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The Difference Between McDonald's And Burger King

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Each restaurant features iconic items on its respective menus. McDonald's competes with the Big Mac, while Burger King offers the Whopper sandwich. The two burgers are the best-selling burgers of all time. Let us understand the differences between them.

The main difference between McDonald’s and Burger King is that the former is one of the country's most well-known quick-service restaurant franchises. On the other hand, Burger King is one of McDonald's primary rivals.

This blog post will further discuss the differences in more detail. We shall talk about their flavors, items on the menu and weight, among other differences between them. Let’s get started!

What is McDonald's?

One of the most unique McDonald's restaurant

McDonald's is one of the fastest-growing food enterprises in the United States. In 1955, the first McDonald's restaurant opened in California. Richard and Maurice McDonald created this restaurant group. It is currently regarded as one of the top and greatest revenue-generating brands globally, providing everyday services to millions of people.

Apart from its reputation for hamburgers, this corporate food brand is also well-known for its cheeseburger, French fries, soft drinks, breakfast items, poultry goods, desserts, and wraps.

There are more than 37,000 McDonald's locations worldwide. This company uses local divisions of its standardized menu to influence customers all around the world and increase brand recognition.

What is Burger King?

burger king
A Burger King restaurant with its crown

This restaurant chain was established in the year 1953, and it has quite an interesting menu with a wide variety of items. The Whooper option, which ultimately evolved into Burger King's iconic item, was a significant addition to this brand's menu.

In 1963, this brand began to operate outside of American borders. According to figures from 2018, this company has around 18,000 stores throughout the globe in almost 100 different countries.

Key Differences between McDonald's and Burger King

The difference in year of establishment

McDonald's and Burger King are well-known food brands worldwide. Both of these brands specialize in hamburgers, yet their paths have diverged. Although both Burger King and McDonald's are located in the United States, Burger King was formed in 1954, while McDonald's was founded in 1955.

The difference in brand recognition

Brand awareness is important for a company's branding and expansion of its sales. Compared to Burger King, McDonald's has a stronger brand image or brand awareness. But Burger King has always been a fierce rival to McDonald's and is the second-largest chain behind McDonald's.

The difference in the products they offer

Both of these brands provide a wide variety of food and beverage products.  Burger King and McDonald's both began as hamburger restaurant businesses. They alter their menu appropriately because each country has its own tastes and preferences. Burger King is currently famous for its Whoppers.

The difference in coffee

Years ago, McDonald's made headlines when it teamed up with Starbucks to develop a recyclable-compostable coffee cup. As a result, Burger King sought out and bought Tim Hortons, Inc., Canada's largest coffee and doughnut chain.

The difference between franchisees

Purchasing and running a new franchise unit is often required to invest in Burger King and McDonald's. Since every business operates on a global scale and no two markets are exactly the same, comparing franchising possibilities is most straightforward.

The McDonald's 2020 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) states that a McDonald's franchise requires an initial investment of between $1.3 million and $2.3 million. The business also levies a $45,000 initial franchise fee.

Similar investments are necessary for Burger King franchisees. According to the 2020 BK FDD, total initial investments, excluding real estate purchase and upgrade expenses, range between $333,100 and $3.4 million, with an initial franchise fee of up to $50,000.

Comparison Chart: McDonald's Vs Burger King

ParametersMcdonaldsBurger King
Establishment McDonald's was established in 1955.Burger King was established in 1954.
Brand recognitionMcDonald's is more famous.Burger King, although a fierce competitor, is less famous as compared to McDonald's.
ServicesMcDonald's is slower than Burger King.Burger King is faster than McDonald's in service.
ProductsMcDonald's alters its menu according to the country they are in.Burger King is known worldwide for its Whopper burgers.

Similarities between McDonald's and Burger King

The main similarity between McDonald's and Burger King is that they are both American fast-food restaurants that mainly focus on selling burgers and coffee to their customers.


Which fast-food chain is the most famous?

McDonald's is currently more famous than Burger King. With broader brand recognition, they customize their menu to win over customers according to the country they are located in.

McDonald's vs. Burger King: Which is Healthier?

Neither McDonald's nor Burger King is particularly healthy. They both offer various fast food items high in calories, fat, and sodium. Thus they should be consumed in moderation. However, if you are looking for a healthier option, both brands offer a few salads and wrap options.

McDonald's vs. Burger King: Which Brand is Cheaper?

Neither McDonald's nor Burger King is significantly cheaper than the other. However, McDonald's does offer some value menu items that are less expensive than Burger King's equivalent menu items.

While McDonald's may seem cheaper upfront, their burgers are lighter than the burgers in Burger King. Hence, this evens out the price.

What distinguishes Burger King from McDonald's?

There are several key distinctions between Burger King and McDonald's. Perhaps the most significant difference is that Burger King offers a wider variety of burger options than McDonald's. Additionally, Burger King restaurants are more spacious than McDonald's and typically have more seating options.


With the great growth in the fast-food sector, the market value of food establishments such as McDonald's and Burger King is also increasing and impacting millions of people globally. Since offering hamburgers as their first product, both of these restaurant chains have expanded to provide a wide variety of foods to their patrons. Depending on how worthy and loyal you are to the company, as well as, of course, on your personal preferences and taste, you can choose any of them.


Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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