Big Mac creator Delligatti dies

Big Mac creator Delligatti dies

James Delligatti, who created the iconic Big Mac sandwich, has died at age 98, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Delligatti passed away at his home on Monday, according to the AP article via KDKA-TV.

He was a McDonald’s Corp. franchisee in the Pittsburgh area when he came up with the double decker burger, which first sold at his Uniontown store at 45 cents per sandwich back in 1967. The company came up with the Big Mac name.

Tony Bucci, chairman of Pittsburgh-based advertising agency Marc USA, which was retained by Delligatti in the late 1960s, told the Business Times in 2013 that initially getting buy-in from McDonald’s to take the sandwich national was difficult.

“At the time that we were working on the launch/test for the Big Mac, we had requested some financial assistance from McDonald’s (corporate),” Bucci said. “They were reluctant to support our effort because they were running another product test in Cleveland that they had high hopes for — roast beef.”

But to roll out roast beef would have required a significant investment by the franchisees — “$25,000 in 1960s money,” Bucci said — to install new equipment to produce the product. The Big Mac could be produced on existing equipment with no additional hardware costs.

“After much nagging on our part, they reluctantly agreed to give us $5,000 to help offset the creative production costs,” Bucci said. “Well, as they say, the rest is history. Their test bombed, and the Big Mac was born.”

Source : Bizjournal

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