The “value meal”, a brilliant marketing tactic which offered menu items together at a lower price, was actually the brainchild of an immigrant from the Philippines.
McDonald’s started the revolutionary concept in the 90s which has since become a staple at many fast food restaurants in the United States and other parts of the world.
According to Vice Munchies, a Filipino fast food manager in the San Francisco Bay Area, Alan Dimayuga, first came up with the idea.
In a story told by Mission Chinese Food executive chef Angela Dimayuga, the daughter of the innovator, it was revealed how the current industry standard meal came to be.
Dimayuga said her father invented the concept while trying to find strategies to boost his branch’s sales.
One idea that they eventually tried to implement was to organize items in a numbered set on the menu board to make it more convenient for customers and the staff to mix and match their orders together. Each set has already had a Coke added in. Back then meals had to be individually assembled from the available items on the menu.
The idea of set meals was initially not welcomed by his bosses as they complained that the branch was losing its uniformity by putting Coke images on his branch’s lightboard.
Eventually, his branch developed a significant sales increase that got a national VP for McDonald’s to take notice. As it turned out, his lightboard system eliminated about eight seconds per transaction. The impressed executive called Dimayuga and commended him for his idea.
Dimayuga’s set meal idea was eventually discussed in a boardroom meeting and later evolved into the Extra Value Meal, which was 15 cents cheaper as a set. It changed the fast-food dining forever.
According to Angela Dimayuga, her dad failed to receive monetary compensation when he retired prematurely due to an aneurysm he sustained at work. She noted, however, that the awards her father received caused him to feel “empowered”.
Earlier this year, the 30-year-old chef made headlines after she refused an offer from Ivanka Trump’s team for a profile on her website.
She told Ivanka’s team that while she thought their praises were flattering, she believes the decisions made by President Donald Trump were regressive for immigrants, women, persons of color, and LGBT.