Takeaway Truth: Domino's 'Chef's Best' Pizza Photo Comparision

Takeaway Truth is a new occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: Domino's controversial 'Chef's Best' pizzas. Are they dishing out the takeaway truth or a fast food fallacy? Read on to find out.

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.

To kick things off, we've gone with one of Domino's "game changing" Chef's Best pizzas: Camembert & Cheese. According to Domino's, the Chef's Best range is its biggest pizza innovation in twenty years, so the company is on thin ice right from the get-go.

On the left is the promotional image for the pizza. On the right is what showed up on our doorstep.

As you can see, the likeness actually isn't too shabby in this instance. The cheese slices are a bit smaller and there's definitely less topping around the edges, but otherwise this is a pretty accurate depiction. (The slightly unappetising colour is due to low lighting, incidentally.)

    Truth Rating: 8/10

Next week on Takeaway Truth: The KFC Grilled Taster Box.


    this is cool - but please make the effort to take decent pictures of the "actuals" - it's the most important part of the article!

      Make sure they're to scale too please!


        Good point, but the promo image doesn't have a person in it, or anything else that could be used to judge scale.

      Pretty much what I was thinking. As a "professional" journalist in an era when you can get a full DSLR kit for under $500 there's no excuse for crappy 'camera-phone' shots.

        Awesome, Chris should be eagerly awaiting the present you've bought him with that $500 that was just weighing your wallet down anyway

      I agree. Set up some lights around that bad boy and do it some justice!

    McDonald's would score about a 1/10 - based on my experience. When are they due for a bit of takeaway truth?

    This is so true. Chris, we like you and all, and get that your a newbie here at Lifehacker -- but for the love of all that is HOLY --- please refrain from using shitty iphone images, (use a DSLR) and instead of comparing one, compare at least six to make things interesting. Different recipes will be interpreted differently. And then choose 2 different stores, otherwise you are completely MISSING the point mate.
    Finally, try and provide some added analysis. One pizza pic and three lines of description qualifies as as 'feature' now? No, I'm sorry, this is not a feature.

      Thanks for the feedback. I actually used a Canon Ixus 220 HS compact camera to take the photo. I could have used a DSLR, professional lighting and maybe touched it up in Photoshop -- but wouldn't that defeat the purpose somewhat?

      As to the word length, the premise of the article is clearly picture based, but I'm happy to waffle on in future segments. :-)

      P.S. -- You want me to eat SIX of these things? My commitment to the job only goes so far!

        You don't need to retouch it. But some lighting and a good photo is a pretty good idea. Otherwise you just can't compare them accurately, because good lighting will always make the promo image look better.

        Why would you retouch it? Irrelevant.

        You don't need to eat them all. Just buy them and photograph them. Or buy 6 at lunchtime and then feed the people in your office to avoid wastage.

    Really need to go out to several different restaurants to do thius properly.

    I've found the quality of food changes drastically from suburb to suburb and even time of day can make a significant difference.

    One photo of one pizza isn't really "the truth".

      Major fast food franchises are pretty uniform when it comes to ingredients and cooking methods -- that's what makes them a franchise. With the possible exception of food temperature, I can't say I've ever noticed a difference between stores.

        I most definetly have.

        I work in the CBD but live out in the northern most part of Brisbane.
        Out in the 'burbs I find the chicken in KFC to taste more fresh (as fresh as KFC gets) and the pizzas to be overall better.

        In the CBD I find that if you're not lucky enough to be there when it was cooked then you will be served old food that has sat in a hotbox for who knows how long. This of course can happen anywhere but I find it more common in the CBD where they need to have a lot of food prepared for busy times.
        Out in the 'burbs they are more likely to cook it after you order as there is just less of a rush in general.

        That said, yes, the difference isn't major but it can make all the difference imh(long-winded)o.

        Still keen on the idea of this article, keep up the good work ;-)

          Well according to KFC, their chicken is meant to sit for around 10-15 minutes before it sold to a customer.

            Is that why sometimes it's so hot I burn the roof of my mouth? :-P

              I've never experienced that with KFC lol. It's always been hot but not scolding burn the roof of your mouth lol. But I never bothered with the chicken pieces until recently when they switched to a sunflower oil to cook in lol.

                I'm a burger guy myself. But my wife, MY WIFE!

                  She digs the chicken pieces, does she? I prefer the wraps. They need to bring back the rippa sub, that thing was awesome.

                  @Virus__ Rippa Sub is Red Rootener & it's still available as far as I know!

                  You're right. I forget what KFC had but it was awesome. It was a promotional thing for the cricket though, and it hasn't been back since like 2009.

                  @Virus__ Nothing can ever beat the pure awesomeness of a Bacon & Cheese Zinger Burger for me NOTHIIING!!!

                  You ever try the double? Chicken, bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, chicken. So good.

                  @Virus__ I did, took me down. I went out bought a double, devoured it, came home and passed out on the couch. Tasted good, but never again!

    But more importantly, how did it actually taste?

      It was actually pretty damn tasty (especially for Domino's!)

    Great idea, but yeah, I agree that there's alot of room for more substance in the article. Looking forward to the future ones!

    Ummm I think one of us needs to get their eyes checked because to me, one of these things is not at all like the other.

    Home made pizza's FTW!!!! Or the occasional Pizza Capers.

    All you people don't get it. Chris is life hacking here. He's getting his job done (writing articles) during his lunch break. The company is also probably paying the expenses for his research

    I gotta say I'm a little confused about this kind of article. I mean it's interesting to see the comparison and expose the truth, but at the same time it can't be revelatory - especially for those who know the incredible efforts advertisement and promotions agencies go to in order to get the food to look so perfect.

    Basically I'd be surprised to see any take-out food looking remotely as similar to their touched up advertisements; unless maybe we're comparing the local charcoal chicken.

      The point of these articles is to expose the extent of deception -- some touching up is expected, but sometimes the advertisement looks like completely different food.

    Hell's Pizza. The most delicious tasting pizza ever, always sourced from local ingredients and looks like it was the one they used in the adverts. If only Aus had more than one :P I've never been to any other pizza takeaway since I first had hell's.

    our dominos is freaking awesome, i think your store just sucks butts

    Definitely not a masterchef critique.. Beyond appearances, the taste of the pizzas and comparing different franchise locations, as well as times of the businesses open hours make a difference. I've had terrible pizzas from a certain food chain delivered just before closing. You can really tell they just wanted the $$ and close shop rather than focus on making the pizza a circle, let alone lay the toppings on straight for a consistent crust around the edges. All depends on whose making the particular pizza! Just like going to Medicare, I try to avoid certain employees there when I need to make a claim because i know of they will give me crappy customer service! Not all franchises are equal!!! On another note, my wife doesn't mind pizza but she throws up after eating specifically dominos pizza. No logical reason why.. Funny enough she met another random person whod do the same after eating dominos!

    Maybe Lifehacker HQ could feed the staff once every couple weeks (being sure to grab photos before the takeaway is inhaled by ravenous reporters), thereby getting a larger sample size, more detailed discussion and varied opinions, and even improving office morale.

    I like the idea behind this feature, but if you're gonna do it you may as well leverage the opportunity!

    Doing a comparison of the comparison-
    The promo pizzas would have taken 3 hours to meticulously construct by a chef, 1 hour of professional photography in a light box with a $6,000 Canon 1D then touched up with something like Adobe Lightroom.
    The actual pizza would have taken 38 seconds to throw together by a uni student on minimum wage, 1 minute of Chris's time to take the photo with a $200 Canon IXUS 220 and no touching up.
    Verdict, it's not a game changer but I would probably eat the non promo pizza.

    did you take this photo with your iPhone? Sheesh..

    I actually just ordered 5 different chef's selections for the office here after viewing this page. I have to say they looked FAR better than yours, toppings right to the edge etc. Unfortunately I couldn't get photos as you can't stop a ravenous horde when pizza bozes are opened. I will say though People liked the chicken and cranberry and the duck and blue cheese best.. the lamb one and the pork one maybe least. I didn't get the chicken and camembert or the vege one.

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