It's mostly a size war; both rivals say McDonald's makes puny products. CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr., says the new McDonald's Angus burger is a copycat product, as CKE chains have sold comparable premium burgers for years. Furthermore, said CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder, the Carl's Jr. version "has 24 percent more meat than McDonald's Third Pounders, yet costs the same," while the Hardee's version has the same amount of meat but costs less.
"Don't believe the McHype," CKE said in a press release that in my opinion comes across as petty and a bit desperate. But the chains are backing up their complaints with a promise to give refunds for Hardee's Thickburgers or Carl's Jr.'s Six Dollar Burgers to any customer who doesn't agree that the product is superior to the McDonald's Angus burger.
Furthermore, Carl's Jr. is launching the "Big Carl," a supposedly bigger and better alternative to the Big Mac. Hardee's may follow with a "Big Hardee."
Meanwhile, Burger King is airing radio spots in Chicago, with voices of teenagers "laughing that Burger King's Double Cheeseburger 'totally dwarfs' McDonald's budget-priced double-patty burger and concluding that the BK version 'makes everything else look tiny.'"
But McDonald's says customers are happy with its products, including the new Angus burger. According to executive chef Dan Coudreaut, "I don't know if bigger is always better."