Making Mealtime Meaningful: Discover how we're giving back with the 12T Cares program →
The Triple Arch Deluxe. Image Source: Patrick Rich via Flickr Public Domain

I have to admit, I was a huge fan of the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe Burger as a change of pace from my favorite Micky D’s burger, the Big Mac. It was meaty and fresh tasting, and I dug the mustard mayo sauce. I also happened to be 17 and could eat anything and everything, including the pickles, fries, sundae and a hot apple pie.

I didn’t love the burger as much as Chef Andrew did though:

I was surprised when the Arch Deluxe was scrapped by the restaurant so quickly after being released in 1996. McDonalds was the unassailable leader in fast food dining worldwide during my formative years, and its burgers were household names.

At a time when a curvy new logo, fresh restaurant facades, and a push for a wider demographic was a key component to the company’s growth, I thought little of the economics behind all of the spending, and focused on the food. The suggestion that such a heavily marketed burger catering specifically to the tastes of adults would fail was almost beyond my comprehension.

However, McDonald’s execs underestimated how much an ‘adult burger,’ and an advertising campaign the equivalent to Opposites Day for the kid friendly Ronald McDonald, clashed with the family friendly atmosphere that franchises were loved for. The Arche Deluxe failed spectacularly without the support of parents, with the astronomical $100 million marketing budget blown on a spectacular flameout bigger than Kevin Costner’s Waterworld movie.

I like to maintain that the Arch Deluxe burger was just an innocent bystander fouled by a terrible marketing spend. If you are looking for a bit of nostalgia, you can re-create the Arch Deluxe by using the ingredients below (I wouldn’t bother with the circular bacon though, even 25 years later it’s baffling).

The Arch Deluxe

  • A quarter pound of beef
  • Split-top potato flour sesame seed bun
  • Peppered bacon
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Tomato
  • American cheese
  • Onions
  • Ketchup
  • “Secret” mustard and mayonnaise sauce

Here’s the 2020 Arch Deluxe version made by Mythical Cooking for you to reference: