European town ‘fast food’ war as McDonald’s and Burger King fight for supremacy

A battle for supremacy is erupting between two fast food giants – and all in one small French town.

McDonald’s and Burger King are facing a legal battle as they war it out over the location of their stores in Argentan, in the northwest of France. The conflict started in May of last year, after American fast-food giant Burger King obtained the rights to build a restaurant right next to a McDonald’s in the town.

The Maccies had been in residence near Argentan since 1996. It has responded by taking Burger King to court over their new restaurant.

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Burger King is looking to open just outside Argentan, near a ring road on a busy stretch between Caen and Falaise. The strategic location is just 50 metres from the existing McDonald’s.

One argument being made by McDonald’s is the limited parking they claim Burger King will be able to provide. They say this could lead to Burger King customers parking in McDonald’s, taking up their space.

They are also making an argument on the basis of safety, as a second fast-food restaurant in this location could worsen rush-hour traffic on an already busy road.

The Argentan town council is also concerned about this, they told France Bleu, but said “there’s not much we can do about it today”. They pointed out that the land is no longer owned by the town of Argentan and is currently available for any construction.

A spokesperson for Burger King said: “The creation and opening of a Burger King restaurant in a new city is guided by our national development strategy.”

The two fast-food giants have long been rivals. McDonald’s was founded in 1940 as a drive-in in San Bernardino, California, before developing into a fully-fledged restaurant in 1948. At the time, the cheap running costs meant burgers were sold for just 15 cents.

In 1963, former CEO of McDonald’s Ray Kroc introduced the iconic Ronald McDonald character.

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Inspired by McDonald’s approach and rapid development into a successful franchise, Keith J. Kramer and Matthew Burns founded Instant Burger King.

By the early 21st century, there were approximately 34,000 McDonald’s outlets operating in more than 115 countries and territories. Meanwhile, Burger King operates over 18,700 restaurants across the world.

They are often the subject of taste comparisons and fierce debate over which produces the superior burger – with Argentan now forming the latest battlefield. No date regarding a possible opening of the new Burger King has yes been confirmed.

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