McDonald's Unveils New Burger That Wendy's Might Take Issue With

Wendy's has a monopoly on square hamburgers in the U.S., but that's a little different in Japan. Last week, McDonald's Japan unveiled the "I Feel Like I Went to New York Burgers," which feature square buns for burgers and chicken sandwiches. Each sandwich is even packed in wrappers with Pop Art-inspired illustrations.

The first sandwich is the Thick Beef Burger Pepper & Cheese, which includes a thick beef patty, bacon, lettuce, onion, steak sauce, and a slice of smoky cheddar cheese between a square sesame-seed bun. The promotional photos show a round beef patty, but the square bun could be seen as a Wendy's reference.

McDonald's Japan is also offering the Grilled Chicken Burger Salt & Lemon sandwich. This has a thick piece of chicken thigh meat, lettuce, onion, cheddar cheese, bacon, and a salted garlic sauce in a square bun. Each sandwich is packed in a yellow or purple wrapper, featuring Pop Art-style illustrations. McDonald's Japan is also advertising the sandwiches with a commercial set to the Ghostbusters theme.

The commercial is scheduled to start airing in Japan on Tuesday. The sandwiches will go on sale in restaurants the following day. According to the press release, the sandwiches will only be available through early March. McDonald's Japan fans can also order the sandwiches as part of a meal that also includes a drink and a side.

Burger lovers in Japan do have access to Wendy's square burgers through First Kitchen, a Japanese chain Wendy's International owns. Wendy's itself actually failed in Japan. Back in 2009, Wendy's/Arby's Group (the Wendy's parent company at the time) closed all 71 Wendy's locations in Japan because it could not reach a new deal with the food retailer that controlled the Japanese Wendy's franchisee. Wendy's Japan acquired First Kitchen in 2016.

In the U.S., Wendy's sticks out among fast-food chains for its square burgers. According to a 2016 post, the company's burgers are square to show their dedication to serving fresh food. "As Wendy's expanded from one restaurant to our more than 5,500 restaurants today, our supply chain has had to grow and evolve right along with us in order to remain true to Dave's vision. No shortcuts. No cutting corners (yes, that's really why our burgers are square)," the company notes. "And we knew the only way to continue to bring FRESH ingredients to our customers safely was to have the proper standards and protocols in place and partner with like-minded suppliers."