Takeaway Truth: Grill’d Crispy Bacon And Cheese Burger

Takeaway Truth: Grill’d Crispy Bacon And Cheese Burger

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.

[related title=”More Takeaway Truth” tag=”takeaway-truth” items=”4″]

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:

Takeaway Truth: Grill’d Crispy Bacon And Cheese Burger

Finally, here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Takeaway Truth: Grill’d Crispy Bacon And Cheese Burger

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.


      • You could quite easily just slide the stuff back into order there and it’d nearly exactly match the photo. They obviously don’t touch up their photos much. Yet their food looks fantastic still.

    • Eh. It’s pretty sloppily put together for sure. Also, it looks like the buns are not the same size as the ones in the photo, and I can’t even see the beef pattie in the real thing (but maybe that’s just the angle). I think 9/10 is being very generous, I’d rate it more like a 7.5 or 8.

      • However, are the ingredients representitive of what is actually in there and not exaggerated? Is the lettuce the same colour, is the sauce the same? Is the meat not exaggerated and is the size not exaggerated? All are a resounding yes. You can, as I said, push them slightly back together and they match the photo, that’s probably why it lost the 1 point.

        • I can’t even see the beef pattie in the real photo. And as I said, the buns look a different size to me, especially the top bun. Also, the bacon has not been cooked the same way…you can see in the poster, the bacon has been grilled possibly over a flame as you can see the lines across it. The bacon in the real photo just looks like it’s been cooked on a hotplate. It’s not even the same colour.

  • The crispy bacon and cheese is $11.50 in Melbourne. I’ve had a couple that were basically picture perfect.

  • I must say I do enjoy grill’d, I do find it to be a bit pricy but I like that the burger feels like it’s more up-market and fresher than that of a McDonald’s burger. Also I do find their burgers quite filling, I’d say the rating is very reasonable, I have had some burgers from there look like this but in busy periods I guess they are more rushing to tend to peoples orders, but I have had some very well put together burgers from here.

  • Grill’d and Schnitz are by far my favourite fast food chains out today. Many of their dine in restaurants offer a restaurant-like experience at around half the price, with much higher quality food than the big gun chains like mcdonald’s.

    I feel like I’m getting a proper, unadulterated meal, which is exactly what I want.

    • I used to work at Pizza Capers, I would pay 18 dollars per pizza, my mates would pay 6 – 7 at Pizza Hut. They would tease me etc, but when we ate side by side, my Meat Eaters with bbq and hollandaise, would always draw jealous looks from them. I have zero problems with paying a higher price for a quality food.

      • Too true. In recent years Dominos, Pizza Hut and Eagle Boys seem to have been in a three-way race to the bottom on quality *and* price. This is a pity, as Eagle Boys seemed to be bucking the trend for a while.

        I remember as a kid when we went to Pizza Hut and the Pepperoni pizzas were actually covered with pepperoni with no base peeking through. Now you’re lucky to see one slice of pepperoni per slice of pizza.

        The Eagle Boys DoubleTop seems to get the amount of toppings about right sometimes, but half the time if I get a DoubleTop I can hardly distinguish it from the regular version.

        It doesn’t help that the Gluten Free options aren’t; we ordered some GF pizzas from Crust last week and they triggered my brother’s coeliac response…

  • I’ve eaten at Grill’d 3 times in my life, and with friends, and each time our burgers come out neatly assembled – just like in the posters. Then again, we’ve never ordered one with strips of bacon. A 9/10 is pretty spot on.
    Would have been helpful to comment on the taste since not many people would have had grill’d before (and we all know what the other chain’s offerings taste like).

  • Wow at least a lot of the other burgers had the excuse of having been packaged up and transported

  • I bought the wIld west burger in Perth yesterday, Was $15, sure it was a good burger, but I feel we are being ripped off. didnt look too much different to that one.

  • I find Grill’d is always well made and not sloppy, you can actually hold the burger and not have half of it fall out.

    Wish there was a Grill’d and Nandos in Gladstone 🙁

  • OK, That is impressive. 9/10 for sure.
    Impressive enough that this will be my lunch on Monday.
    My first Grill’d coming up.

  • Have tried grill’d twice now, each different burgers everytime – last time was the garden goodness add bacon – best one so far!

  • Where I work, this is exactly why we put a skewer through our burgers. Keeps all ingredients in place while transporting from the pass to the table.

    • BTW Grill’d does put skewers in, its just in that picture someone has obviously taken it out so it looks ugly, that must of been a one of thing (if it did look like that). They’ve only been to grill’d once, i’ve been to grill’d thousands of times and my food comes out perfect, and looks nothing like the ugly burger!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grill’d does not look like that, that has obviously just been a one off thing because grill’d burgers always look top quality. But Mcdonalds has defiantly started copying Grill’d, which is copy-right. Mcdonalds needs to stop, because it is making people obese where as there are people starving in third-world countries.

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