In the world of business partnerships, Burger King and McDonald’s may seem like the oddest of bedfellows; the two have fiercely competed over the burgers-and-fries business for decades.
But that didn’t stop Burger King from proposing a collaboration between the two brands: the McWhopper, a combination of McDonald’s iconic Big Mac and Burger King’s Whopper.
Burger King proposed the collaboration online at www.mcwhopper.com as a “ceasefire on these so-called ‘burger wars.’” The Miami-based brand suggested doing the collaboration in a pop-up restaurant in Atlanta (half-way between it and McDonald’s Chicago headquarters) on September 21, which has been declared Peace Day by the nonprofit Peace One Day.
“They have a powerful rallying call ‘who will you make peace with?’ which has inspired us to lead by example and extend an olive branch of our own,” Burger King stated in a letter to McDonald’s on the website. “We’d like to propose a one-off collaboration between Burger King and McDonald’s to create something special—something that gets the world talking about Peace Day.”
Peace One Day’s mission is to increase global awareness of peace through a national day of cease-fire and non-violence.
McDonald’s responded to the proposal this morning in a Facebook post from CEO Steve Easterbrook. While not exactly agreeing to the proposal, Easterbrook did acknowledge the friendly gesture, saying the company “love[s] the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference.”
“Let's acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war,” he said, adding as a post-script to the message, “A simple phone call will do next time.”
Collaboration products have been trendy in the craft-beer world for a few years, but rare in the limited-service restaurant industry. Restaurant operators may be catching on to the potential of collaboration products, however; this month, New York City–based fast casuals Luke’s Lobster and Dig Inn collaborated on new menu items served at Dig Inn’s 11 locations: the Lobster Bake with half a cob of corn, the LLT (a lobster version of the BLT), and a Lobster Watermelon Salad served over arugula.
By Sam Oches