For a few weeks leading up to Australia Day in 2013, McDonald’s in Australia became ‘Macca’s’, on the website, in advertising, on menus and even on signs on selected stores. McDonald’s research found that 55 per cent of Australians called the company Macca’s and they have submitted the word to the Macquarie Dictionary for consideration.
It’s an Australian habit to abbreviate names. So Barry becomes Bazza, Warren becomes Waz and anyone whose surname begins with Mc is likely to become Macca. In one extreme case, a guy I knew with the name of McCubbin became known as “Tins”, because Macca rhymes (almost) with “tins of tobacco”. So it’s not surprising that we also created our own familiar version of the McDonald’s name.
McDonald’s themselves have embraced the nickname. Although the signage might have been temporary, the company has registered Macca’s as a trademark and uses the term frequently on social media and on its website. They have also released the mymacca’s app to let customers order and pay online, making fast food even faster. “Getting Macca’s in your hands has never been so satisfyingly easy. Order ahead like a legend…” they say.
It’s another example of how the American chain is prepared to adapt itself to local tastes and traditions. In Australia, the early menu back in the ’70s included those Aussie standards, fish and chips and chicken and chips. The introduction of the McOz burger and the world’s first McCafe offering are further examples of local initiatives.
Note: It turns out calling someone Macca as an abbreviation for their surname is not unique to Australia. Wikipedia has a long list of English, Scottish and even South African people who have been familiarly known by the moniker, including Paul McCartney. And, it says, Macca’s is also a common abbreviation for McDonald’s in New Zealand.