The Big Mac Almost Had A Completely Different Name

McDonald's Big Mac is turning 53 this year and the fast food chain is rolling out two new versions of the hamburger sandwich to celebrate. One of these celebratory burgers is the Double Big Mac which is made up of four patties instead of the original two, and the other is the Little Mac which has just one patty (via Business Insider). The Big Mac sandwich is so iconic, stretching well beyond the American culture where it was born, that there is even has an index named after it in the Economist called the Big Mac Index. This index is based on purchasing-power parity and evaluates exchange rates based on the price of the Big Mac (via The Recipe). 

But before the two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun received its moniker that, today, it is known by 'round the world, it was actually going to be called something completely different. What was it going to be called? The story is really good and underscores how everyone on a corporate team has something to contribute. But perhaps the only thing more interesting than discovering what McDonald's was considering naming the Big Mac is who deserves the credit for the name that launched this double burger that the company began testing in 1967 in Uniontown, PA (via Business Insider).

The genesis of the name Big Mac

When the Big Mac was first introduced to customers, it cost just 45 cents and was created by franchisee Jim Delligatti. It really took off, and corporate offices took note of its success. But it might surprise you to learn that before McDonald's rolled out the burger nationwide, the company called it the Aristocrat as a nod to the size of the sandwich. This name was a little too hoity-toity for the product, though, and never caught on. Additionally, the company tested the name Blue Ribbon Burger, but this name also failed to stick with customers (via The Recipe). 

Enter Esther Glickstein Rose, a 21-year-old secretary in the fast food chain's advertising department. When Rose suggested the name Big Mac, the company executives laughed at her; however, the name seemed to stick. So in 1968, McDonald's rolled out the Big Mac. Unfortunately, Rose had to wait 17 years before she was recognized as the individual who created the name of this burger (via Fox News).

Today, McDonald's sells 550 million Big Macs every year in the U.S. alone. To put that in perspective, that's more than 1.5 million Big Macs sold and eaten by Americans every day of the year. That's a lot of burgers (via The Recipe). Not to mention, they are sold in over 100 countries, with the U.S. being its biggest fan, followed by Japan (via Reference). However, McDonald's still sometimes credits Delligatti with coming up with its name.