Judge Says Lawsuit Over 'Too Small' Whoppers Can Proceed

Suit claims Whoppers are lot more whopping in ads than they are in real life
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2022 2:02 AM CDT
Updated Aug 29, 2023 6:50 PM CDT
Burger King's Whoppers Aren't Whopping Enough: Lawsuit
This Feb. 1, 2018, photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in Punxsutawney, Pa.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
UPDATE Aug 29, 2023 6:50 PM CDT

A federal judge in Miami has decided that it should be up to jurors to determine "what reasonable people think" about Burger King's in-store ads for the Whopper. US District Judge Roy Altman rejected Burger King's attempt to dismiss a proposed class-action suit from consumers who said the photos on menu boards are inaccurate and the burgers are smaller than depicted, Reuters reports. The chain argued that it isn't required to serve burgers that look "exactly like the picture." The judge allowed breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims based on the menu photos to proceed, but rejected claims based on TV and online ads.

Apr 5, 2022 2:02 AM CDT

In advertisements, Burger King's food appears larger than it actually is when ordered by a customer at one of the fast-food chain's locations, a new lawsuit claims. The class-action suit accuses BK of misleading consumers since 2017, NBC News reports. Prior to that, according to the suit, the food appeared more realistically in ads. Since then, it claims, the size of almost all items on the menu is "materially overstated." The chain's signature sandwich, the Whopper, is 35% larger in ads than in real life, per the suit, with a whopping twice as much meat shown in ads than what is actually served.

The suit cites witnesses including food bloggers on YouTube and people on Twitter who have complained about the size of food items they've received at Burger King (see this example of a person holding a Big King sandwich in the palm of his hand or this example that uses a chicken nugget as a reference point for the size of a Whopper Melt). "Burger King's actions are especially concerning now that inflation, food, and meat prices are very high and many consumers, especially lower income consumers, are struggling financially," the suit states, per Law and Crime. The chain got in trouble in the UK for misleading ads in 2012, with a regulator ordering it to stop advertising burgers larger than the real thing. (More Burger King stories.)

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