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

    A North American Icon, The Big Mac(R) Sandwich Proves It's Much More
    Than The Sum Of Its Ingredients


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                              Slug: "Big Mac Turns 40"

    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - 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 North American landscape. McDonald's today honoured
the sandwich that long ago joined baseball and apple pie as an indelible
symbol of American pop-culture - and then became a Canadian favourite.
    Jim "MJ" Delligatti, 89, one of the earliest franchisees of McDonald's
founder, Ray Kroc, 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, processed cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed
bun, the Big Mac quickly gained popularity and was introduced on the national
U.S. 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(R) Big Mac(R) Museum Restaurant - "the most
tasteful museum in the world" - today in North Huntingdon, Pa. 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.
    "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 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-Canadian
bacon sandwich called the Egg McMuffin(R) 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 and Steers developed the famous Big Mac advertising
"Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun" 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 commercial in 1975
featuring the jingle "bloopers."
    Today, approximately 550 million Big Mac sandwiches are sold each year in
the United States alone. In 2006, McDonald's Canada sold more than
55.9 million Big Mac sandwiches, with the average restaurant selling more than
1,000 units a week. Incidentally, Canada became the first country outside the
United States to offer the Big Mac to its customers.
    "We began serving it in 1968 and it's been our flagship sandwich ever
since," said George Cohon, Founder, McDonald's Canada/McDonald's Russia. "It
was not only a catalyst for the brand's growth in Canada, its iconic status
helped break down barriers as we worked toward making the dream of opening a
McDonald's restaurant in the heart of the former Soviet Union a reality."
    The sandwich is sold in over 100 countries and, because of its global
presence, inspired The Economist Magazine's "Big Mac(R) Index," an annual
comparison of foreign currency values against the U.S. dollar.
    "This milestone coincides with the 40th anniversary of McDonald's Canada
and we're thrilled to join the entire McDonald's system in celebrating this
momentous occasion," said Louie Mele, President of McDonald's Canada, who has
seen first-hand the rise in popularity of the Big Mac, having started his
35-year career at McDonald's as a crew person in 1972 in Windsor, Ontario.

    McDonald's(R) Big Mac(R) Sandwich 40th Anniversary

    About the Big Mac

    -   An icon is born: The Big Mac was invented in Uniontown, Pa. in 1967
        by Jim Delligatti, one of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc's earliest
        franchisees, and was introduced on the national menu in the
        United States in 1968.

    -   North of the Border: In 1968 Canada became the first country outside
        the United States to offer the Big Mac to customers.

    -   Jingle All The Way: The famous Big Mac advertising promotion,
        bun(R)", made its debut in 1974.

    -   Still the One: Many McDonald's customers today still refer to a
        craving for McDonald's food as a "Big Mac Attack(R)", the tagline of
        a 1977 Big Mac commercial.

    -   Burgernomics: The Economist Magazine introduced the Big Mac(R) Index
        in 1986 as a reference point to determine the cost of living in
        different countries since it is so widely available and comparable
        across markets.

    -   Global Reach: Today, the Big Mac is sold in more than 100 countries.

    -   Big on Quality: The Big Mac and its ingredients undergo 60 different
        quality checks from start to finish.

    -   One in a Thousand: The average restaurant in Canada sells more than
        1,000 Big Mac sandwiches a week.

    -   By the Numbers: In 2006, McDonald's Canada sold more than
        55.9 million Big Mac sandwiches. Approximately 550 million are sold
        each year in the United States alone.

    -   From Top to Bottom: Layers of the Big Mac buns are called the crown,
        the club and the heel.

    -   Buns Galore: More than 4 million kg of buns were used to make Big Mac
        sandwiches in Canada in 2006.

    -   Going the Distance: If lined up side by side, the Big Mac sandwiches
        sold in Canada last year would stretch almost 5,500 km - roughly the
        distance between Halifax and Calgary.

    -   Calling Card: McDonald's Canada founder George Cohon is credited with
        introducing the "Be My Guest" card, a business card in the shape of a
        Big Mac, to the McDonald's system. It entitles the holder to redeem
        the card for a free Big Mac.

    About McDonald's(R) Canada
    McDonald's(R) is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald's
Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate
more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 77,000 Canadians coast to
coast. Approximately 65 per cent of McDonald's Canadian restaurants are
locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information
about McDonald's Canada, visit the company's web site at

For further information:

For further information: McDonald's Media Relations, 1-877-786-3342

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McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited

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