When most foreigners outside the United States picture America, some of the most common things which come to mind include the wild west, pickup trucks, guns, and of course, fast food hamburgers and fries. Indeed, since the 1950s, fast food corporations have completely altered the way Americans consume food, and in most instances these changes have not been for the better. One of the more prominent fast food giants in the United States is Burger King, home of signature “flame-broiled” fast-food burgers. The chain is the second-largest fast-food burger restaurant in the world; its first location opened in Jacksonville, Florida in 1953. Today, the King has over 17,000 locations worldwide. While it is a popular establishment with a storied history, things have been far from royal in recent times for the company, as it finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit over its signature burger, the Whopper.
A proposed class action lawsuit claims that Burger King has been tricking consumers, advertising burgers to appear larger in posters and video ads than they actually are. The lawsuit alleges that the King actually crafts its Whopper sandwiches 35% smaller than marketed. The size disparity is supposedly the product of burger toppings like lettuce, tomato, or onions appearing at a much larger size than how they are normally served. According to Reuters, the corporation tried to have the suit dismissed, arguing that it doesent have to sell burgers that always meet the exact specifications of advertisements, but a judge rejected the argument, leaving the decision making to a jury. Burger King is not the only fast food company to be sued over “portion misinformation”. In 2022, McDonalds and Wendy’s both faced suits over similar circumstances, as did Taco Bell.
The legal battle comes at a rough time for Burger King. In May of this year, CEO Josh Kozba announced that the company would close over 400 stores. The proposed closings are a historic high.