Takeaway Truth: McDonald’s Angus ‘Big Tasty’ With Bacon

Takeaway Truth: McDonald’s Angus ‘Big Tasty’ With Bacon

Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: McDonald’s Angus Big Tasty With Bacon burger.

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 McDonald’s Angus burger has proved to be phenomenally popular, with new limited-edition variants helping to buoy customer interest every few months. The Big Tasty With Bacon is the latest addition to the Angus burger stable. It comes with a “100% Angus beef patty”, a rasher of bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, swiss-style cheese and a “char-grill inspired” sauce. According to the McDonald’s advertising blurb, it’s also sure to get your chair rocking (whatever that means).

Here’s what the McDonald’s Big Tasty With Bacon looks like on its Facebook page:

And here’s what we got served from Blaxland McDonald’s restaurant:

Against out expectations, the individual components of the Big Tasty aren’t too bad: the lettuce looked green and fresh for once and the beef patty was as thick and juicy as the advertisement. On the downside, the assembly of the burger was as rubbish as always.

We get that teenage employees don’t have the time or wherewithal to painstakingly recreate the poster image for every burger they make, but there’s no excuse for putting in such a sloppy effort either. With a tiny amount of care, this burger could have scored a lot higher. Tch.

    Truth Rating: 5/10

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


  • I don’t go to McDonald’s because of how the burgers look. I also don’t give a shit if it looks like this, as long as it doesn’t take 15 minutes to make, which it would if you princesses got your burger looking like the poster. Besides, we’ve all seen the stories about the effort that goes into making the poster food look like it does.

    • Why is it that with all these Takeaway Truth articles, there’s always at least one chump who completely misses the point?

    • You’re an angry moron who gets pissed about burgers and enjoys receiving less than they paid for.

    • Sure, if that works for you, good on ya.
      By the same token, you probably don’t wrap up the presents for your kids on Christmas, because presentation is not important to you. But it might be important to them.

      Besides, it’s a light hearted article, a bit of fun, something to make you laugh.. why so serious ?

  • i would be interested to know if any of the ‘featured’ restaurants review these articles and have undertaken improvement programs because of them

  • I think that one looks excellent. All the components are true to the advertising image. Everything looks reasonably fresh. Deducting points for assembly is absurd. The image is a reasonably accurate representation of the components of the meal, not the appearance.

    • I respectfully disagree, bob. Presentation is a crucial aspect of food service, whether it’s fast food or a fancy restaurant. If you slap the components together with zero care or effort it significantly diminishes the appeal of the dish.

      • Plus the burger itself was a miniature (to my experience). I pretty much finished it in two bites.

      • Exactly. I’ve heard Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and even Ian ‘Hewie’ Hewitson say you ‘eat with your eyes’. Even before food gets in your mouth, you have decided psychologically whether you will truly like it or not. It can taste magnificent, but there will be that part of you that says ‘UGH it looks FERAL!’

      • this is the first time i have been truly startled by silliness. Its almost the ultimate in first world problem, and i hate that expression. The picture above doesnt look half bad, all things considered, and compared to some I have seen in my years. There is a world of difference being served up a plate of food in a restaurant and food being made on a ‘conveyor belt’. Thats then wrapped by a second person. Then thrown down a stainless steel tray. Then package in a bag (with potentially other items) then in this case taken to another place and photographed.

        Not to mentioned you seem to avoid the fundamental issue how photo shoots are done. Whether it is for food or models. They are all about tricks and manipulation. Smoke and mirrors. whether it is through light or photoshop. You are trying to compete with an ideal.

        Then there is the whole thing about who is actually making/packing your meal. Normally some poor teen has has spent many hours being yelled at by rude adults and not to mention their boss for not working fast enough. Not serving enough customers and missing quotas. IF you dont understand why that plays a bearing perhaps you have never worked in one.

        • It’s silly to expect food I pay for to have a passing resemblance to the advertisement used to part me from my money? As I’ve said countless times before, the point of these articles isn’t to reveal that fast food adverts are deceptive, but rather, how deceptive they are. They’re all dishonest, but some are worse than others.

      • I don’t think the assembly looks too bad. A little lopsided and a little short on lettuce, but I would have given it a six or seven overall.

    • So you’d be ok if they’d given you a burger with the patty outside the bun and the salad just strewn around the box, because it’s the components that matter, not the assembly?

    • Hallelujah Bob. I agree 100%. This is easily a 8/10. Context matters. You’re not judging a $50 meal.

      • Doesn’t matter if it’s a $50 meal or a $5 meal; price is irrelevant. The same principle of advertising accuracy applies.

    • Yeah, just like deducting points for a disassembled Lego set in a Lego-making competition at the Lego fair is ridiculous.

  • I don’t bother reading these articles anymore as I can predict the usual result; advertised product looks fabulous, actual product looks like warm dog sick.

    • And yet you bothered to leave a comment… so you’re comment is moot, as is your point

      • I didn’t read the article, just commented on it, so my point (and my comment) isn’t moot, it’s clearly a legitimate comment about the repeated nature of these articles and the usual result. Learn some logic and clear thinking. Was I wrong this time? DId the actual product not look like warm dog sick? Clearly you aren’t the real Bill Gates, as he has better things to do with his time….

  • I had this for the first time last night, and found it rather terrible — the flavour was very unbalanced and it kept falling apart and the cheese tasted like cardboard so it was probably that light crap. For an $8 burger, I expected so much more… it reminded me why the only stuff I eat from McDonald’s is from their breakfast menu.

  • What would make this series a lot better is, if the reviewer was able to have a go at assembling the burger to see how they would do it. Given the same ingredients within the same bounds of the restaurant.

    • I suspect your idea is just to open the reviewer up to ridicule, in a ‘told you so’ scenario, but it did make me think it would be fun to watch them assemble a burger ala Total Wipeout style, with a 10 ft burger, wearing large floppy Ronald McDonald shoes…

      • No it wasn’t to open it to ridicule, more that he is judging how well the burger is made, so I am interested in what the best case scenario would be, using the same ingredients available to the person making them. It’s obvious it’s never going to look like the promo picture (and , which is totally fine, but I think it is unfair as a comparison (this is fast food) to compare solely on the ad picture.

  • Besides looking like crap I actually bought one of these burgers a couple of weeks ago and usually, as disgusting as it is, I find the smell of take aways even from maccas to be awesome, this had the smell of a dirty ashtray coming off it. took one bite and binned it.

    I’m not some prude when it comes to a little junk food and would never usually throw out a burger but this is easily the worst tasting burger I’ve eaten from either of the big chains and eaten most of them over the years lol

  • I would have taken it back to the counter and asked for another one.
    I ‘m sorry that is just a piss poor customer service. If I can make a burger at home that looks exactly like the one in the picture I don’t see a burger flipper having an adequate excuse not to be able to do the same especially since he/she has all the components pre-prepared for them. All they have to do is assemble it . Bad day or otherwise, take some pride in your work. Or piss off and let some one else have the job.

  • Still looks better than the blah they sell you at Hungry Jacks.
    Brought to you by Carl’s jr

  • Hey! I ordered one with bacon aswell and got no bacon, it must be a thing!

    I very rarely go to McDonalds, and try to avoid the main fast food places altogether, you just can’t trust a bunch of 10 year olds to do things right, whether it’s product assembly or workplace hygiene procedures.
    Oporto are the elite, except you have to wait half an hour for your order. However I feel 100% cheated when the chips have almost no trace of the salt/seasoning, as that is literally their meal ticket.
    The Hungry Jacks’ here are ok but sit 3rd under KFC on my proverbial list.

  • As someone that actually works at Maccas, I’m not going to lie the assembly of the burger is pretty piss poor effort.

    There’s procedures in place to make sure that shit don’t happen but unfortunately 80% of Maccas employees think the job as something that doesn’t matter and its just a chance to get some pocket money.

  • I had one of these a few years ago in Denmark. It was so good, I aptly renamed it the ‘Big Sexy Burger’……………somehow, the Australian version of the Big Sexy is more like a Medium Disappointment…..

  • I do question sometimes if this is actually how the burgers look on arrival, given that the photo in this case is clearly not happening directly from the box (i.e. some components may have shifted in transit or unpacking and placing on a blank surface).

    Either way, I will still stick with a quarter pounder any day of the week over these alternative designs.

  • I’d like to see this done one some food malls – in Thailand. They show pictures of food dishes, so us foreigners can just point at what we’d like.
    The original photos aren’t as fancy as the Maccas one above – but the the resemblance to what you get is amazing.

  • The food artist who made that poor excuse for a visual feast need to have a look how his American counterparts perform. Not to mention… is that shredded lettuce? sigh.

    The simplest test is to place the American burger on a plate with that shredded lettuce horror next to it and see which one people prefer, clever Angus marketing or not.

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