McDonald's vs. Burger King – Who Will Win the Burger Battle and Why?

burger battle McDonalds vs Burger King

I was just waiting for this article so I could make a reference to one of the most 90s movies in the known universe and amongst the (theoretically) multiple dimensions: Demolition Man.

In a clean, non-violent and refined utopian future, a violent criminal put in animated suspension is awoken to sit at a parole hearing. The criminal (Wesley Snipes – arguably the most 90s star of 90s stars) sees the non-violence as an opportunity to raise hell. Unable to control him, the future society awakens law enforcement officer John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone, much more of an 80s star) who was also under suspended animation to fight Wesley Snipes. Fish out of water comedy ensues, along with tons of explosions and gunplay.

But that’s not the reason I mentioned Demolition Man. The reason I did bring it up is because in this fictional future, after a long “war” between chain restaurants, Taco Bell emerges as the winner and becomes the only restaurant available to these future peaceniks. Of course, in the future it has evolved into a fancy gourmet experience, with small portions on plates decorated like there are going to a grand gala at a contemporary art museum. So, our hypothetic argument (as it’s already been postulated by this awesomely corny 90s action flick) is if Mickey D’s went toe to toe with the King, who would reign supreme? Let’s break it down and see.

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Creepy Mascot

You might be wondering why I chose to analyze the mascot first and not the food, but it’s simple: the mascot is the company’s corporate identity, it’s the first encounter someone has with the brand. So, here goes: one company has a creepy clown decked out in a yellow hazmat-like jumpsuit with red and white striped sleeves and stupidly large, bright red shoes. Add to that white face paint, which makes him look dead, and an old-lady-afro of bright, shiny, red hair, and you have the thing of sleep apnea nightmares.

On the other side of the greasy artery-clogging coin, you have the BK King. He is the stereotype of every stereotypical Dark Age monarch, wrapped in an oversized, very shiny, plastic (or fiber-glass) head with a permanent murder smile (that is a term I’m “borrowing” from How I Met Your Mother. A murder smile is a smile that looks like a smile until you cover it, leaving only the “murder eyes” visible).

I understand your brand is Burger King and it would make sense to model your mascot after a King, but did you really have to model it after the murdering, killing, wife-decapitating monarchs of Middle Age Europe? Couldn’t you go with something a little more cartoony? Anyhow, due to the fact that a murdering, killing and pillaging monarch would easily beat even the creepiest clown, I’m giving this one to Burger King.

Basic Cheeseburger

So let’s put the two basic burgers side by side, because to matter what kind of pseudo-gourmet coffee you serve, both fast food joints are ultimately burger shops. Off the bat, Burger King wraps its delectable meat in a sesame bun and McDonald’s bun has a shocking lack of any type of seed on it. On top of that, between the buns you’ll get a 133g patty with the King and just 119g with Mickey D’s. They both have mustard, ketchup, pickles, and cheese… but look at these nutritional facts:


Burger King 133g

McDonald’s 119g














540 (mg)

680 (mg)


35 (mg)

45 (mg)

Trans Fat



Saturated Fat




So, Burger King’s cheeseburger has fewer calories, carbs, sodium and cholesterol, and Mickey D’s only wins on having more protein and less fat – even though it’s a smaller burger than the King’s… As these are both pretty bad for you, anyway, and because of the “bigger patty but less protein” disparity, I’m calling this a tie. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Board of Unofficial Fast Food Comparisons. I think it’s in Salt Lake City, Utah or Juneau, Alaska. Just make sure you visit personally.

Happy Meal vs. Kids Meal

First off, let’s just talk about the names for a sec: Happy Meal vs. Kids Meal. Kids are inherently happy, due to lack of work, bills, mortgages and car payments, but Kids Meal, although very implicit, sounds a lot more condescending than Happy Meal. Maybe because it’s lazy marketing. I can’t help but imagine Burger King’s marketing people sitting in a board room after a multi-hour meeting coming up with Creepy Monarch Burger King and five minutes before they are ready to leave, a skinny assistant blurts out:

“I’m so sorry, but we have to come up with the name for our version of the Happy Meal.”

And an executive responding:

“Who is it marketed to? I never eat the shit, so I wouldn’t know…”

To which the sniveling assistant responds:

“Um, our demographic is 0 to 14-year-old middle and lower class children.”

“So kids, right?”

“Ehm, um. Yes, sir.”

“Just call the stupid thing a Kids Meal and get it over with. They’re kids, they’ll never know! Let’s go home… Geezus.”

So, the month that this article was written in, Burger King was giving away an assortment of Scooby Doo themed toys, whereas McDonald’s was giving away flying, squirting and spinning Nerf toys. A kid will always prefer something that can hurt another kid, which is what Nerf’s motto is, I think. So, the clear winner here is McDonald’s. Which kid wants a 45-year-old Great Dane and his stoner buddy as a toy?

Ultimately, “Have it Your Way”

I know that’s Burger King’s motto but, honestly, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate tagline. Ultimately, food is a very, very subjective thing. What you probably won’t be what everyone likes. So go forth and clog your arteries how you see fit and how it satisfies you – it’s not like there is a lack of cholesterol-laden options. As to who is going to win the fast food wars, it’s definitely up in the air: McD’s creates a promotion and BK promptly responds, and vice versa (that’s Latin!), so we’ll just have to wait and see whose burger is going to lay wasted on the battlefield.

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If you have anything to add, please feel free to put your greasy paws on your keyboard and let me know in the comments section below!