Fast food: Advertised vs. Reality

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Here’s a quick chart comparing how various fast food items look in advertisements versus what they look like in reality.

Kind of makes you think of the scene in Falling Down where Michael Douglas enters a fast food joint and turns crazy (Youtube) after ordering a burger, which looks nothing like the one shown on the menu board, right?

Hit the jump for a few other pictures.

Wendy’s Chicken Club

Arby’s Beef ‘n’ Cheddar

McDonald’s Sausage Breakfast Burrito

[Via | Additional pictures via]





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19 Responses to Fast food: Advertised vs. Reality

  1. ya know, some of these are pretty accurate. but some of them can't be taken to seriously because though it never looks the same as in the advertising i know for a fact that the angus (if made right) doesn't look that squished at all. And thats the worst crunchy taco i've ever seen and i do eat many a'taco.

  2. OK, I will totally admit that reality rarely matches up with marketing. But, seriously, did the photographer go out of his/her way to find mashed up sammiches? I don't think I've ever had a Whopper quite that flat. I have had an Arby's that looked like that, but it was one of the 5-for-$5 and at the bottom of the sack.

    Also, I will note that mid-range restaurants like TGI Friday's and Applebee's are *WORSE* about this than fast food. I have frequently received food that had me questioning if I'd gotten what I ordered, because it looked so different.

    Nothing, though, quite matches the outright lies perpetrated by the people who take pictures for the front of frozen dinners.

  3. I've worked at Taco Bell before, at our restaurant mostly the tacos looked pretty much like a slightly less tidy version the ad pictures, not like that nasty taco. Also, I think Wendy's chicken club looked pretty close to the picture. The cheese just melted.

  4. Not a huge surprise there but it's interesting to see them side by side like that. I don't eat fast food that much anymore, but when I do it's mostly because I have few options and/or am really hungry, and I don't care how it looks so long as it tastes decent. I never go to McDonald's or Burger King, either, and rarely do I go to Wendy's (maybe once a year). My favourites are Taco Bell and Arby's, and maybe a few local chains like Taco Time.

  5. Not a huge surprise there but it's interesting to see them side by side like that. I don't eat fast food that much anymore, but when I do it's mostly because I have few options and/or am really hungry, and I don't care how it looks so long as it tastes decent. I never go to McDonald's or Burger King, either, and rarely do I go to Wendy's (maybe once a year). My favourites are Taco Bell and Arby's, and maybe a few local chains like Taco Time.

  6. Wow, someone must have bought a lot of fast foot at different locations to find the worst possible examples. The only examples that are remotely close are the ones from McDonalds, but since it's been a few years since I've eaten there my experiences are probably not the norm.

    Hell, the Taco Bell taco pic looks fake. I just ate at Taco Bell today and while the taco I received didn't have quite as much meat as the picture shows, it sure wasn't the sad sack of crap in the 'real' picture.

  7. yeah the product from the ads and for real are really different. . .but as long as I am satisfied from this burgers well the look doesn't matter anyways=)

  8. Seriously, that is on effed up taco. ON the other hand, after seeing ads for the XXL Chalupa all day I finally went to get one…; What a dissapointment. The thing was 1/10th of the size of the ad pic.

    I think advertisers should be required to show comparable portions. You never get that much meat on a crunchy taco. They shouldn't be able to use pictures of a taco with 1/2 a pound of beef on it and then sell you a taco that once wiped a cow's butt.

  9. My taco's do come out looking like that. Which, is why I don't order them. At least not hard, I will get a soft taco instead. The whooper, yeah, I have gotten it like that. But, usually it's not as flat.

    The Big Mac seems pretty spot on. And, the Wendy's doesn't look bad.

    Either way, what do you expect? The commercials are supposed to be "attractive", etc and the actual food is supposed to be fast. If you don't like it, join the club that rarely eats fast food. :)

  10. I don't know where you guys go and eat fast food, but you need to go somewhere else. Can't comment on McDonalds (don't eat there), but the rest look flattened. My Whoppers are usually more towards the commercial side then the "actual" side you presented, same with my tacos from the Bell. Now I have had messed up food, had a chalupa the other day that looked like crap. But usually my food looks a lot closer to the commercial side then your "actual" side presented here. Looks like you flattened them all.