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McDonald’s vs. Burger King

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jake Bean

Are you “lovin’ it” or would you rather “have it your way”? Welcome to and in this installment of Versus, we’re going bite for bite with McDonald’s and Burger King to see which of the two is truly the lord of fast food.


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Script written by Jake Bean

McDonald’s vs. Burger King

Are you “lovin’ it” or would you rather “have it your way”? Welcome to and in this installment of Versus, we’re going bite for bite with McDonald’s and Burger King to see which of the two is truly the lord of fast food.

Round 1: Menu Exclusives

As opposed to Burger King, which only dabbles in wraps, McDonald’s offers up an entire line of signature McWraps, breakfast wraps, and snack wraps. These wraps are mostly chicken-based with a variety of toppings, from bacon to ranch to chili. Next up is Mickey D’s line of chicken sandwiches, which come in three styles: classic, artisan grilled, or buttermilk, and boast toppings like Pico Guacamole. And of course, for dessert, they offer up the McFlurry, an ice cream based dish reminiscent of Dairy Queen’s “Blizzard.” Finally, there’s the McCafé line of products, which includes cookies, muffins and various different coffee options.

On the flip side, Burger King goes for a wider, more risky plethora of choices on their bold menuFirst, they up the ante on their burgers – with triple or quadruple options that leave the double offered at McDonald’s in the dust. In the mornings, they offer their Croissan’wich breakfast sandwiches - sausage, bacon and/or egg on a croissant. If those aren’t to your taste, they also offer a side of French toast sticks for those with more of a sweet tooth. For lunch and dinner, BK again maximizes your choices in terms of sides and dessert: you can get some onion rings or mozzarella sticks, and some cheesecake or a sundae pie.

While we appreciate what McDonald’s is doing with their McCafé line, their menu just isn’t as diverse as Burger King’s. Regardless of your tastes in fast food, you’re sure to find something that satisfies at BK, proving that when it comes to their slogan “Have it Your Way”... they really mean it.

WINNER: Burger King

McDonald’s: 0 / Burger King: 1

Round 2: Mascots / Advertisements

McDonald’s has had some huge commercial success over the years in the marketing and branding department. The staple of their ads for years was Ronald McDonald and the denizens of McDonaldland. Grimace, the Hamburgler, Mayor McCheese… All of these characters are major fixtures in the childhood memories of many a McDonald’s customer. McDonald’s even found its way into our gaming consoles with the NES game, “M.C. Kids,” which, although pretty unremarkable, still stokes the flames of our nostalgia. Though the McDonaldland characters have largely been shelved and even Ronald seems to be less present these days, they remain cultural icons.

Burger King, on the other hand, does away with all those confusing extra characters and focuses on the one that matters: The Burger King himself. He’s that imposing mascot with a big, smiling head, so you’d be forgiven for thinking this character is a little… creepy. Though he might startle you or leave you feeling a little uncomfortable, there’s no denying he’s made an impact in recent years. Also, like McDonald’s, BK is no stranger to the gaming market: they released a handful of titles on Xbox and Xbox 360 featuring their figurehead, which were unique and surprisingly entertaining.

Though BK’s creepy King has made his presence known in recent years, there’s just no amount of edgy marketing that can overcome the feeling of nostalgia brought on by Ronald and his pals. What else is there to say but: “We’re lovin’ it.”

WINNER: McDonald’s

McDonald’s: 1 / Burger King: 1

Round 3: Toys

Burger King is generally less known for their kids meal, but it’d be a mistake to overlook the many notable toy lines they’ve produced over the years, including: Beetlejuice, The Simpsons, the Universal monsters, Disney Collectible glasses and more. Working to keep up with the trends, in 2018 they offered Skylander and Mysticon figurines. Some of these toys were definitely aiming at a slightly edgier or more mature audience, but seriously, back in the ‘90s, getting a Bart Simpson figurine with your meal would’ve been well-worth bragging about at school.

Burger King puts up a good fight, approaching the toys in their King Jr Meals from their own unique angle, but if there’s one true master of marketing to kids... it’s McDonald’s. Since its debut in 1979, the Happy Meal has been the staple of kid’s fast food. And McDonald’s has partnered with some of the greatest names in toy creation: including Nintendo for their Super Mario Bros. 3 figurines, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Beanie Babies and – of course – Disney.

If you need any more convincing that McDonald’s has won the toy argument, look inside your own heart: as a kid, which would you have preferred?

WINNER: McDonald’s

McDonald’s: 2 / Burger King: 1

Round 4: Burgers

Let’s get this out of the way: McDonald’s has the granddaddy of all fast food burgers - the Big Mac. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s never had a Big Mac, unless they were raised vegetarian, and even then, those outliers could probably still tell you how to make one: two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun! It’s a classic, but McDonald’s also offers other quintessential sandwiches like the Quarter Pounder, the McDouble and their newer line of angus beef burgers.

As iconic as Mickey D’s burgers might be, Burger King offers something McDonald’s simply definitely does not have on the menu - gorgeous, flame grilled patties. Their staple, of course, is the truly iconic Whopper, but these guys once again run the gamut in terms of diversity. Rodeo burgers, bacon kings, Quarter Pound Kings...the list goes on, and they all feature that distinctive BK taste.

You might think McDonald’s takes this one thanks to the Big Mac… But there’s something about the sandwiches and specifically the Whopper at Burger King that gives them a leg up on their arguably more famous opponent. Flame grilled for the win!

WINNER: Burger King

McDonald’s: 2 / Burger King: 2

Round 5: Fries

Burger King fries are almost diametrically different to their Mickey D’s counterparts: they’re thick cut and fresh, delivering a satisfying crunch. Unfortunately, as many a fast food reviewer will tell you, some customers say they have a “processed” aftertaste. It has also been said that occasionally, they lack the necessary saltiness to make them sing.

On the other hand, McDonald’s has thinner, julienne-style fries. And sometimes, they glisten to the point that some have even considered them to be, at times, wet with grease. Yeah, that’s a troubling and almost gross vision. But such cases are rare, and at McDonald’s, where the fries are never supposed to be sold after more than 7 minutes out of the fryer, this side dish is usually served crispy, salty and delicious.

Simply put, McDonald’s’ fries are the quintessential fast food fry. In fact, just talking about them is sure to whet your appetite. And with that, the winner of the round, and, for that matter, this installment of Versus, becomes clear.

WINNER: McDonald’s

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