While Burger King is "Home of the Whopper," Pittsburgh is where the "Big Mac Attack" began. Losing sales to rival Big Boy, Jim Delligatti, one of McDonalds' earliest owner/operators, was convinced that to boost revenue he must broaden his Steel City fast food restaurants' menus. In 1967 he persuaded the golden arches to let him sell a double pattie/triple bun burger that he cleverly coined the "Big Mac." The burger pioneer's business increased 12% and sales in other Mickey D test markets jumped 10%. By 1968 Americans' diets were forever changed.
Ironically, not too many years after Big Mac's debut transformed the fast food industry, Pittsburgh medical professionals conceptualized and created Mr. Yuk stickers. Research demonstrated that the customary skull and cross-bones image failed to deter children from ingesting household chemicals. Because this symbol actually suggested adventure and pirates to its target tots, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh set out to develop and promote a more effective symbol. These no-nonsense, neon-green frowning faces with big tongues sticking out, pack a powerful anti-poison message, and have kept children away from all things poisonous. Today, over 40 million Mr. Yuk's are distributed annually throughout the U.S. and Europe. Fortunately, we did not have to order any to describe downtown Pittsburgh's hotel and health club workout options.