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
"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
"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
"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
"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.