'Order from McDonald's': Burger King urges UK customers to support its rivals ahead of Covid-19 lockdown

Business Insider US
  • Burger King customers should order from McDonald's, Taco Bell, and KFC to support both staff and restaurants, the fast-food chain's UK arm said Monday.
  • Burger King UK published the tweet three days before England enters a second lockdown, with cafes, bars, and restaurants forced to end dine-in services. They will still be able to offer take-out.
  • Burger King often mocks its biggest rival McDonald's in its marketing campaigns — but the tweet said that restaurants "employing thousands of staff really need your support."
  • The hospitality sector "was hit hardest and first" during the first lockdown, industry body UK Hospitality said, and it fears the second lockdown will be even worse.
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Burger King has told its UK customers to order from McDonald's, Taco Bell, and KFC to protect jobs in the food sector.

England is going into a second lockdown on Thursday, after the country's Covid-19 cases surged in October. All dine-in services will have to shut, but restaurants and cafes can still offer take-out.

In a tweet Monday, the UK arm of the burger chain name-checked some of its fast food rivals, and urged people to order from them to support the industry.

"We never thought we'd be asking you to do this, but restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment," the tweet said.

"Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing," it said.

The hospitality sector is the UK's third-largest employer, according to industry body UK Hospitality, and many staff in the sector were placed on furlough in March as restaurants, cafes, and bars were forced to shut during lockdown.

"The sector was hit hardest and first," UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said when the latest lockdown was announced, and "will hurt for months and years to come."

"The costs to hospitality businesses of a second lockdown will be even heavier than the first, coming after periods of forced closure, the accumulation of mass debt and then significantly lower trading due to the restrictions of recent weeks," she added.

Burger King is no stranger to referencing its rivals on social media. McDonald's is its usual target: As a Halloween publicity stunt, the chain introduced voice-recognition software in some restaurants that made Ronald McDonald appear in restroom mirrors if a customer said "canceled clown" three times.

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