Maharaja Mac

The Big Mac is a hamburger sold by international fast food restaurant chain McDonald's. It was introduced in the Greater Pittsburgh area, United States, in 1967 and nationwide in 1968. It is one of the company's signature products.


The Big Mac was created by Jim Delligatti, an early Ray Kroc franchisee,[1] who was operating several restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. It was invented in the kitchen of Delligatti's first McDonald's franchise, located on McKnight Road in suburban Ross Township.[2] The Big Mac had two previous names, both of which failed in the marketplace: the Aristocrat, which consumers found difficult to pronounce and understand, and Blue Ribbon Burger. The third name, Big Mac, was created by Esther Glickstein Rose, a 21-year-old advertising secretary who worked at McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.[3] The Big Mac debuted at Delligatti's Uniontown, Pennsylvania restaurant in 1967, selling for 45 cents.[4] It was designed to compete with Big Boy restaurants' Big Boy sandwich; Eat'n Park was the Pittsburgh area's Big Boy franchisee at the time.[5] The Big Mac proved popular, and it was added to the menu of all U.S. restaurants in 1968.[4]


The Big Mac consists of two 1.6 oz (45.4 g) beef patties, "special sauce" (a variant of Thousand Island dressing), iceberg lettuce, American cheese, pickles, and onions, served in a three-part sesame seed bun.[6]

The Big Mac is known worldwide and is often used as a symbol of American capitalism. The Economist has used it as a reference point for comparing the cost of living in different countries - the Big Mac Index - as it is so widely available and is comparable across markets. This index is sometimes referred to as Burgernomics.[7]

Special sauce

The name was popularized by a 1974 advertising campaign featuring a list of the ingredients in a Big Mac: "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions - on a sesame seed bun."[8]

Big Mac Sauce is delivered to McDonald's restaurants in sealed canisters designed by Sealright, from which it is meant to be directly dispensed using a special calibrated "sauce gun" that dispenses a specified amount of the sauce for each pull of the trigger.[9] Its design is similar to a caulking gun.

In 2012, McDonald's admitted that "the special sauce ingredients were not really a secret" because the recipe had been available online "for years".[10] It consists of store-bought mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard whisked together with vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.[10]


The Big Mac, along with many other McDonald's products, was first served in a "clamshell" styrofoam container that was phased out beginning in 1990 due to environmental concerns.[11] The product is now sold in a collapsible cardboard box.


The Big Mac is often sold as part of a combination meal

The earliest instances of McDonald's utilizing advertising for the burger were mainly print ads, and a TV ad in which Hoyt Axton sings "The Ballad of Big Mac" which aired in 1969.

Two all-beef patties slogan

The Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions - on a sesame seed bun concept for the jingle was created by Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide, and his creative group at Needham Harper and Steers. Originally, the ingredients appeared as a one-word heading for a McDonald's ad developed for college newspapers. The words were then set to music created by Mark Vieha, who performed the original jingle. The first run of commercials ran only a year and a half, going off the air in 1976, but its popularity remained beyond its TV life. Subsequent to the jingle, McDonald's followed up with a promotion based on its customers spontaneously having a "Big Mac Attack".

Many franchises in the United States ran promotions during the original campaign that awarded a free burger to customers who could recite the slogan within a specified time (usually two or three seconds). One example of its success was that the McDonald's operators in New York City ran out of Big Mac buns.[] McDonald's Australia emulated this promotion in the mid-1980s, and some Brazilian McDonald's around the same time (only offering a free glass of Coca-Cola instead), in the Portuguese-language version, which is "Dois hambúrgueres, alface, queijo, molho especial, cebola e picles num pão com gergelim".

In 2003, McDonald's revived the phrase. In an English-language ad from McDonald's international "i'm lovin' it" campaign, a rapper rapidly spouts off the trademark in the background music. Also in 2003, American Greetings and Carlton Cards released a Christmas ornament of a Big Mac, on which the slogan was both printed and played aloud by pulling on a string. Roy Bergold, National Advertising Manager at McDonald's, has a big hand in championing the original campaign and helping to bring it back.

In 2008, the phrase was revived by McDonald's Malaysia. The revival includes the original prize of a free Big Mac if the customer is able to recite the phrase in under four seconds. This was released in May, along with the promotional Mega Mac, which has four beef patties rather than the standard two.[12]

1980s advertising

In the early 1980s, as a promotion, McDonald's staged an in-house rivalry between their two most popular products. Consumers were invited to decide "Which one will be number one? Chicken McNuggets or Big Mac sandwiches?" For each of either item that a customer bought, they received another of the same at half price. Later in the ad campaign, the second was offered for free. It was eventually announced that the Big Mac was "number one".

2005 advertising

In 2005, McDonald's began offering product placement rewards to hip hop artists who namechecked the Big Mac in their music, giving US$5 to the artist for every time a song mentioning the hamburger was played on the radio.[13] This offer quickly spawned a satirical reference from hip hop artist Mad Skillz, who references the marketing ploy in his track "2005 Wrap Up" by stating "And I'm beefin' wit' Mickey D's man, y'all dead wrong, Talkin' 'bout payin' rappers to mention Big Macs in their song, We do rap from the heart, y'all better have some respect, Alright, Big Mac! Big Mac! Big Mac! Now where's my check?"


A Mega Mac burger with a large Coke and fries in Malaysia
  • The Mega Mac or Double Big Mac - four 1.6 oz (45.4 g) beef patties and an extra slice of cheese. Available in Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia (during promotional periods only), Turkey, Singapore, Pakistan, South Korea, and Thailand.[12] Discontinued in New Zealand. In the United States, buyers can ask to double their Big Mac with two additional patties, although this is limited to only certain states. The Double Big Mac is the biggest regular hamburger produced by the chain and has 680 calories.[14]
  • Big Big Mac - a Quarter Pounder-like product sold in Europe (Finland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy). Has been sold periodically in Sweden, there called "Grand Big Mac" (where "Grand" was pronounced in British, not American, English, in their advertising[not in citation given]).[15]
  • The Denali Mac - made with two quarter pound patties. Named after Denali in Alaska, and sold only in that state.[16][17] Also known as the Bigger Big Mac as a limited-time offer product to celebrate the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
  • In India, where consuming beef is illegal in most states, the Big Mac is known as the Maharaja Mac and was originally made with lamb instead of beef; however, along with the company's other items, it is now made from chicken.[18][19] A vegetarian option is also available, substituting corn patties in the place of beef.
  • The Chicken Big Mac is a Big Mac with two breaded chicken patties sold in Pakistan, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar.[20][21][22]
  • The Giga Big Mac is a larger version of the Big Mac with three times the meat of a Big Mac sold in Japan.[23]
  • Mac Jr. is a reduction of the standard Big Mac. It uses a two-piece bun and contains only one beef patty. Available in the U.S. beginning in 2017.[24]
  • Grand Mac uses larger patties, at pound (150 g) combined. Available in the U.S. beginning in 2017.[24]
  • Big Mac BLT is a standard Big Mac burger with the addition of bacon and tomato. Released in Australia in late 2017.[25]

McDonaldland character

In addition to the McDonald's signature hamburger, Big Mac was the name of a character, Officer Big Mac, in McDonaldland, the fictional world created as an advertising campaign for McDonald's. Officer Big Mac was similar to Mayor McCheese, except he was the chief of police, wearing a constable uniform and sporting a large Big Mac for a head.


The Big Mac Museum in 2014

On August 22, 2007, McDonald's opened the Big Mac Museum in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to celebrate the Big Mac's 40th anniversary. The museum features the world's largest Big Mac statue (measuring 14 feet high and 12 feet wide) and has hundreds of historic artifacts and exhibits that celebrate the Big Mac.[26][27]

Some Uniontown residents were unhappy with the selected location;[28] a McDonald's spokesperson said that the decision was based on ease of highway access.[29]

Nutritional values per geographical location

The Big Mac is a geographically localized product. In the United States, the Big Mac has 550 kcal (2,300 kJ), 29 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. In Australia, the burger is slightly smaller with 493 kcal (2,060 kJ) and 26.9 grams of fat, but similar amounts of protein with 25.2 grams,[30] while the Japanese burger tops out the scales at 557 kcal and 30.5 grams of fat. Several Mcdonald's subsidiaries adapt the standard features of the Big Mac (from the USA) to regional requirements.[31]

Comparisons of the Big Mac standard nutritional values in different countries - Sodium values converted to their salt equivalents, rounded and in bold
Country Energy kcal Carbohydrates g Protein g Fat (total) g Dietary fiber g Salt equivalent mg Serving
(weight) g
 Argentina 485 40 24 26 3.3 2005 .ar
 Australia 493 35.3 25.2 26.9 2148 201 .au[dead link]
 Austria 495 40 27 25 3 2300 219 .at
 Belgium 495 40 27 25 2300 .be
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .ba
 Brazil 491 40 26 26 3.8 2033 .br
 Canada 520 45 23 28 3 2413 209 .ca
 Chile 478 40 26 24 4 2133 .cl[permanent dead link]
 China 520 46 26 26 .cn
 Croatia 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .hr
 Czech Republic 510 41 27 26 2200 .cz
 Denmark 510 41 27 26.1 3 2200 .info
 Egypt 522 28.235 25.911 .eg
 Finland 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .fi
 France 508 42 27 26 3.1 2300 221 .info
 Germany 510 41 27 26 3 2200 221 .de
 Greece 495 40 27 25 3 2300 221 .gr
 Hong Kong 497 43.1 26.4 24.2 2003 .hk
 Hungary 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 Ireland 490 41 28 24 4 2100 .ie
 Italy 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info[dead link]
 Japan 557 45.2 25.5 30.5 2800 .jp
 Lithuania 509 42 27 26 3.1 2300 219 .lt
 Malaysia 484 46 26 23 1825 209 .my
 Mexico 486 45 22 26 3 2228 .mx[permanent dead link]
 Netherlands 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 New Zealand 494 36.8 26.4 25.9 2415 202 .nz[dead link]
 Norway 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .no
 Poland 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 Portugal 509 42 27 26 3.2 2300 219 .pt
 Romania 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info[dead link]
 Russia 495 40 27 25 3 2300 .info[dead link]
 Serbia 493 40 27 25 3 2300 .rs
 South Africa 496 39 24.3 26.4 3.2 2433 .za
 South Korea 510 26 2533 213 .kr
 Sweden 505 42 26 26 3 2300 219 .se
  Switzerland 510 41 27 26 3 2200 .info
 Taiwan 530 45 27 26 .tw
 Turkey 480 43 28 22 2100 .tr
 United Kingdom 508 43 26 25 3.6 2300 .uk
 United States 540 47 25 28 3 2426 215 .us

See also

Similar products by other restaurant chains:


  1. ^ Eldridge, D. (2014). Moon Pittsburgh. Moon Handbooks. Avalon Publishing. p. pt389. ISBN 978-1-61238-846-5. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (May 4, 1993). "Golden Arch Angel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. C1. 
  3. ^ "Woman Who Named Big Mac Finally Recognized". Associated Press. May 31, 1985. Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Jim Delligatti Biography" (PDF) (Press release). McDonald's. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011. 
  5. ^ "Obituary: William D. Peters / President of Eat'n Park restaurants". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 20, 2000. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Pakko, Michael R.; Pollard, Patricia S. (November-December 2003). "Burgernomics: A "Big Mac" Guide to Purchasing Power Parity" (PDF). Review. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ Beaudoin, N. (2013). A School for Each Student: High Expectations in a Climate of Personalization. Taylor & Francis. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-317-92474-6. Retrieved 2017. 
  9. ^ "Sealright designs sauce system for McDonald's in South Africa, China". Kansas City Business Journal. April 26, 1996. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Make a Big Mac at home! McDonald's top chef explains the secret to chain's burger (but why doesn't it look quite like what you get at the counter?)". Daily Mail. London. July 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ McDonald's to Do Away With Foam Packages. Los Angeles Times. 1990-11-02. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  12. ^ a b Bin, Huai (May 5, 2008). "Mega Mac and Big Mac Chant". Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Return of the Mac - coming soon". BBC News. March 29, 2005. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ "Double Big Mac®". McDonald's Canada. Retrieved 2015. 
  15. ^ The advertising
  16. ^ "Alaska Towns: Palmer, Alaska". Hometown Invasion Tour. 2011. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Royale with Cheese". Cynical-C Blog. May 23, 2007. 
  18. ^ "G2: McDonald's and the World". The Guardian. London. April 6, 2001. Retrieved 2011. 
  19. ^ Arndt, Rachel Z. (February 2, 2009). "The World's Most Original Burgers: Chicken Maharaja Mac". Bloomberg Businessweek. p. 8. Retrieved 2011. 
  20. ^ McDonald's Pakistan Archived June 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2012-09-04
  21. ^ A La Carte | McDonald's Kuwait
  22. ^
  23. ^ McDonald's Japan Launches Big Mac With 3 Times the Meat | Fortune, April 5, 2016, Retrieved October 16, 2016
  24. ^ a b Smith, Aaron (January 18, 2017). "McDonald's just tweaked the Big Mac". CNN Money. Cable News Network. Retrieved 2017. 
  25. ^ McDonald's brings back their Sweet Mustard Dipping Sauce and people are overjoyed
  26. ^ "McDonald's Celebrates 40 Years Serving 'Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun'" PR Newswire. August 22, 2007
  27. ^ "Big Mac turns 40" Archived January 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 12, 2012
  28. ^ Al Owens, The Herald-Standard (September 2007). "The Mystery of the Curry Burger!" republished from Herald-Standard (Uniontown). September 15, 2007
  29. ^ The museum is located along U.S. 30 just south of its westernmost interchange with the mainline Pennsylvania Turnpike, while the still-incomplete Mon-Fayette Expressway had missing sections near Uniontown at the time.
  30. ^ "Nutrition Information". Australia: McDonald's. December 19, 2012. Retrieved 2013. 
  31. ^ calories big mac

Further reading

External links

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