Financial Times:

For years Burger King‘s golden crown has lacked the lustre of McDonald’s golden arches. But the home of the Whopper is now trying to lift its game.

The two groups may be the world’s largest fast food brands but McDonald’s dwarfs its rival in almost every way. It has 31,000 restaurants globally, compared with Burger King’s 12,000, and its annual global sales, at $23bn, are nearly 10 times larger than its rival’s.

McDonald’s has revamped its restaurants, introduced healthier menus and seen its sales climb, while Burger King, owned by three private equity groups, has older outlets, a limited menu and sliding sales.

Over the past 12 months Burger King’s shares have slipped 17 per cent to about $18 yesterday, while McDonald’s shares have risen nearly 10 per cent to $63.39.

McDonald’s reported sharply higher fourthquarter earnings yesterday, while Burger King, which reports on February 4, is expected to post a slightly lower profit than last year.