In full-page ads that ran in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, Burger King, a perennial also-ran in the burger races, has asked McDonald's, its battered but still potent archrival, to join forces.
The goal? To operate one restaurant for one day staffed by employees of both companies and selling a burger called the McWhopper, a blend of the Big Mac and the Whopper, the bestselling burgers at each chain.
Sales proceeds would be donated to Peace One Day, a nonprofit group seeking to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace, which was established by the U.N. General Assembly in 1981 for the opening of its annual meeting.
The United Nations later set Sept. 21 as the day to celebrate world peace, and Burger King proposes opening the popup store on that day in a parking lot between a McDonald's and a Burger King in Atlanta.
"Corporate activism on this scale creates mass awareness, and awareness creates action, and action saves lives," Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day, said in a video posted on the website, mcwhopper.com, that Burger King is using to explain its proposal.
Fernando Machado, Burger King's senior vice president for global brand management, urged McDonald's to help "make history and generate a lot of noise around Peace Day."
McDonald's declined to comment.
In the proposed popup shop, employees from both companies would wear special uniforms, and the burgers they would serve might blend the Big Mac's top bun (Burger King, not surprisingly, calls it a "crown") and Big Mac sauce with the tomato slices and 4-ounce meat patty from the Whopper, among other things.
One sticking point might be the ketchup. McDonald's famously stopped using Heinz ketchup when private equity firm 3G Capital bought Burger King, which has suggested using it on the McWhopper.
And there is no word about which of the chains would supply fries.