When we went to Burger King as a family, we always went to the same one. It was a great location, clean, unchanging, and of course beautifully decorated in shades of brown. Then one day in 1984 they started tearing up a section of the restaurant to install a salad bar. I had zero interest in it, but when it was completed my family would hit this new salad bar with gusto.
Maybe people hit it with too much gusto because BK franchisees complained a lot that the salad bar was pricey to maintain and had low-profit margins. Eventually, the salad bars would be shut down replaced with pre-made salads which my family almost never ordered.
The salad bars would disappear over time. I have read articles and comments that indicate the some made it well in the early nineties. Ours did not make it much further than 1985.
It took them at least a year to get rid of the now-abandoned salad bar at our Burger King and when they finally got rid of it they replaced it with nothing. So it just left this giant empty space in the restaurant.
According to the wonderful book, The Food Industry Wars: Marketing Triumphs and Blunders, this push by Burger King was a direct reaction to the success of Wendy’s very popular salad bar.
Here is an ad from the mid-1980s featuring model Elle MacPherson, who really loves here BK Salad experience.
They also ran a lot of print ads. As you can see these ads were very focuses on the idea that you could eat at Burger King and lose weight if you just at the salad.