Whopper lie? Food stylist on ‘misleading’ Burger King menu


The takeaway burger you buy from your local fast food restaurant will never look as good as the glossy photos tempting you to buy it, admits a top food stylist.

Burger King has landed in court in America over its marketing of the Whopper burger.

Central to the dispute is whether the chain’s in-store menu boards are so misleading in their depiction of the burger that it is a breach of contract.

Customers in the proposed class action claim Burger King portrayed its burgers with ingredients that overflow over the bun, making it look at least a third bigger than it is with more than double the meat.

Food stylist Fiona Hughes told Checkpoint that it was her job to “make [the food] look good”.

“We eat with our eyes, right? … The client wants them to feel hungry and go out and buy the burger because it’s about selling the food.”

As a part of her job, Hughes said she might paint a bit of oil on the patty to make it look “super juicy”.

“We go through and select the best-looking ones because again, it’s about what looks the greatest and then when it’s on camera we do little things like spritz the lettuce or put a little dew drop on the tomato slice.

Vegetarian burger (file picture).

“If it looks crappy, no one is going to buy the burger are they?”

But she said she did not use ingredients that customers would not actually get in a product.

“I honestly style things as it is, with the ingredients that are there – just make them look super good with little tricks.

“It just doesn’t look the same if you don’t use the product you’re actually selling.”

How much of each ingredient used is also down to a tee, Hughes said.

“Pretty much all of the shoots that I’ve been on, there is a percentage of lettuce, there is a percentage of cheese and a percentage of mayo or sauce that needs to be seen so [that] it is realistic to what the customer is actually buying.”

The difference was time spent on the burger itself, she said.

“It’s delivered to you fast.

“They don’t have the time to place the sesame seeds and … align the lettuce leaves and the patty like I do.”

When asked whether Hughes thought products looked better in photographs than in real life she said, “100%”.


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