One McBurger with lies, please: Fast-food firm”s own video reveals why items on the menu never look like what you are served
If you have ever ever queued for a McDonald’s burger drooling over the photos on the menu, you’ve probably wondered why your Big Mac never looks the same.
Well, the fast-food giant has taken a candid approach by revealing the secrets of how it makes its burgers look so much juicier, bigger and tastier in its adverts.
In a surprising move, McDonald’s has made public the laborious process called ‘food-styling’ in which its burgers are prepared for hours and put together with absolute precision so they look their best for photo shoots.
Reality check: A photo showing half a store bought McDonald”s burger and one created for advertising purposes
In a video posted on YouTube, the delicate process is shown as the ingredients are stacked, with the ketchup and mustard added using a syringe.
And, emphasising how different the beautifully presented burgers are to those bought in store, they are compared side-by-side with their less attractive counterparts.
In response to a customer’s question, aMcDonald’s marketing director went behind the scenes of a video shoot for its quarter pounder with cheese burger.
Sad: Experts take a photo of Hope”s pathetic looking burger
They add essential ingredients again so they are more visible from the outside
The video starts with Hope Bagozzi introducing the question from a customer named as Isabel M.
Miss Bagozzi said: ‘She asks, “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what’s in the store” It’s a great question, Isabel. We get asked that a lot.’
The ‘food styling’ takes place in a photography studio where each ingredient is carefully prepared. Miss Bagozzi tells viewers: ‘That burger [made in a normal McDonald’s] was made in about a minute or so. The process we go through on the average shoot takes several hours.
‘I think that it’s important to note that all the ingredients are the exact same ingredients that we use in the restaurant. So it is the exact same patty, it’s the exact same ketchup, mustard and onions, and same buns.’
Tools: Cheese is made to look like it”s melting with a hot iron
Syringe: Blobs of ketchup are syringed onto the patty so they can be seen from the outside
The video shows how each ingredient iscarefully put into place, with the onions, pickles and sauces placed atthe edge of the bun so they can seen.
A McDonald’s food stylist explains: ‘This way we can at least tell people you have ketchup, you have mustard, you have two pieces of cheese and you know what you’re getting.’
After the ingredients are in place, the cheese is gently melted using a heated palette knife. A computer is used to add the finishing touches.
Unrecognisable: The finished burger looks completely different
Mmmm: Hope holds a floppy burger up to the camera and says “it looks good”
Perfectionist: Noah uses all the same ingredients as the restaurant but with a little more due care and attention
When the photographs of the burger made in the restaurant and the one made in the studio are placed side-by-side, the differences are obvious.
‘Here you can definitely see that there is a size difference,’ says Miss Bagozzi.
‘The boxes that ourburgers come in keep the sandwiches warm which creates a bit of a steamand it does make the bun contract.
‘And the main difference is that we took all the ingredients that are normally hidden under the bun and we pulled them to the foreground so that you can see them.”
Nearly finished: Hope meets an IT expert who will put the finishing touches on the burger
A little help from Photoshop: Any residual imperfections are ironed out by computer software