Burger King must answer to claim that Whopper appears bigger on menu than in reality

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A U.S. judge has ruled that Burger King must face a lawsuit from plaintiffs who claim its Whopper burger appears larger on menus than it does in reality.

U.S. District Judge Roy Altman said it should be left up to jurors to decide whether burgers made by the chain that’s owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc.
QSR,
+1.37%
look “exactly like the picture.”

The suit was brought by four plaintiffs, Walter Coleman, Marco DiLeonardo, Matthew Fox and Madelyn Salzman and filed in federal court in Florida in March. It alleges that Burger King began to “materially overstate the size of its burgers in its advertisements in 2017.”

“Burger King advertises its burgers as large burgers compared to competitors and containing oversized meat patties and ingredients that overflow over the bun to make it appear that the burgers are approximately 35% larger in size, and contain more than double the meat than the actual burger,” according to the complaint.

Meanwhile, “the recipe or the amount of beef or ingredients contained in Burger King’s Whopper has never changed,” the suit alleges.

A Burger King spokesperson responded with this statement:

“The plaintiffs’ claims are false. The flame-grilled beef patties portrayed in our advertising are the same patties used in the millions of Whopper sandwiches we serve to Guests nationwide,” the spokesperson said.

The advertising is troubling coming at a time of high inflation, according to the suit.

“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,” it says.

Burger King is overstating the size of nearly every menu item in its current ads, the suit continues, including the Big King, Single Quarter Pound King, Back King and Double and Triple Whopper, among others.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified monetary damages and an order to “correct the deceptive behavior” or cease selling the items.

Other fast-food chains, including Yum Brands Inc.’s
YUM,
+0.18%
Taco Bell, McDonald’s Corp.
MCD,
-0.02%
and Wendy’s Co.
WEN,
+0.39%,
have faced similar suits regarding marketing materials for their burgers.

The Burger King False Ad Class Action Lawsuit is Walter Coleman et al., v. Burger King Corporation, Case No. 1:22-cv-20925, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Restaurant Brands’ stock was up 0.8% Wednesday and has gained 7% in the year to date, while the S&P 500
SPX
has gained 17%.

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