One aspect of Michael Eisner I admire when it comes to his time as Disney CEO was his insistence on brainstorming from all levels of the company.He felt that it was important to foster an environment where people weren’t afraid to voice their ideas. From that ethic came some ideas that changed the Disney company forever and are still with us today. There were also some pretty bad ideas. Here are five failed ideas from the Eisner Era.
4Disney Fast Food
In 1990 during the rise of the Disney store, as they were expanding from 41 to over 120 locations across the country, Disney decided it was time to get into the fast food business. The idea was called Mickey’s Kitchen and the first one opened in April of that year at their Montclair Plaza Disney Store in California.
The idea was to offer a healthy fast food alternative with the Disney brand attached to it, and the initial test locations existed within Disney stores themselves as extensions. The menu offered up dishes such as “Salads in Wonderland”, meatless “Mickey Burgers” and “Bibbity Bobbedy Beverages”.
The test lasted for two years and expanded to a second location, but by March of 1992 both were shut down due to poor performance. As consumer products division spokesman Chuck Champlin put it, Disney “barely broke even with Mickey’s Kitchen.”