McDonald’s Big Mac 50th Anniversary
Top 5 things we’d like to see from McDonald’s UK to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac.
Is there a more iconic burger in the fast food world than the flagship Big Mac sandwich from McDonald’s?
Created by an early franchisee, the Big Mac debuted in a Pennsylvania restaurant in 1967 before being added to all U.S. restaurants in 1968.
Early names for the Big Mac included the Blue Ribbon Burger and the Aristocrat. But it was a 21-year-old advertising secretary, who worked at McDonald’s corporate headquarters that bestowed it with a name now synonymous with the brand.
We all know the ingredients; two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.
It’s had such an influence on burger joints around the world that I bet a huge proportion have a menu item that pays homage to the icon. My thoughts instantly go to Solita’s Big Manc and the McLovin’ at Atomic Burger.
2017 will see the Big Mac celebrate its 50th birthday and for the anniversary of its inception, we at BURGER LAD® believe there could be some sort of worldwide event from McDonald’s to mark the “special” occasion.
It got us thinking at BLHQ – what would we like to see McDonald’s UK to do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Big Mac?
1. Mega Mac or Double Big Mac
I can’t recall when this was last on-sale in the UK, but it has been at least five years… On the menu permanently in Canada and available as a limited time offer regularly in the Far East, this would be operationally viable for McDonald’s to bring back.
You might think it is calorie-loaded, but the Canadian website lists the Double Big Mac at 680 kcal. In comparison, the UK Big Tasty with Bacon is 850 kcal.
In our recent Twitter poll, 44% of 160 voters chose the Mega Mac as their number one favourite they’d like to see return to McDonald’s UK.
2. Grand Big Mac
The Grand Big Mac has been available in so many countries it would feel like regurgitating an atlas if I listed every single country that’s had it on the menu. Most of Europe, parts of Asia and Northern America have all had the opportunity of sampling the Grand-est version of the Big Mac.
The sandwich (or burger) is basically a bigger Big Mac using increased sized beef patties and buns and in recent times, it has run alongside the regular Big Mac and the Mac Jr. or Mini Mac. The Angus Mac (not pictured) has also featured on menus in Australia and New Zealand.
Probably a bit of an outsider… but could appease those customers saying the Big Mac has been getting smaller in the last 50-or-so years.
3. Big Mac Special Sauce
What is the defining feature of the Big Mac? Some could argue it is the middle “club-layer” but most people would agree it is the Special Sauce.
Our next idea is inspired by what McDonald’s Australia (or Macca’s) did last year and is split into two options.
Option 1 – Big Mac Sauce giveaway.
In Australia and New Zealand, small pot sachets (the same size you get any sauce from McDonald’s in) were available in limited quantities with Special Sauce.
Here’s the pitch – buy any Big Mac meal and receive a sachet of Special Sauce. Could be a good one…
Option 2 – Big Mac Sauce purchase.
Again in Australia, they did a very limited promotion where customers could buy 500ml bottles of the sauce.
This would be brilliant if each restaurant had a set number of bottles available to buy… then keep a look out for the inevitable… bottles appearing on auction sites at inflated prices. Note: Ordering online would probably be a better option to avoid mass hysteria.
McDonald’s UK did do a charity auction for Big Mac Sauce and a special canister when the Clubhouse was released. The winning bid was fake and we never did find out what happened to that canister…
4. Big Mac Variants
You could probably argue that the Mega Mac or Grand Big Mac belong here but this section is for something more “special”…
First thoughts; Chicken Big Mac – as seen in many countries across the world. Or possibly the Chicken Maharaja Mac which features “grilled chicken double patty enveloped in rich habanero sauce that mingles with fiery jalapenos, juicy tomatoes and crunchy shredded onions placed on cheddar cheese and a bed of iceberg lettuce.” I and many non-meat eaters would love to see the veggie option too!
I’ve always liked the idea of a version with red onion and bacon. In fact, at the My Burger Final, then UK Managing Director, Mark Hawthorne, asked me if I would make any changes to the Big Mac. Obviously my answer was wrong – you don’t mess with a classic! But then I have always liked the idea of my red onion and bacon creation.
Notable mention too for the recently released Signature Crafted Sriracha Sandwich. I’m thinking a Big Mac that uses Sriracha Special Sauce and Jalapeños instead of pickles. Shut up and take my money.
Another great concept, is to do a “Signature” edition of the Big Mac to celebrate its Golden Anniversary. Imagine two Signature patties, seeded brioche, special sauce, dill pickle spears, crisp lettuce and sautéed onions.
5. Big Mac Flashback
OK the last on our list came to me via The Admiral and moves away from product ideas and makes it more of a celebration for the Big Mac 50th anniversary.
McDonald’s are high on their “Good Times” thing at the moment so we’re thinking of partying with some special events and/or promotions.
There could be some limited stores temporarily “decorated” to mimic early restaurants i.e. furniture, décor, uniforms, menu etc – the only trouble with this suggestion (apart from the cost!) is that the Big Mac came out in 1967 and the UK didn’t get McD’s until 1974.
Back then though, a Big Mac would set you back approximately 50p.
How about for one day only offering a promotion or voucher that entitles you to a Big Mac for 50p for its 50th birthday? I quite like this idea for obvious reasons… and you could build your own Mega Mac for a quid!
So there you have it. Our top 5 things we’d like to see from McDonald’s UK to celebrate the 50th birthday of the world’s most iconic burger.
What do you think? Which of our five picks is your favourite? Do you have any other suggestions? Is a Big Mac 50th Anniversary promotion a good idea?
Let us know your comments below or via the usual BURGER LAD® channels.