McDLT – McDeluxe Classic 80s Burger

True Mcdonald’s fans probably know a little something about the infamous MCDLT which was also known as the McDeluxe. While it’s a treasure you will no longer find, it’s still one worth remembering. This classic 80s burger was one of a kind, and you will likely never find another one like it. Or maybe you will – who knows! 


McDLT History

The McDLT was a double burger that had lettuce and tomato, plus some special sauce. One of the unique things about it was the packaging. This was served in a big Styrofoam container, and the veggies were separated from the patties. It was pretty huge. 

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Fans might also recognize this burger under the name McDeluxe. If you hear rumors that the Big N Tasty is the same thing, those rumors are very wrong. That being said, the McDLT was considered to be just another version of the Big N Tasty, although they really are not truly the same. The Big Mac is more similar to the Big N Tasty, and the McDLT was simply unique. 

This box of deliciousness was introduced in 1984. It was highly commercialized, and it was a big hit for a few great years. It only got to hang around for about 14 years because they announced the discontinuation. 

The stories for discontinuing the burger all centered around packaging. Fans always questions why they just couldn’t adapt new packaging, but it is what it is, right?  

The McDLT was created to compete with the Whopper from Burger King. But it always came back to the defining characteristics of the packaging and how they separated the toppings and condiments from the meat of the burger within the box. This was such a classic part of the mix that they even used the slogan of keeping the hot side hot and the cold side cold. 

In the ever popular commercial with Jason Alexander, he spoke heavily of the polystyrene in the packaging. This is ultimately what led to the discontinuation of yet another fan favorite. 

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And this brings us full circle back to the Big and Tasty burger, which was a later variant that combined everything together in more eco-friendly packaging. It was also used as a competition to the Whopper, but the parts were no longer separated into hot and cold sides of the both. 

Where the McDLT uses patties, buns, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, the Big and Tasty was far more similar to the Big Mac. And now, the Big Mac is the signature burger of McDonalds. That and their quarter pounder. There is simply nothing like the McDLT on the McDonalds menu anymore. In fact, they don’t even really serve any burgers with tomatoes anymore. 

This is one of the few times in history we read about a product that was discontinued only for packaging purposes. Most of the time, it’s related to sales or new ideas, but that doesn’t appear to be the case with this one. 

It had its final times on the menu in 1998, when they officially did away with it. In the 14 years it was available, it was a top menu item. This was no one-hit wonder. And while we understand the sustainability factor, it seems like more could have been done, right?

What Does Sustainability Have to Do With It? 

Sustainability has been a huge factor for fast food restaurants, commercial industries, and many businesses all over the world for some time now. In the 2000s, the call for more eco-friendly materials has continued to grow. Perhaps McDonalds was just slightly ahead of the game with their adjustments on this burger. 

It’s true that we have to take sustainable steps to protect our world and our environment. Can you imagine what the impact would be if McDonalds continued to sell millions of these burgers every day? They currently sell almost 1.5 million Big Macs worldwide every single day. 

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If that were the McDLT with the unique packaging to separate hot and cold parts of the burger, that would be a heck of a lot of Styrofoam containers. It would add up quickly. So, the packaging did them in. 

But it wasn’t necessarily just because they weren’t willing to adapt the packaging a little bit either. You see, it was the unique packaging that really built the popularity behind the burger. Cold parts of the burger were still cold, and hot parts were still hot. Then, the purchaser could combine the two sides and enjoy the perfect burger. 

Could they have achieved the same results with different packaging? Maybe. But it simply took away the initial design behind the burger, and it began to lose its luster. 

Those Styrofoam containers helped to maintain specific temperatures for the intended purpose of the hot and then the cold. Sources say they did do some testing with the paper packages, and even the cardboard containers like the Big Mac are served in, but it simply didn’t work the same. 

They tried to roll out the Big N Tasty as a replacement option, but it simply didn’t work out the same, and has since been discontinued as well. 

When Was the McDLT Invented? 

The first time that you could find the McDLT on the menu was back in 1984. It was immediately a hit. We’re not sure if it was popular for the Jason Alexander commercials, or if it was really the hot things hot and cold things cold all day that made it such a hit. We suspect it was probably a little bit of both. 

The burger met its demise in 1998, when the company decided to hold themselves accountable for the sustainability factor and the impact the containers would have on the environment. 

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Who Owns McDLT

The McDLT was wholly owned by McDonalds. It was one of their specialties for about 14 years, and was a great choice while it was available. The McDLT has never been owned or sold by any other company, which is pretty common with those fast food selections like this. 

The Mc in the name is one of those clear indicators that it’s a McDonalds product. Many of their core products someone incorporate those golden arches into the name, although it’s not a part of every single product. 

Here are a few examples. 

  • McFlurry
  • McNuggets
  • McDouble
  • McChicken
  • McMuffin
  • McGriddle

These are some of the most popular, and these are all available still today at most stores. 

How Did the McDLT Get Its Name? 

We’re not 100% sure how this burger got its name. There aren’t a lot of stories or history that really tell us the name. However, we know that this burger is also known as the McDeluxe burger. 

It seems to make sense that the Mc comes from McDonalds, as is true of many other foods there. Then, we know that the lettuce and tomato were signature parts of this burger. So, you have the McDeluxe with lettuce and tomato. It’s simply shortened and unique. 


The McDLT was a burger like no other burger. No other fast food chains have ever served up the unique idea of keeping hot parts separate from cold parts until the customer combines them. The concept is a winner for sure, but in an industry that thrives on speed, it’s simply not a feasible solution. 

This burger is one that will certainly always be missed. However, the reasons behind the discontinuation are understandable as well. 

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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One Comment

  1. I worked at McDonald’s back in 85 or 86, I don’t remember the exact date, but I will never forget making and tasting the great McDLT hamburger, that was one of my favorite burger, it tasted much better than the other ones.

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