Big Mac

double burger

After Maurice (Mac) (1902-1971) and Richard (Dick) McDonald (1909-1998).

In 1940, the McDonald brothers opened a drive-in restaurant on the corner of 14th Street and E Street in San Bernardino, about sixty miles east of Los Angeles. By the mid-1940s, this place had become a popular hangout for young people.

The 20-person staff served customers in 125 parking spaces. The brothers then had twenty-five dishes on the menu, including pork and beef sandwiches and lean pork ribs, grilled and served with chips. Annual sales exceeded $200,000.

In 1948 they had to make adjustments under pressure from the competition. They transformed the kitchen for large-scale production. They replaced the grill with two double-sized ones.

They did away with the china and cutlery and replaced them with paper bags and plates, making the dishwasher obsolete. The price list contained no more than nine things: a hamburger, a cheeseburger, three types of soda, milk, coffee, fries, and pie.

They made the hamburger slices five grams lighter (from 50 to 45 g), but halved the price, from 30 to 15 cents. They also limited the choice of perks and only served burgers with ketchup, mustard, onions and two pickles. The two brothers called the concept Speedy Service System.

It became a huge success. In 1961, they sold their "system" to Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer salesman who spread the unusual type of restaurant around the world.

Dick later stated that he never regretted his decision: "I would have ended up behind a desk on the thirtieth floor of a skyscraper, with a set of stomach ulcers and surrounded by eight lawyers puzzling over my tax returns."

> (see also The Crown on the Brand)