If you're a fan of the spicy chicken sandwich at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), savor the memory. According to a Chicago Tribune story, the world's largest restaurateur is pulling the premium spicy chicken treat from its menu.

The company has been testing a replacement at many of its stores. Already a value meal staple in some markets, Mickey D's is wrapping a chicken tender strip in a flour tortilla with a few trimmings. No, it's not exactly fancy, and it's certainly not spicy.

The retreat won't be a permanent surrender. The article claims that the spicy offering may come back as a promotional item from time to time. For the fast food giant, the real lesson here is one of humility.

It followed Wendy's (NYSE:WEN) into the premium chicken salads market and has fared well. Copying Wendy's with a spicy chicken sandwich has apparently not generated the results that McDonald's had been hoping for.

Spicy eats are available at most quick-service chains. Checkers offers spicy sandwiches and will doll up a burger with Pepperjack cheese. CKE Restaurants' (NYSE:CKR) Carl's Jr. chain heats things up with a jalapeno burger.

Experimenting is part of the process. For every Big Mac, McDonald's will suffer through its share of McLean Deluxe and McRib attempts to win over the mainstream gut, but it doesn't have to win them all. Failure has the bright side of opening up the window for another new item. It's what keeps the innovative spirit in retail dining fresh.

It's what keeps the golden arches turning.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz enjoys those healthy Apple Dipper slices at McDonald's -- but only because they come with those caramel dipping sauce cups. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.