The Difference Between McDonald's And Burger King's Crispy Chicken Sandwiches

In February, as the International Business Times reported, Burger King released its revamped crispy chicken sandwich one week before the long-awaited debut of McDonald's own version. Per IBT, the move marked the entrance of the two burger giants into the seemingly eternal chicken sandwich wars. One may wonder how much difference there really is between the chicken sandwiches offered. After all, only so many variations on slabs of fried chicken with pickles in a bun can exist.

Well, the difference is that the McDonald's Crispy Chicken Sandwich goes for a minimalist approach to chicken sandwiches while the Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich includes the type of toppings you would typically find on a burger patty. The Crispy Chicken Sandwich at McDonald's, as described on the chain's website, consists of "southern style fried chicken" on a potato roll with pickles and butter. Burger King's website reveals their Crispy Chicken Sandwich pairs a chicken filet with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on a potato bun. 

However, McDonald's actually serves its chicken sandwich in three ways, with one spicier variety and another including lettuce, tomato, and mayo (via Delish). Due to its lack of variety, Burger King has failed to differentiate itself from its competitor. 

The chicken sandwich wars continue

With Burger King out of the picture due to their lack of pickles, the question is whether or not McDonald's entrance into the chicken sandwich wars has spelled doom for Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. Initially, as Eat This, Not That! noted, the McDonald's sandwich received favorable reviews. However, while The Impulsive Buy and commenters on Brand Eating praised the sandwich's potato roll, most remained unimpressed with the sandwich as a whole.

Writing in The Takeout, Allison Robicelli mused "I had never asked nor expected McDonald's to create a revelatory sandwich, and it didn't. Enjoyable? Absolutely! But is it the sort of thing that will spawn a secondary market, snarl traffic for miles, or drive people to senseless acts of violence? It will not, and it should not, because JFC people, it's a goddamn chicken sandwich." The violence is a reference to the craze that surrounded the launch of the Popeye's chicken sandwich, which began the chicken sandwich wars. Robicelli's conclusion, however, is that all Popeyes did was offer food that actually tasted good, as did McDonald's with their deluxe chicken sandwich. 

In the end, then, the difference between the chicken sandwiches are marginal. What matters is that both McDonald's and Burger King felt compelled to attempt a comeback when Popeyes had stolen the show.