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Takeaway Truth: McDonald's New Chicken Burger Range

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: McDonald’s Chicken Burger Range.

Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we’ve decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

The last time we featured McDonald’s on Takeaway Truth, the results weren’t pretty: the entire Taste of America range was a misshapen, cheesy mess that bore little resemblance to the towering works of art depicted in the adverts. We subsequently sent ‘em packing back to the States with a score of 5/10.

McDonald’s latest promotional items are all about chicken — they comprise of the McGrilled Burger (grilled chicken, tomato, lettuce, mayo), the McSpicy Burger (spicy battered chicken, lettuce, spicy mayo) and the McChamp Burger (battered chicken, lettuce, tomato relish and mayo). According to McDonald’s, the McGrilled is “juicy like office gossip”, the McChamp has “a taste that packs a punch” and the McSpicy is “so hot right now”. Er, okay.

In an unusual move, McDonald’s has chosen to centre its marketing campaign around people with the surname ‘Chicken’ — who gleefully do the chicken dance, cross the road and lay eggs for the cameras (the actual burgers are barely mentioned). Eschewing this tomfoolery, we’ve decided to focus on the photos on McDonald’s Facebook page. To make the comparison as fair as possible, we also attempted to arrange the burgers in a similar position to the marketing image.

This is how the Chicken Burger range looks on McDonald’s Facebook page:

And here is the reality:

We also compared the individual promotional images of the McSpicy and McGrilled to the real burgers.

McSpicy Burger:

McGrilled Burger:

While not quite as dreary as the Taste of America range, there’s no hiding the fact that these burgers fail to measure up to the advertised image — the chicken patties look thinner, the buns aren’t as plump and the salads are a bit measly across the board. To be fair, the McGrilled Burger isn’t hugely different — if we were scoring on that burger alone, we’d probably give it a 7/10 (just). Collectively however, the McDonald’s Chicken range is pretty fowl. Cough.

    Truth Rating: 6/10

Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.