Every fall, there’s a dedicated following looking all over the country for McDonald’s tasty McRib sandwich. But not every McDonald’s has the sandwich on the menu, and the locations can change year to year. But there’s an easier way to find that saucy goodness.
Click over to the McRib Locator, a user-generated service, to see their interactive map showing confirmed and unconfirmed locations of the sandwich. Nearly 3,000 people report their sightings to the website each year. Developer Alan Klein, says this is the 10th year for the locator, but his ties to pork production go back a long way.
“Growing up, my dad and I would take hogs to market and we’d stop for a McRib at McDonald’s on the way home,” Klein says. “It hit me as a child back then that farming is full circle—we just sold hogs that might supply pork for the McDonald’s sandwich I was eating.”
Klein grew up on a South Dakota farm near Winner. While he works in meteorology and technology now, the website was developed to track the appearance of the sandwich.
The McRib was first introduced in 1981, and has had an up and down appearance on McDonald’s menu since. It was removed in 1985 and reintroduced from 1989 to 2005. Since then, the chain offers the sandwich in the fall in regional markets.
In the early years, Klein says McDonald’s would have a large release event for the McRib, but now it’s often each location’s choice whether to offer the sandwich and any promotional events.
How the Locator Works
Loyal followers to the tracker submit the location on the website, and are asked to provide a photo of their receipt. If the sighting is confirmed, the map is updated with a checkmark at the location. If no photo is supplied, the location is “unconfirmed” until a receipt is offered.
Klein says it’s also interesting to watch the international reports of the sandwich. Mexico, Germany and Japan all the McRib, but can be in slightly different forms. Japan, for example, has a two-patty version, with no sauce. Germany has added the sandwich permanently to the menu. Lucky for them!