This is why Burger King is telling people to eat at McDonald's right now

McDonald's and Burger King have a years-long rivalry, but at least one of them is willing to put it aside amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Burger King U.K.'s Twitter account recently encouraged followers to visit McDonald's, along with a handful of other popular fast-food chains.TODAY Illustration / Bloomberg via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

As restaurants continue to struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one popular fast-food chain is asking for help — but not for itself.

Burger King's U.K. Twitter account shared a message, just days before the country headed into its second lockdown, encouraging followers to "order from McDonald's."

"We know, we never thought we’d be saying this either," the tweet read. An image attached to the tweet added a little more context.

"We never thought we'd be asking you to do this. Just like we never thought we'd be encouraging you to order from KFC, Subway, Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut, Five Guys, Greggs, Taco Bell, Papa John's Leon... or any of the other independent food outlets, too numerous to mention here. In short, (order) from any of our sister food chains (fast or not so fast)," the statement explained.

"Restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment," it continued. "So, if you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty meals through home delivery, takeaway or drive thru."

To conclude, the fast-food giant quipped: "Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing."

In giving McDonald's a shoutout, Burger King put aside their long-enduring rivalry, at least for a moment. Back in May 2019, Burger King released a series of ads featuring upset children with clowns, a clear jab at McDonald's mascot, Ronald McDonald.

"Birthday parties should be happy," the posters read. "Come to Burger King and book a clown-free party."

Also in May of last year, Burger King debuted "Real Meals," seemingly inspired by McDonald's iconic Happy Meals for kids. Burger King's limited-time options came in five varieties, each suited for when you're feeling a specific emotion, from furious to couldn't care less.

"With Real Meals, the Burger King brand celebrates being yourself and feeling however you want to feel," the press release said.

In the U.S., at least 100,000 restaurants have closed permanently or on a long-term basis due to the coronavirus, according to a September survey from the National Restaurant Association. That amounts to almost 1 in 6 restaurants shuttered and 3 million restaurant employees out of work.