The Happy Meal-Inspired McDonald's Location That's Taking Twitter By Storm

With nearly 40,000 locations around the globe, you might think every McDonald's is one carbon copy after another, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Many McDonald's locations are unique and feature some pretty neat and even unusual designs that pay tribute to a certain area's specific culture or history.

The Twitter account @nonstandardmcd is keen on reminding folks of this, thanks to their ongoing series that documents unique instances of McDonald's architecture. This week, their latest share features a McDonald's location that, in the words of one Twitter user, exemplifies "peak Mcdonald's design."

Nicknamed "McDonald's De La Cajita," — roughly translated to "McDonald's of the Happy Little Box" the Guatemala City location looks just like a blown-up version of the iconic Happy Meal box — complete with fire-engine red sides, a gigantic yellow smiley face stamped on the side, and the signature golden arch 'handles' on top.

"I LOVE THIS! All our McDonalds should look like Happy Meals!" replied one user to the Twitter post. "That may be the greatest thing I will see all day," declared another. "If this ever gets torn down, all happy meals automatically become sad meals," wrote a third.

Of course, while the fun design is worthy of attention, it turns out there may also be an even more inspiring story behind this Happy Meal-themed location.

The location pays tribute to the birthplace of the Happy Meal

It probably feels weird to imagine a time when the Happy Meal didn't exist at every McDonald's, but during its first two decades in operation, the chain had nothing resembling a children's menu (via Eat This, Not That!). That all changed in the late 1970s thanks to the innovation of Yolanda Fernandez De Confino, a Chilean-Guatemalan businesswoman who bought Guatemala's first McDonald's franchise. According to Consequence, Fernandez De Confino noticed that kids wouldn't eat the adult-sized portions of food, so she decided to start selling kid-sized versions of burgers, nuggets, fries, with an ice cream sundae together as meals, which she called the "Menu Ronald" — the first version the Happy Meal.

That original version didn't have any special box, but its success caught the attention of folks at McDonald's headquarters in the U.S., who then partnered with a marketing agency to come up with the signature "lunchbox-style" package, and in 1978, launched the official Happy Meal that would become a global phenomenon and change fast food forever.

As for the iconic Guatemala City Happy Meal location, we can't confirm exactly when it opened, but we do know it was remodeled officially in 2017. Meanwhile, Happy Meal inventor Fernandez De Cofino continued working for McDonald's until retiring in 2018, via Legacy, so it's possible the building design is a tribute, reminding all of the city where a piece of legendary fast food history was started. Either way, we're lovin' it.