Deceived by the looks

September 3, 2014

Yesterday I had breakfast at a well-known fast food restaurant*.

I think that you will know which one I mean – its sign is yellow (golden, actually). And while waiting for my order to come through I looked at the illustration on the counter of what I’d just paid for. It was big, cheery, nicely-coloured. But the thing that struck me was how plump everything looked, and how each layer was perfectly balanced on the layer below – building up to a tall, juicy, appetising meal.

You know what’s coming next. Yep, when my order arrived I took it a table and unwrapped it. The bottom half of the bun was clearly not the partner of the top half – way too small – and the middle layers, not plump and juicy like the pictures, had been squished together, and starting to slide apart in opposite directions. I picked it up to eat and, instead of taking a bite, all I did was manage to explode the whole thing into squidgy breakfast parts all over the tray.

Seems I’m not the only one. In the New Zealand Herald recently was this article. This time the meal was in a popular chicken restaurant. Again, the image on the advert failed to match up to what arrived with the order.

It’s something we’ve all experienced.

How can fast food restaurants get away with this? Imagine if you see a pair of running shoes on tv and think, ‘I’d like a pair of those’ and then go to the sports store to buy some. Instead of them being brightly-coloured and with nice laces they were scruffy, a bit creased and the soles were not glued on properly. Or you booked a holiday after seeing glamorous pictured and, hoping for a clean swimming pool, you turn up and there was something far worse lurking in the water…

Surely if these places put pretty pictures of their food on the adverts or at the counter, what turns up needs to match. We like the food, and we know that it arrives quickly, it’s hot and tasty, but a little more care in the presentation, please.

The Kiwi Kids Vids site has a couple of videos which also look at this issue. Check them out today….
How do they make those burgers look so good
Fast Food ads v reality – EXPERIMENT

*I finished my breakfast. I enjoyed it. Remember that too much fast food isn’t good for you, and that it’s best to have a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and veggies.

Article written by Ben Egerton

[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box] 

[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:

1. Why do pictures of the food differ from what often is served?

2. How are products – not just food – made to seem more appealing to us?


[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:

1. Go through magazines, flyers, newspapers or adverts and cut out and make a collage or collection of food. Look at the ways that the food is made to look, or the ways in which it is served. How realistic are these pictures? What have photographers or advertisers done to make the food more tasty or to get us to buy it?

2. Cook a meal or choose a food item (it could be something unpopular like sprouts or broccoli) and create an advertising campaign that will convince people to eat/buy your food. Don’t necessarily concentrate on the health benefits, but instead think about how that particular food will be a good lifestyle choice. Your advertisements could include posters and a tv advert.

[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say:
[socialpoll id=”2219167″]





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Chief Editor

About Chief Editor

My name is Shem Banbury. I am the owner and Chief Editor of Kiwi Kids News. By day I am a school teacher and by night a wannabe triathlete.

Comments are closed.


The meat in the burgers at McD's is made of cow tongue and veins. If you don't believe me, next time you get McDonalds, takes a bit of the burger and put it under the tap. The brown on the burger completely washes off, it is just colouring. It isn't meat at all.


That is so annoying it happened to me as well.


well the taste is a bit more inportint than the look


yea its annoying because you really want something yummy to fill your appetite but instead you get a gross squished burger!


yuck that is just so discusting


that has happened to me a number of times and sometimes it isn't pretty especialy in NZ


I agree with you whoever wrote this article its not fair! 🙁


Stupid restaurant they never know how to stack it properly. I hate it when that happens!


Chicken nuggets are like my family


They always look so good but when you buy it to eat it it taste's horrible.