In 1971, McDonald's franchisee Herb Peterson was looking for a new way to increase sales in his Santa Barbara restaurant. He knew he would have to get creative and think out of the box. He followed the lead of another legendary franchisee, Jim Delligatti, who was the innovator behind the Big Mac. Delligatti had begun opening earlier and serving simple breakfast items, but with limited success, increasing sales only about five percent. Peterson knew the key was to create something that was easy to replicate, could be produced in volume in a limited amount of time, appeal to consumers and generate enough revenue to justify opening for service at 7 a.m. rather than the 11 a.m. standard opening time. 

After a few tries at a breakfast sandwich, Peterson soon created what we now know as the Egg McMuffin. Aside from our opinions on its nutritional value, the concept of the Egg McMuffin essentially transformed the fast food industry and the way America eats breakfast. Breakfast is now more than 15 percent of McDonald’s total sales and it still leads its competitors in the breakfast market.

So what does the Egg McMuffin have to do with our fitness businesses? The Egg McMuffin reminds us that a simple idea like taking things that are already part of our daily life like an egg, English muffin and a slice of ham, can be repackaged and made exciting with purpose and creativity. Look at what is missing in the market, what is something your clients are clamoring for, or may not even know they need until you show them? What new services or products can you introduce to improve their lives, even in the simplest way? Venture outside of the norm and away from what's accepted and you may just find your Egg McMuffin.

Always be thinking of your next Egg McMuffin. It doesn't necessarily have to transform the industry in a grand way, but you can impact and transform your clients, their families', a local school or sports team, your town, city or state. It can set you apart from your competition and give you a bigger share of the market. Hopefully, you'll never look at an Egg McMuffin the same way again!


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?