In a Halloween prank that is sure to live on in Internet infamy, a Queens, N.Y., Burger King sign was photographed disguised as the ghost of McDonald's (MCD) .
Although this is a stunt calculated to go viral thus achieving cheap marketing, it highlights an old feud between fast-food rivals, as well as indicating that the competition is heating up amid what some are calling a restaurant recession.
Burger King, which is owned and operated by Restaurant Brands International (QSR) , and McDonald's have long been rivals in the fast-food sector. Both offer American classic food such as burgers and fries with fast service and at low prices.
McDonald's, which practically invented the concept of fast food, has long been the industry leader. It is a classic legacy company that has delighted investors for decades.
But that doesn't mean that Burger King hasn't done well.
In fact, the company said that it has outperformed McDonald's when it comes to volumes sold, with an average 2.1 billion Whopper sandwiches each year, while the Golden Arches reports a more modest 550 million Big Macs sold annually.
However, in terms of customers served and revenue generated, McDonald's is the largest restaurant company in the world.
A report from research firm IBISWorld estimated that in 2014, McDonald's held an 18.6% market share of the world's fast-food industry, while Burger King controlled 4.6%.
However, the entire U.S. restaurant industry is in trouble. Some analysts are even predicting that it is on the cusp or already experiencing a restaurant recession that will result in the industry hitting lows next year.