Takeaway Truth is a regular Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: The Grill'd Crispy Bacon And Cheese burger.
Grill'd was recently voted best takeaway food chain by our readers in the 2014 Lifehacker Awards, beating out heavy-hitters like Subway and KFC. This made us realise something — we've never actually featured a Grill'd product in a Takeaway Truth article; an oversight that we will now rectify.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Grill'd is an American-style "burger joint" that specialises in fresh produce and healthy(ish) ingredients.
Like Nando's and Mad Mex, it attempts to provide a more upmarket experience than the typical fast food restaurant: patrons receive their meals on plates, the tables are made from polished wood and there's even a choice of alcoholic beverages.
It seems this is where the market is slowly heading, with everyone from McDonald's to Domino's rolling out premium products and services. But does this actually translate to better looking food? Or are the posters still completely misleading? Let's find out!
To put Grill'd under the Takeaway Truth microscope, we ordered one of its trademark burgers; the Crispy Bacon And Cheese. This comes with grilled grass-fed lean beef, crispy trim bacon, tasty cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, relish and herbed mayo. This works out to a total kilojoule count of 2300kJ; around the same as a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.
The Grill'd Crispy Bacon And Cheese costs $9.90 which is actually pretty reasonable: a premium burger from Hungry Jack's or McDonald's will typically set you back around $7 or $8. Sides are a lot pricier though, with a regular hot chips costing close to $5.
Without further ado, let's compare Grill'd's marketing image to the real thing. Here's what the Crispy Bacon And Cheese burger looks like on the Grill'd Facebook page:
And here's what we got served at a World Square outlet in Sydney:
Finally, here's a side-by-side comparison:
Looking at the above image, it's clear that Grill'd hasn't skimped on quality or quantity. From an ingredients perspective, the only glaring difference is the cheese slice which actually looks larger and thicker on the real burger (most customers will probably prefer this).
Everything else, from the herb mayo to the vibrantly green lettuce, is very similar to the poster. The size of the burger also appears to be accurate, which is exceedingly rare in fast food advertising.
Unfortunately, whoever put our burger together has let the Grill'd team down slightly. The ingredients are pretty poorly assembled in comparison to the poster: this caused bits of bacon and tomato to spill out of the side when we took a bite.
While we've certainly seen sloppier burgers on Takeaway Truth, we were expecting a bit more from an upmarket burger chain. With a little more finesse and care, this could have been the first perfect score in the history of this series. Nevertheless, it's still one of the most accurate fast food burgers we've seen. It would seem Lifehacker readers know what they're talking about when it comes to decent grub. Good job.
Truth Rating: 9/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.