McDonalds restaurants honor Egg McMuffin creator while raising money for Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics
Today’s Herb Peterson Day.
And that means you can buy Egg McMuffins for $2 each (up to five of them per order) at the six McDonalds in Santa Barbara and Goleta.
The annual special sale is popular, said David Peterson, Herb’s son and the owner of the two McDonalds in Goleta.
“Typically, our breakfast clientele doubles on this day,” said David, whose famous father was the Santa Barbara entrepreneur who invented the Egg McMuffin.
And Herb was well-known and well-liked in the Santa Barbara area.
“Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t mention my dad and what he meant to the community,” David told the News-Press Monday. “My dad was generous, funny and kind.
“He lit up a room,” David said. “Everybody knew him. He had a constant smile.”
And his legacy is such that one woman called David and told him she was bringing a bouquet to a McDonalds in Goleta this morning to honor Herb, who died in 2008 at age 89.
In addition to honoring the Egg McMuffin creator, today’s sale is a fundraiser. The proceeds from Egg McMuffin sales at the six restaurants will go to Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.
“Last year, we raised $4,000. That was the first year we raised money for the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics,” David said. He added he hopes to see a similar amount raised today.
David said he learned more about the clinics when the pandemic struck and became impressed with the nonprofit and its CEO and chief medical officer, Dr. Charles Fenzi.
“Many of my staff are his clients as well,” David said. “I’m impressed by all that they (the clinics) do. They’re an incredible gift to Santa Barbara and Goleta.”
Before the pandemic, “I wasn’t aware of what they did,” David said. “Now I’m a complete fan.”
He said his father would have loved that the Egg McMuffin sales were helping the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics. “My dad loved supporting the community. He loved this town.”
David added that Dr. Fenzi is very likable in much the way that Herb was and likes to wear neckties, “just like my dad.”
“My dad would have really enjoyed the cause,” David said.
Herb Peterson created the Egg McMuffin in 1970 and called it the Fast Break Breakfast, David recalled.
Herb, who owned the McDonalds restaurants in the Santa Barbara area, went a step further and asked McDonalds CEO Ray Kroc to try the Fast Break Breakfast at a McDonalds on upper State Street.
Mr. Kroc happily devoured four or five of them. Later Herb donned his chef’s hat and impressed the McDonalds board in Chicago.
In 1971, the Egg McMuffin became a hot breakfast item at McDonalds restaurants across the nation.
David said Herb created what he called “a poor man’s Eggs Benedict.” It features an egg, Canadian bacon and American cheese inside an English Muffin.
“It’s delicious. It’s hand-held. It’s portable, and it tastes great. The price is great,” David said. “Now breakfast is 30% of our business worldwide.”