How to get a free Egg McMuffin at McDonald's

Waiting for a classic Egg McMuffin at a McDonald's drive-thru on your way to work might not sound like a novel morning. The classic option at the fast-food restaurant, however, was surprisingly not always a staple. In an attempt to make Eggs Benedict in the early '70s, a McDonald's location in Santa Barbara, California stumbled upon the first quick-service breakfast sandwich instead (via McDonald's). Since that fateful day, the Egg McMuffin has become a favorite among customers (via Fox News).

This year, McDonald's is declaring Monday, March 2 as National Egg McMuffin Day. Naturally, the chain is helping its guests celebrate by offering free Egg McMuffins that morning. To score one of these delicious breakfast sandwiches, all customers have to do is download the McDonald's mobile app and place the order there. Just pick it up between 6:00 and 10:30 a.m. local time and enjoy.

Humble beginnings for McDonald's Egg McMuffin

While the Egg McMuffin itself was made by accident, the beloved breakfast item almost never made it onto the menu. The franchise owner of the Santa Barbara location, Herb Peterson, even had to trick Ray Kroc, the owner of McDonald's, into trying the first one. During a road trip through southern California, Kroc stopped by the Santa Barbara McDonald's to see just what it was Peterson wanted to show Kroc. Peterson had refused to give any clues prior to Kroc's arrival. 

In the end, what put the legendary sandwich over the top and onto the menu was its name, Egg McMuffin, which was given by Patty Turner, the wife of a McDonald's executive. From that point on, the Egg McMuffin began its journey to be fully incorporated into the McDonald's menu nationwide by 1973 (via Time).

If you were not already aware that the Egg McMuffin was the first breakfast sandwich on the fast-food market, then you might not have known it is the entire reason we have fast food breakfast today. At the time, it wasn't normal to eat breakfast on the go, but instead, most folks ate it sitting down at the table. Today, McDonald's breakfast sales make up about one-third of the chain's total sales (via NPR). So give thanks and order one on the house next Monday.