Reddit “Does anyone know if KFC is going to bring the tater melt back at some point? I’m seriously so bummed it’s gone.”

It’s clear from the passionate social media posts that the tater melt had a dedicated fan base that misses enjoying the indulgent sandwich. Many fans are still hoping to see it again one day despite a lack of any indication from KFC that it will return.

How does the chicken tater melt’s discontinuation compare to similar fast food items?

The demise of the chicken tater melt follows a pattern seen with some other beloved fast food menu items over the years. Here are a few examples of similar discontinued items that customers still miss:

Discontinued Item Restaurant Year Discontinued
McDonald’s Snack Wraps McDonald’s 2020
Burger King Chicken Fries Burger King 2012 (Later returned in 2014)
Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets Wendy’s 2017 (Returned in 2019)
Taco Bell Double Decker Taco Taco Bell 2019

Like the chicken tater melt, all these items developed passionate fan bases during their time on menus. Their discontinuations were met with nostalgia and calls to bring them back from heartbroken customers on social media. A few have returned for limited times or permanently due to fan demand, giving hope that the same could happen for the chicken tater melt someday.

Could the chicken tater melt make a comeback?

Given the ongoing passion and nostalgia for the chicken tater melt among fans, it’s possible KFC could opt to bring it back in the future. However, there are a few factors that may influence their decision:

  • Current menu strategy – If KFC still favors a simplified menu, it decreases the odds of reviving discontinued items.
  • Supply chain issues – Product shortages and inflated costs may make relaunching the tater melt unfeasible for now.
  • Competitive landscape – Wendy’s and McDonald’s chicken sandwich innovations may lead KFC to develop something new rather than bring back an old item.
  • Cost analysis – KFC will have to determine if there’s enough demand to justify the costs of relaunching the tater melt.

Ultimately, KFC will make a business decision based on these factors. But if fan passion remains strong on social media and in stores, they may be swayed to give tater melt devotees the comeback they crave.

How can fans increase the chances of the chicken tater melt returning?

If fans really want to see the chicken tater melt back on KFC menus, there are a few strategies they can try to increase the odds:

  • Start a petition – An organized petition with thousands of signatures shows KFC the demand is there.
  • Write to KFC leadership – Well-written letters and emails to KFC’s executives and product team may grab their attention.
  • Request it in stores – Employees can pass along to management when they hear customers asking for the tater melt in stores.
  • Tweet about it – Tweeting about the tater melt with the #BringBacktheTaterMelt hashtag keeps it trending.
  • Share memories on social – Nostalgic posts about the tater melt remind KFC how loved it was.

With coordinated efforts across these channels, fans may be able to demonstrate enough demand for the chicken tater melt to convince KFC it’s worth the costs of bringing it back again.


The chicken tater melt developed a loyal fanbase during its decade or so on KFC’s menu. For those devoted fans, its disappearance in 2020 remains a frustrating and confusing loss. While KFC has not shared their rationale for removing it from menus, theories suggest it was a casualty of corporate strategy rather than lack of popularity.

Though the chances of the tater melt returning seem slim currently, all hope is not lost. With continued passionate feedback from customers, KFC could be swayed to bring it back in the future, as other fast food chains have done with similar discontinued cult favorites. For now, fans will have to follow the social media chatter closely for any glimmer of hope of their beloved sandwich coming back someday.