It’s always surreal when you unearth a new fact about your parents for the first time. Executive chef of New York’s Mission Chinese Food, Angela Dimayuga, discovered that her father, Alan Dimayuga, invented McDonald’s iconic value meal when he was a manager at the golden arches.
In a touching feature she wrote for Vice, Dimayuga recalls how her father suffered a debilitating injury that affected his cognitive ability when she was younger but would still tell her stories of his golden days working at McDonald’s.
One of his tales, which took place in the early ’90s, painted him playing a pivotal role in McDonald’s history.
Back then, in the days of Zach Morris and Street Sharks, McDonald’s customers would have to order their burgers, fries, and drinks individually. Dimayuga’s father would bundle menu items together in sets and sell them as meals – making it easier for customers to order and boasting faster sales times.
While his bosses weren’t too thrilled with his changes, a member of McDonald’s corporate took notice and commended the Filipino manager on his initiative. The company decided to implement his value method to other stores, and even made it 15 cents cheaper for customers.
We never think about how concepts so simple as the value meal came into existence, but to discover that your own father was the genius behind it must have been a delightful revelation. Perhaps one day we’ll invent something fantastic we can share with our children.