NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the last 40 years,
the Big Mac sandwich -- with its catchy jingle and elusive sauce recipe --
has solidified itself as a permanent fixture on the American landscape.
McDonald's today honored the sandwich that long ago joined baseball and
apple pie as an indelible symbol of American pop-culture.
Jim "MJ" Delligatti, 89, one of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc's earliest
franchisees, invented the Big Mac in his Uniontown, Pa. restaurant and
introduced it for 45 cents in 1967. Consisting of two 100% all-beef
patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed
bun, the Big Mac quickly gained popularity and was introduced on the
national menu in 1968.
"Forty years ago, I would never have dreamed that my creation would
turn into a piece of Americana," said Delligatti. "Adult customers at the
time were looking for a sandwich made just for them. I gave them what they
wanted and now I'm celebrating the anniversary of a true icon."
To commemorate the anniversary, Delligatti and his family officially
opened the doors to the McDonald's Big Mac Museum Restaurant -- "the most
tasteful museum in the world" -- today in North Huntingdon, Pa. at 9061
Route 30. The combo museum/restaurant features the world's largest Big Mac
statue (measuring 14 feet high and 12 feet wide), and hundreds of historic
artifacts and high-tech exhibits that celebrate the Big Mac. The facility
is one of 18 McDonald's restaurants owned and operated by M&J Management, a
three-generation family business and McDonald's franchise organization for
"It might surprise people to know that some of our most enduring
products and programs have come through our network of Owner/Operators and
Suppliers," said Jim Skinner, Chief Executive Officer, McDonald's
Corporation. "Forty years ago, Jim Delligatti set the precedent for
creative thinking and partnership that led to development of other
well-known McDonald's menu items."
Following the success of the Big Mac, McDonald's took on suggestions
from other franchisees such as Herb Peterson who created an
egg-cheese-and-bacon sandwich called the Egg McMuffin(R) sandwich and Lou
Groen who created the Filet-O-Fish(R) sandwich.
Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide, and his creative
group at Needham Harper & Steers developed the famous Big Mac advertising
in 1974. The jingle gained notoriety when Max Cooper, a Birmingham, Ala.
McDonald's franchisee, developed a "man-on-the-street" promotion that
rewarded customers who could recite the jingle correctly in four seconds or
less with a free Big Mac. Those who faltered ended up in a local radio
commercial in 1974 featuring the jingle "bloopers."
Today, approximately 550 million Big Mac sandwiches are sold each year
in America alone. Japan sells the second most Big Mac sandwiches worldwide
at approximately 150 million per year. The sandwich is sold in over 100
countries and, because of its global presence, inspired The Economist
Magazine's "Big Mac Index," an annual comparison of foreign currency values
against the U.S. dollar.
McDonald's USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United
States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients
to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald's
13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local
franchisees. For more information about McDonald's visit
For more information contact:
Molly McKenna, McDonald's USA
Ben Lincoln, GolinHarris