McDonald's(R) Celebrates 40 Years Serving 'Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun(R)'

An American Icon, The Big Mac(R) Sandwich Proves It's Much More Than The

Sum Of Its Ingredients

Aug 22, 2007, 01:00 ET from McDonald's

    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
 50 years.
     "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.
     About McDonald's
     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

SOURCE McDonald's