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A lot of people in Japan start to feel down in the dumps in May, as the excitement of the new jobs and school years they started in April gives way to a daily drudgery with the next public holiday months away. For us, though, May has suddenly become the happiest month of the year so far, with the return of McDonald’s Japan’s massive four-patty Mega Mac on May 19.

Here at RocketNews24, we try to stay one step ahead of the latest burger trends, however. Sure, everyone’s excited about having extra meat now, but what if the next big thing is less meat? Could we order our Mega Mac with no meat, or anything else, for that matter?

As it turned out, not only was McDonald’s willing to indulging us in our minimalistic burger experiment, they even got in on the process by offering us some advice.

It’s been more than a year since the last time McDonald’s offered its giant burger, and the Mega Mac is only going to be sticking around until May 26. With just one week to get their fix, it was no surprise when we showed up at our local McDonald’s and found it packed with fans of the sandwich, whom our Japanese-language reporters have dubbed “Mega Mac-ers” (although our English-speaking staff prefers the term Mega Mac Daddies).

Given how many other customers were ordering the mammoth burger, the clerk didn’t seem at all surprised when we got to the front of the line and began our order with “one Mega Mac.” We then decided to throw him a curve by adding, “Hold everything but the bun.”

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We weren’t sure how the employee would respond to this. Would he laugh in our faces? Figure he must have misheard us and unilaterally change our order to something more common, like “hold the pickles?” Call the manager and/or security?

To our surprise, the unfazed employee didn’t do any of those. Instead, he gave us a bit of money-saving advice.

“In that case, you should get a Big Mac, with just the bread, instead.”

It turns out that even though there’s more meat packed into the Mega Mac than the Big one, the two burgers use the exact same bun. And while the Mega Mac is priced at 419 yen (US$4.10), the Big Mac is just 370 yen (US$3.60).

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In other words, if you put in a similar order for each of the seven days the Mega Mac is back for, you’ll have saved almost enough money to pay for a whole Big Mac.

▼ You’ll also be starving, which is why we picked up a regular Mega Mac, too.

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In the end, we came away impressed with McDonald’s commitment to true customer service. They won’t try to talk you out of ordering stuff you don’t need, but even still, they’ll make sure you’re not throwing any more of your money away than is absolutely necessary.

Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]