Takeaway Truth Special: Battle Of The Breakfasts!

Takeaway Truth Special: Battle Of The Breakfasts!

Takeaway Truth is a regular Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images to what you actually get served. On today’s menu: McDonald’s Sausage & Egg McMuffin, McDonald’s Hot Cakes, Hungry Jack’s Sausage & Egg Muffin, Hungry Jack’s Pancakes and Subway’s Shortcut Bacon, Poached Egg and Cheese breakfast sub.

Takeaway Truth has been sticking the boot into dishonest fast food advertising for well over a year now. In all that time, we’ve never featured anything from the major franchises’ breakfast menus. We felt it was time we rectified this — in a single swoop.

Below you’ll find split-screen comparisons of the McDonald’s Sausage & Egg McMuffin, McDonald’s Hot Cakes, Hungry Jack’s Sausage & Egg Muffin, Hungry Jack’s Pancakes and Subway’s Shortcut Bacon, Poached Egg and Cheese breakfast sub. The meals were procured from Circular Quay, Circular Quay train station and Blaxland, respectively.

Scroll down to see how each menu item compares to the advert. Some of ’em ain’t pretty.

McDonald’s Sausage & Egg McMuffin

“A hard-hitting combo of egg, a beef sausage patty and melting slice of cheese on a classic English muffin. Served warm and tasty.”

Verdict: It would seem that McDonald’s sloppy burger making practices have also infected the breakkie staff. Our McMuffin was a hastily slapped together mishmash of mutant-looking bread. A lazy effort. 5/10

McDonald’s Hot Cakes

Takeaway Truth Special: Battle Of The Breakfasts!

“Start your day the McDonald’s® way, with the great feeling of pouring sweet syrup over melting whipped butter, watching while it seeps between the layers of fluffy, warm hotcakes. Soft, sweet and delicious breakfast.”

Verdict: This is a lot better than we were expecting. The syrup is an unappetising runny brown, but otherwise this isn’t hugely different from the poster. Hurrah! 8/10

Hungry Jack’s Sausage & Egg Muffin

Takeaway Truth Special: Battle Of The Breakfasts!

“Tempt yourself out of bed with this classic combination. Flame grilled sausage, a freshly cracked egg and cheese on a warm toasted muffin.”

Verdict: The bread is faithful to the advertisement, which is more than can be said for McDonald’s version. Unfortunately, the aesthetics are let down by that gross blanket of semi-congealed canary goo. We don’t expect the store to miraculously halt the melting-point of cheese, but would it kill them to at least place it in the middle of the muffin? 6/10

Hungry Jack’s Pancakes

Takeaway Truth Special: Battle Of The Breakfasts!

“Good morning, morning, morning. Three fluffy golden-brown pancakes that sit up and say eat me, dripping in a sweet Maple syrup.”

Verdict: Oh dear. Is it just us, or do the pancakes on the left bear almost no resemblance to the pancakes on the right? We’re particularly unimpressed by the peppering of unsightly holes. Also, the advertising blurb says “Maple syrup”, whereas the packaging says “Maple flavoured syrup.” Hmmm. 4/10

Subway Shortcut Bacon, Poached Egg and Cheese

Takeaway Truth Special: Battle Of The Breakfasts!

“Have a Good Morning at Subway® Restaurants with a Shortcut Bacon, Poached Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sub. Add NEW Baby Spinach and start your day a better way!”

Verdict: I feel it’s worth noting that I specifically asked the “sandwich artist” to make my sub look like the one on the poster. And yet, this is what she saw fit to serve me. Tch. Bullshit artist, more like. 3/10

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


  • Hmmm. As someone who eats way too many sausage and egg muffins, I can honestly say I’ve never been served anything as sloppily put together as what you have pictured here. The ones I purchase are invariably almost exactly like the promotional picture. About the only thing at Maccas that is. Maybe your local McDonald’s is wise to your takeaway truth article and the staff are competing to give you the crappiest looking food they can.

    • I’d say the same thing. The Subway one looks like it had been run over or used as a club…sandwich (Couldn’t help myself :P)

      I’ve had a few off centre cheese situations though. Sucks when the cheese melts then a cold part ends up in the packet, alone and not in my Muffin. Gross.

    • Although it is a rarity I have on several occasions received food looking like that but as I said it’s not the norm. Once got a fillet o fish where the cheese was mostly off the burger but it was enough for it to glue the burger to the box.

  • I really rarely eat take-away, but I’ve been enjoying the ‘Takeaway Truth’ line of articles. I think I just like seeing people and companies held to account, even for things as relatively minor as the disparity between advertising and product in takeaway food.

  • I can honestly say I’ve never received a sub at subway, breakfast sub or otherwise, that looks like that.

    • Yeah where are you going, You seem to find the worst assembled food from all of these places, sure some of them are bad, but you seem to get horrible stuff all the time, are you deliberetly jerks to the people at the counter ? 😛

  • Surprising I’m actually having a Sausage McMuffin and Hash Brown while reading this article. It was also bought from Circular Quay Maccas too!
    Mine wasn’t as bad as your one but still no where near the advertised photo.
    I’m not complaining because it’s only cost me $3 and it included the hash brown! 🙂

  • Why on earth are you covering this topic? Its like asking which used toilet bowl we should drink from. I just don’t get it.

    It’s illegal to kill people, except if you do it slowly, with fake food 🙁

  • I think that if these companys cant produce a product that looks anything like what they advertise, then they should be fined, im talking about some ACCC guy going into the place and asking for the burger or whatever from the picture, and given as much time as they need, if they cant make somthing close to the image, slap them with a fine and make them pull the advertising

  • This stuff isn’t breakfast, it isn’t even real food. Apart from the tiny amounts of egg, and lettuce in the roll, the rest has no nutritional value.

    Why would anyone want to eat this crap at any time?

  • lol, what happened to your subway? The Subway near me actually makes the sandwiches pretty nice.

  • Hey Chris are you sure the subway person didn’t SIT ON your breakfast sub by any chance? because that’s what it looks like.

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