Takeaway Truth: KFC's Parmy Stacker Burger

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: the KFC Parmy Stacker.

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 KFC Parmy Stacker is the latest decadent burger from the company that brought us the infamous Double (a "burger" that used two pieces of chicken instead of bread buns).

Comprising two chicken schnitzel fillets, "a double layer of hearty Parmigiana sauce", two slices of cheese, lettuce, mayo and a wholemeal bun, it packs in nearly 50% more kilojoules than the aforementioned Double (2515 vs. 3371jk). There's also a single patty version available for the sorta health-conscious.

While too many of these things will probably kill you, it looks absolutely delicious in the advertisements. But how does the Stacker stack up in reality? When it comes to Takeaway Truth, KFC has been one of the least impressive performers. The Grilled Salsa Twister, Zinger Pie and Grilled Taster Box all scored between 6/10 and 3/10 — most readers thought we were being overgenerous. So without further ago, let's see how honest the Colonel's latest marketing blitz is...

Here's what the KFC Parmy Stacker Burger looks like on the poster and KFC's Facebook page:

And here's what we got served at a Penrith restaurant:

To prove we're not just choosing unflattering angles, here's the same burger from the opposite side:

Do we really even need to critique this? There's barely any resemblance between the two burgers. In the left image, the bun is bursting at the seams with mouth-watering ingredients. In the right image, you can barely see what's inside.

As usual, the lettuce on the burger is a big disappointment — it's in the wrong place, there's a lot less of it and to add insult to injury it's not even the fancy variety promised on the poster. When it comes to a good "parmy", we'll be sticking to the local pub, thanks.

    Truth Rating: 4/10

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


Comments

    I wouldn't even give that one a 4.

    It looks to be mostly bun, a little wilted and shredded lettuce (Iceberg I will bet) and som sliced Koon.

    Looks disgusting and very unappetising.

      Indeed, that's possibly the worst burger I've seen in these articles so far... damn.

      Yeah - this has got to be one off the most misleading. The size-disparity of the schnitzels is just criminal!

        yeah, in the picture it's way bigger than that man.

    "most readers thought we were being overgenerous. "
    Why would they care?

    "Truth Rating: 4/10"
    HOW THE HELL DID YOU GIVE THAT A 4? IT LOOKS BAD AND SMALL, TASTES LIKE OIL, AND ISN'T NUTRITIOUS.

    Hey Chris, thanks for always posting these right before lunch.

    fuck

    As a worker in the fast food industry, I do have to say it also depends on the person who made it. If you got some teenager with a bad attitude, they aren't going to do their job properly, which is probably the case here. Also it's a new burger build for them so since they have a bad attitude, they don't bother asking is this right or reading any of the info the business give out to do their job properly. If you went back at a different part of the day, or even, just got it made by a different person, you might have an entirely different burger.

      A fair point, but I reckon the fault still lies with the franchise. Why do so many of their employees seem to have a bad attitude? I'd wager the answer is low pay, poor training and horrible managers.

        As I mentioned I work in the fast food industry, you wager correctly.

          But it's not like they get the best and brightest employee's constructed burger for the promo material, there's a whole business of food styling. It's deliberately staged to look as delicious as possible, and I'd wager that you'd NEVER get one from the store that looks like in the picture. So it's deliberately misleading, because the truth looks far less appetising and often, quite frankly, gross.

        I have worked in fast food, and there is a squeeze from the top to cut costs constantly. I once had a manager take half the lettuce off a burger I was making, citing it was too much. Most of these products cost less than $1 in components for the company to make. Lettuce aside, the schnitzel is unfair. Most "meat" is reconstituted and precast in these type of "food" and probably easiest to pin on the company where the workers have no control over that portion size.

        The managers are horrible because they too are getting barely more than the workers and a hell of a lot more responsibility

      We go through these arguments every time. The articles are not to point out an individual teenager who does a bad job, but the inaccuracies in the corporate advertising and the discrepancy between the promised product and the delivered product.

      It doesn't really matter if they get a different burger next time, the poster is still clearly wrong.

      Fair point, but still, the size of the filling relative to the size of the burger is a serious issue here! Even the most competent staff member will have trouble making the product look like the promotional image unless only half the burger is filled!

    Is there any chicken on that, cause it's looking a little scarce for any chicken fillets..

      The patties are reasonably sized but the bun is extra large, which overshadows them.

        Ah right, fair enough! You think they would have patties to cover the size of the bun though =/

    I'd give this a 3 out of 10. 1 point for having chicken, 1 point for having a bun, 1 point for having cheese.

    well, we wouldn't want all that nasty red goop running down our fingers, now would we?

    My version looked a bit better than the one in the photos here but I was a little underwhelmed. It's fine but it's not amazing.

    I'm usually a big fan of KFC, but this one is a bit of a let down. I won't buy it again.

    Had one today in mudgee and can honestly say the burger looked pretty similar to the ad ( except not as much lettuce) and actually tasted fairly decent 7.5/10

    I enjoy these posts but would appreciate some review on how the burger actually tasted.

      3/10, wouldn't buy again.

      It didn't taste like the heart-numbingly delicious chicken KFC is known for. It tasted like someone had run a chicken through a blender, put some cheese and lettuce on top, then added parma sauce. Was edible and rather nice, but not KFC-level chicken.

      Will be going back to my popcorn chicken combo next week.

    I get what you guys are trying to do here, but honestly, you should probably at least use proper lighting and a sensible white balance.

      I don't think any amount of studio lighting and white-balance could save that poor parmy burger...

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