A new book called The Good Egg by David Peterson and Ann Marsh chronicles the life and legacy of Peterson’s father Herb, including his invention of the Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich, which revolutionized the quick-service industry.
“If you want to inject joy, humanity, and innovation into your life, read The Good Egg—and be inspired,” says Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s. “In the early days of Kinko’s Herb showed me the inner workings of his busy McDonald’s restaurants. I never forgot the lessons he taught me. They helped me build a company that was responsive to customers and responsible to coworkers.”
Herb Peterson, a Chicago native, started his career with McDonald’s at D’Arcy Advertising, McDonald’s first advertising agency. There he wrote McDonald’s first national advertising slogan—“Where Quality Starts Fresh Everyday”—and helped create the persona of Ronald McDonald.
In 1968, Herb moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he opened his first restaurant as a McDonald’s franchisee, with several others soon to follow. Since his restaurant did not open until lunchtime at 11 a.m., Herb started thinking about how he could grow his business during breakfast hours. He realized that McDonald’s would need a new product to capitalize on this opportunity.
Armed with an unyielding spirit of entrepreneurship, love for eggs benedict, and a round iron ring, Herb created what would later be known as the Egg McMuffin, marking the start of breakfast at McDonald’s. By 1973, McDonald’s restaurants throughout the U.S. began opening their doors earlier, revolutionizing the quick-service industry and the way millions of Americans thought about breakfast.
“Now more than ever, today’s business climate requires creativity, passion, and the ability to think outside of the box,” David Peterson says. “My dad exhibited all of these qualities, and inspired countless others to do the same.”