In honor of the beloved Big Mac on its 50th anniversary, we’re serving up seven little-known facts about the McDonald’s heavyweight.
With the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac upon us, now seems like the perfect time to celebrate the McDonald’s most iconic burger —that towering culinary feat that serves as a testament to the fact that nothing can top American fast food ingenuity, or hunger.
“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions— on a sesame seed bun!” Sure, you know the jingle, but do you know everything there is to know about America’s favorite burger? In honor of the beloved Big Mac, scroll down for seven little-known facts about the McDonald’s heavyweight:
It was invented by a frustrated franchisee.
The Big Mac was born at a McDonald’s in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1967 (one year before its official birthday). According to Adweek, franchisee Jim Delligatti created the now-famous sandwich in a moment of frustration. His main customers—men working in the steel mills nearby—had huge appetites, and all he had to offer them was a regular cheeseburger. So, he decided to experiment with a monster burger that incorporated two beef patties, stabilized by a center bun, topped with lettuce, pickles onions, and a “special sauce.”
It almost had another name.
Originally, Delligatti was going to call his sandwich creation the “Big Mc,” but that didn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so he went with “Big Mac” instead. Phew!
Two quarters were all you needed.
The Orlando Sentinel got its hands on an advertisement in a local Pittsburgh-area newspaper announcing the arrival of the Big Mac. “Starting Saturday, April 22, 1967. New! Big Mac. Made with 2 freshly ground patties, tangy melted cheese, crisp lettuce, pickles and our own Special Sauce. Only 45 cents.” Yes, you read that right, 45 cents! Compare that to the modern day Big Mac, which will run you $4.
The Big Mac went systemwide in 1968.
With McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s blessing, Adweek reports that the Big Mac, heralded as “a meal disguised as a sandwich,” rolled out systemwide in 1968.
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By 1969, the Big Mac was generating a giant bite—19%—of McDonald’s revenue. Today, Americans consume 550 million Big Macs annually, which adds up to a little more than 17 every second, according to Adweek.
It’s a seedy business.
The average Big Mac is sprinkled with 400 sesame seeds, helping to give the iconic burger its signature look.
It’s all about the buns, hun.
Big Mac buns come in packs of three. The middle bun, called the “club bun” keeps the beef patties in place and helps give the towering burger its signature height.