Burger King Is on a Quest for a Michelin Star

In Belgium, the chain and agency Buzzman are making a case for the accolade

The campaign has already caught Michelin Guide's attention on social media and one Belgian inspector had a taste of the Master Burger. Burger King / Buzzman

If you’ve ever dined in a Michelin star restaurant (I say “dined” because somehow it feels more proper than “eaten” when talking about a fancy establishment), then you probably had to wait a fair while to get a table before being blown away by the mastery of the cooking.

Well, Burger King in Belgium thinks its new Master Burger should be recognized in the famed Michelin Guide, and that fast food served shouldn’t be overlooked by snooty foodies just because it’s grilled, wrapped and served in a matter of minutes.

French agency Buzzman has created a press, social media and outdoor campaign lobbying the guide to give Burger King a go.

According to the Michelin Guide, which rates the world’s finest eateries, to get a prestigious star (the guide grants up to three stars, but even one is a massive deal in the restaurant world) an establishment is judged according to the quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in the cuisine, value for money and consistency.

Burger King’s Master Burger is a “perfectly flame-grilled patty Angus wrapped in a soft bun and carefully seasoned with a melting cheddar cheese and its old mustard-and-onions mayonnaise,” Buzzman said, noting that the only thing missing is a Michelin star.

Burger King Belgium CEO Kevin Derycke has directly called on Michelin Guide inspectors to take action.

“How many places does your little red book have that serve exceptional dishes that are on the table in five minutes and where you don’t have to book three months ahead?” he said in a letter that can be read in full below.

The brand has also launched a petition—though when we last checked, it had under 400 signatures—suggesting customers aren’t necessarily looking for gourmet food when they order Burger King.

But the PR campaign has caught the eye of one Michelin Guide inspector, who responded to a Burger King post about the initiative on Facebook with a photo of a meal, and said it would be tasted and that interested customers should “watch this space” to see whether the burger makes it into the guide or not.

The campaign has already caught Michelin Guide’s attention on social media and one Belgian inspector had a taste of the Master Burger.

The campaign is in keeping with the light, conversational tone Buzzman has crafted in its advertising for Burger King.

During lockdown in France when Burger King was closed, Buzzman advertised a DIY “Quarantine Whopper” instead, with ads featuring the burger’s ingredients and suggesting store-bought alternatives.

And then to highlight its safety measures as restaurants reopened in June, it created a parody of an airline safety announcement reminding people to pay attention to virus-prevention safety measures and not to confuse the hand sanitizers in store for ketchup.


Client: Burger King Belgium
CEO: Kevin Derycke
Marketing director: Dirk Lammens
Brand manager: Vic Dresen
Junior brand manager: Sofie Couck

Agency: Buzzman
President and executive creative director: Georges Mohammed-Chérif
Vice president: Thomas Granger
Managing Director Julien Levilain
Creative directors: Louis Audard & Tristan Daltroff
Art director: Margaux Hontang
Copywriter: Melvin Berréhouc
Account director: Xavier Devaux-Landragin
Account executive: Quentin Seguret
Head of social media: Julien Scaglione
Head of PR & communications: Amélie Juillet
PR & communications manager: Paul Renaudineau

@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.