Today, the menu at McDonald's restaurants can be so cluttered as to initially overwhelm the customer unfamiliar with the options. There are nine different burgers, five different chicken sandwiches, the McNuggets, McMuffins, McFlurrys, and so many other items. But five decades ago, in the early years of the 1970s, the McDonald's menu was a surprisingly stark affair.
In fact, according to a photo of a menu board from 1973, which has recently been unearthed and widely shared on social media, there were only seven food items on the menu at that time. That's not counting ice cream, milkshakes, and beverages.
The vintage menu had the basics: the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, the Cheeseburger and Hamburger, French Fries, Hot Apple Pie, and the brand new Quarter Pounder. Customers could also order a few frozen dessert options, as well as soda, plain milk, coffee, and hot chocolate. And that was pretty much it.
You'll also notice that all the items cost less than a dollar back then.
Granted, the McDonald's menu of the early '70s was more robust than what was on offer when the restaurant first opened in 1940. Back then, there were only three food items for sale—cheeseburgers, hamburgers, and fries—along with one popular dessert, the milkshake, and a few beverage options.
The McDonald's menu first started to grow with new options in the '70s. In 1972, the chain began to offer breakfast items, according to Time. It would be many years before all locations had breakfast on the menu, but by 2015 not only was breakfast one of the most popular features of the McDonald's menu, it was sold all day long, too.
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