McDonald's and Burger King have held spots 1 and 2 respectively for years on the lists of most popular fast food franchises. The rivalry dates back to a time when both companies were entering the national fast food market. They were fighting for market share and for franchisees.
In 2011, Burger King was knocked from the #2 spot when Wendy's sales surpassed Burger Kings'.
On top of Burger King's slipping sales, the company also suffered through a number of leadership changes with several different CEOs and owners coming in and out of the picture. During this time, McDonald's started another category where the two companies are competing, coffee. McDonald's partnered with Starbucks to add a series of specialty coffee drinks to their menu, once again, putting them ahead of Burger King. With new leadership in place, Burger King has been working to regain their position in the #2 spot.
When it comes to food, McDonald's and Burger King compete on many levels. The most common rival is that of the Big Mac vs. the Whopper. Everyone has their opinion on which is better. You have some die hard Big Mac fans and then some loyal Whopper fans. While many people the love the Big Mac, Burger King's hamburger meat is often cited as being better in quality and taste than McDonald's.
When it comes to French fries, these two competitors also go head to head fighting for the top spot. For years, McDonald's fries were viewed as superior to Burger King's. In 2012, Burger King updated their fries and claimed they were "delivering a new golden, crispy fry that promises to create a whole new level of irresistible." Many consumers felt that while the fries had improved they still were inferior to McDonald's fries.
For an investor, if you are looking at the chain's overall sales performance and brand, McDonald's is hands down the winner when it comes to ROI. However, despite its recent issues, Burger King has some positive changes occurring. The company has a smaller foot print so there is less competition from within chain. On top of that, Burger King is working to position itself for growth. In the first quarter of 2013, Burger King reported an increase in sales so the strategies they have put in place may be working.
So from an investor's standpoint, buying into a Burger King franchise may be more beneficial than McDonald's but don't sign up just yet. Both franchises cost a lot to get in to and other restaurant options are becoming popular. So in my opinion, there are other companies you should keep an eye on.
The Real Winner of this Rivalry
While this post was geared toward McDonald's and Burger King, the truth is, Wendy's is really the winner in this rivalry. They've claimed the #2 spot from Burger King. They are redoing their stores to be more like a Panera or other "fast casual restaurants" which are quickly growing in popularity. In taste tests, their food surpasses both Burger King and McDonald's when it comes to taste and quality. The bottom line, being the biggest isn't always the best.
About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder & Senior Advisor at BizBen.com (established 1994, 8000+ California franchises and businesses for sale, 500 new & refreshed postings/posts daily) and works daily with business buyers, small business owners/sellers, business brokers, agents, investors, and advisors). Thinking of buying or selling a franchise resale business? Peter reached direct at 925-785-3118 to discuss strategies regarding buying, selling, (or financing a puchase of) California franchises.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Peter Siegel MBA, BizBen Founder, ProBuy, ProSell, ProIntermediary Programs
Founder Of BizBen.com (since 1994). I am the Lead Advisor for the ProSell, ProBuy, & ProIntermediary Programs. I consult daily with buyers, sellers, and brokers daily about buying and selling California small to mid-sized businesses. Call 925-785-3118.
|AJ Rana - Business Broker, San Francisco Bay Area
Professionals who understand the importance of world class business brokerage service and the value it can create. Specializing in assisting sellers and buyers with retail stores, restaurants, hospitality & lodging, manufacturing operations, distribution companies, e-commerce and service businesses.
|Jack Oh, Business Broker: Southern California
Business broker and real estate services in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. 10 years experience with great negotiating skills. To sell a business or buy a business in the LA or Orange County Areas phone Jack and his team at 562-787-4989 Cell / Text.
|Randall Barondess CBB, Business Brokerage Services - Central Coast
Experts at: Preparing Businesses For Sale, No-Cost Valuations and Lease Modifications. MaxOne Business, a REMAX ONE Company prepares small, mid-sized and large businesses for sale by confidentially packaging the business and providing guidance throughout the sales process.
|Steve Zimmerman: Restaurant Broker Specialist, California
Steve founded Restaurant Realty in 1996. He has personally sold/leased over 1000 restaurants, bars & clubs, & completed over 3000 valuations. The author of "Restaurant Dealmaker- An Insider's Trade Secrets For Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club" available on Amazon. Reach Steve direct at 415-945-9701.
|Rick Carlson, Business Broker - Southern California
You Will Never Feel Lost In The Shuffle. Many Brokers Simply Send Out An NDA And That's The End Of Communication. All Buyers Receive A Personal Meeting With An Ace Acquisition Specialist So They Can Recommend The Perfect Business For You. Phone Rick direct at 800-985-4939.
|Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: Orange, LA County Areas
Having owned retail/restaurant businesses for over 20 years, my interest turned to selling businesses rather than owning them. I specialize in LA & Orange County restaurants, fast food independents and chains, bars, & liquor stores. Call 714-292-5448 Cell/Text.
|Harry Sidhu, CBB, Broker: SF Bay Area, Central Valley, SAC Region
Assisting both sellers and buyers of businesses - dealing mainly with Liquor Stores, Grocery Markets, Gas Stations, Smoke Shops, Restaurant Related, Retail Related, Service Related. Serving SF Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento area. Call Harry Sidhu, CBB for assistance at 510-366-6130.
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