Burger King UK urges people to buy fast food, any fast food, even Big Macs

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The Burger King mascot and cheerleaders at the 2008 Super Bowl
“Hear ye, hear ye, I, Burger King, giveth ye my permission to eat Big Macs.”
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Getty Images)

These are tense times for everyone. Here in the U.S., we are waiting for election results. Over in the UK, they are waiting for Brexit. And everyone everywhere is facing the next surge of COVID-19 and lockdowns. Our brains tell us that French fries won’t make everything better. But deep in our hearts, we want to believe that they do.

We can handle this stress two ways: murderous infighting, or by uniting against our common enemies. Burger King UK has chosen the latter path.

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The gist of Burger King’s messages is that all restaurants and restaurant workers have been hurting during these hard times—especially now that the entire country is in lockdown again—and it would be nice if the good people of Great Britain helped out by ordering delivery, takeaway, or drive thru. “Getting a Whopper is always best,” the post concludes, “but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing.”

The post was met with a range of responses. Some tweets applauded Burger King UK for encouraging a spirit of camaraderie and and mutual support among its rivals. Others derided the tweet as an empty marketing stunt and observed that pandemic or no pandemic, McDonald’s is still an enormous international corporation that will probably get through all of this just fine, especially if it continues to pay its workers inadequately; it’s the independent restaurants that will suffer. Still others seized the opportunity to point out the general unhealthiness of fast food. But one person noted that Wendy’s does not exist in the UK and reminisced wistfully about a burger he had there when he was 13.

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What lessons can we learn from this? Maybe that on Twitter, no kind corporate gesture goes unpunished. Or that if there is going to be peace in the world, if won’t come from a fast food joint. Or maybe just that fries are great and comforting, and we don’t need Burger King’s permission to order them from anywhere we want.