McDonald’s has premiered two new versions of their Big Mac this week. The move comes after entire months of successful testing earlier this year in Columbus, Ohio, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The first is called the Mac Jr., which still contains the iconic “special sauce” and toppings, but with one less patty and bun, perfect for those seeking a quick bite. And for those with a larger appetite, the second version is the Grand Mac. It is the same as the original, but with 61 percent more beef. The new Big Macs will premiere in all of McDonald’s more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants.
A Brief History of the Big Mac
The Big Mac was invented by Michael “Jim” Delligatti in 1967. Delligatti, a franchise-owner in Uniontown, Pa, eventually owned 48 franchises, one of the company’s largest franchise holders. It took him two years to perfect the recipe for his “special sauce.”
He recently died at age 98 this past November, just missing the debut of the new Big Macs. The original Big Mac recipe hasn’t changed since it’s inception. As of today, McDonald’s sells 900 million Big Macs a year and is sold in more than 100 countries. In some countries outside of the U.S., Big Macs made with chicken are also available.
McDonald’s CEO, Steve Easterbrook, is responsible for this recent innovation. Easterbrook, who took over in 2015, has most famously pioneered the all-day breakfast menu. This move has improved McDonald’s overall revenue and profits, increasing sales by 5.7 percent.
Despite this momentary upturn, the fast-food industry on the whole is currently experiencing a downturn. The new Big Macs aren’t expected to help either. In the past two years, McDonald’s has initiated an effort to streamline its menu to cut costs and speed service, as well as introduce fresher and healthier products.
This would allow it to compete with the slightly more upscale burger chains like Five Guys, M Burger, and Shake Shack. So far, McDonald’s has cut the use of artificial preservatives, eliminated certain antibiotics from chicken products, and eliminated high fructose corn syrup from its buns, among other things.
McDonald’s Does Business
McDonald’s recently announced that they have sold a majority stake in their mainland China and Hong Kong businesses for $2.08 billion, leaving them with only a 20 percent share in the venture.
Easterbrook has stated that the company’s new partners, CITIC Limited and CITIC Capital Holdings, a Chinese state-backed conglomerate, and the Carlyle Group, a U.S. private-equity firm, will use their esoteric knowledge of the local markets to help bolster sales at the existing 2,640 restaurants, as well as open an additional 1,500 eateries by 2022.
The sale reflects McDonald’s emphasis on franchising, helping the company elude the expenses of managing staff and operations and increasing profits. They are also looking to strike deals in markets such as South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
An Inspiring Story
The history of the McDonald’s Corporation is a long and storied one. So much so, in fact, that it inspired both a book, “Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune,” and a movie released January 20th of this year called “The Founder.”
While the business was founded in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernadino, California, it was Ray Kroc who convinced the brothers to franchise, then later buying them out for $2.7 million. Kroc, a milkshake equipment salesman before purchasing the McDonald’s company in 1961, implemented the McDonald’s brothers’ “Speedee Service System” to make it the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants.
Image source: here