|Nutritional value per 1 burger (220 g)|
|Energy||530 kcal (2,200 kJ)|
39 g (13%)
|Dietary fiber||2 g (10%)|
28 g (43%)
|Saturated||13 g (66%)|
|Vitamin A||1090 IU|
|Energy w/o cheese||420 kcal (1,800 kJ)|
|Energy from fat||250 kcal (1,000 kJ)|
|Cholesterol||100 mg (34%)|
May vary outside U.S. market
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
The Quarter Pounder is a hamburger sold by international fast food chain McDonald's, so named for containing a patty with a precooked weight of 4 oz, a quarter of a pound (113.4 g). It was first introduced in 1971. In 2013, the Quarter Pounder was expanded to represent a whole line of hamburgers that replaced the company's discontinued Angus hamburger. In 2015, McDonald's increased the precooked weight to 4.25 oz (120 g).
The Quarter Pounder was created by Al Bernardin, a franchise owner and former McDonald's Vice President of product development, in Fremont, California, in 1971. Bernardin had moved to Fremont in 1970 after purchasing two company-owned McDonald's restaurants.
Bernardin began experimenting with new menu items for his McDonald's franchises. According to a 1991 interview, Bernardin noted that he "felt there was a void in our menu vis-à-vis the adult who wanted a higher ratio of meat to bun." In 1971, Bernardin introduced the first Quarter Pounders at his McDonald's in Fremont using the slogan, "Today Fremont, tomorrow the world." The Quarter Pounder became such a success, it was added to the national American menu in 1973. Since May 2018, McDonald's is using fresh beef with no preservatives added for their Quarter Pounders at their continental U.S. locations. On October 1, 2018, McDonald's announced that it would remove all artificial preservatives, flavors, and coloring from the Quarter Pounders.
Later, the competing fast food chain, A&W, tried to compete with a "Third-of-a-Pound Burger" which sold for the same price as the Quarter Pounder. However, the item sold poorly. When A&W conducted market research, it was discovered that many American customers believed a third of a pound of meat was less than a quarter of a pound, when the exact opposite is true, and they felt cheated. Thus, sales of the Quarter Pounder were not impacted with the competition.
In November 2008, McDonald's Japan (which until then had never offered the Quarter Pounder as a regular item) converted two Tokyo restaurants into "Quarter Pounder"–branded restaurants which only sold Quarter Pounder meals. These promotional branches closed on November 27, 2008, coinciding with the re-introduction of the Quarter Pounder at regular McDonald's branches throughout the Kantō (Tokyo) region from November 28. The Quarter Pounder was launched at one McDonald's restaurant in the Kansai (Osaka) region on December 23, 2008. It was later reported that 15,000 customers had visited the restaurant on the first day, generating a record 10.02 million yen in sales for a single restaurant in one day. However, it was also revealed that McDonald's had hired 1,000 "extras" to queue up on the first day. McDonald's Japan explained that the hirees were used for "product monitoring purposes".
The Quarter Pounder was discontinued in Japan as of April 4, 2017. McDonald's Holdings Co. has to date given no official reason for the removal. It was replaced by a line of three "Gran" (グラン) burgers around the same date.
The burger comprises a beef patty weighing 4.25 oz (120 g) before cooking and 3 oz. prepared, pickles, raw onion, ketchup, and mustard. In the United States, Portugal and South Africa there are three variations: the Quarter Pounder with cheese, Quarter Pounder with Cheese & Bacon and the Quarter Pounder Deluxe. In all or much of the New York City area, it is served without mustard, as are burgers made with the smaller 1.6-ounce (45 g) patties.
The nutritional content of the Quarter Pounder varies between countries and locations. For example, in Australia, which uses local beef for its McDonald's products, the average Quarter Pounder has 33.7 g of protein per serving, a higher value than that stated for the same burger in the United States.
In English-speaking countries the product retains the Quarter Pounder name despite metrication; in French-speaking Canada, it is known as Quart de livre. The term Quarteirão com Queijo is used in metric Brazil, Cuarto de Libra con Queso in Spain and in Hispanic America, Quarter Pounder Cheese is used in Finland, and QP Cheese in Sweden. Some European countries, like Norway and the Netherlands simply refer to it as the Quarter Pounder. In Hong Kong, the Quarter Pounder is known as a "full three taels" (Chinese: 足三両) in Chinese because three taels is exactly equal in weight to a quarter pound, while the English name Quarter Pounder is retained. In Taiwan it is known as the "four-ounce beefburger" (Chinese: 四盎司牛肉堡). The Quarter Pounder is unavailable in mainland China. In Japan, the name was a katakana representation of "Quarter Pounder" (クォーターパウンダー Kwōtā Paundā).
In several countries that do not customarily use United States customary units as a unit of weight, the Quarter Pounder is sold under different names. In France, Belgium and Cyprus it is called the Royal Cheese and includes cheese. In German-speaking Europe it is known as a Hamburger Royal; in Germany it includes lettuce and tomato and is branded Hamburger Royal TS (TS standing for „Tomate und Salat“, tomato and lettuce). In Russia and Ukraine, it was known as Royal Cheeseburger, and since 2016 in Russia it is called Grand Cheeseburger.
Other fractional-pound hamburgers
"Quarter Pounder" is a trademark in the United States, but restaurants in other countries have been able to use similar names for their own products, such as the British Wimpy chain's "Quarterpounder."
A&W Restaurants launched the Third Pounder in the 1980s, relaunched in 2021 as the 3/9 Pound burger to clarify to customers misunderstanding fractions that it was bigger than 1/4 pound.
- In the classic film, Pulp Fiction, the story opens with two hitmen, Jules and Vincent, having a playful conversation about the cultural differences in Europe, including the fact of how the name of the sandwich was nonsensical in France with the metric system being standard measurement. Instead, the item is called a "Royale with Cheese".
- Little, Katie (June 26, 2015). "McDonald's Quarter Pounder is getting bigger (really!)". CNBC. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Artz, Matthew (December 31, 2009). "Fremont's 'hamburger king' dead at 81". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
- "McDonald's introduces the...Quarter Pounder". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). (advertisement). March 5, 1972. p. 32.
- McDonald's corporate history, retrieved April 16, 2018
- Meyersohn, Nathaniel (March 6, 2018). "McDonald's is putting fresh beef in the Quarter Pounder". CNN Money. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
- "Artificial Ingredients Have Been Removed From McDonald's Classic Burgers". Mentalfloss.com. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- O'Reilly, Terry. "How failing at fractions saved the Quarter Pounder". Under the Influence. CBC. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
- "Kitajima gets his hands on Quarter Pounder" (27 November 2008). Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
- "Hundreds line up for an hour at Osaka McDonald's for Quarter Pounder debut" (24 December 2008). Retrieved on December 26, 2008.
- "McDonald's admits 1,000 people paid to join queue for Quarter Pounder debut in Osaka".
- Sankei News: "マクドナルドがサクラで行列演出？ 新商品先行販売で" (McDonald's used shills to queue for new product launch?)(25 December 2008) Archived December 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on December 26, 2008. (in Japanese)
- "McDonald's Japan Replaces the Quarter Pounder With Three Delicious "Gran" Burgers - Geek.com". Geek.com. April 7, 2017. Archived from the original on October 25, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- "Food / Product Nutrition / Quarter Pounder with Cheese". McDonalds.com. McDonald's Corporation. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "More burning questions about NYC answered". New York Post. December 2, 2012.
- November 17, 2009, Nutrition Information[permanent dead link], McDonald's Australia
- Wimpy menu Archived July 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on August 26, 2012.
- "Pulp Fiction: Quotes". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 10, 2021.