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Fast Food Marketing - Misleading Much? (My review of the new Idaho Falls Carl's Jr.)

Yes, you heard right.  Idaho Falls now has a Carl's Jr.  What's exciting is they're already working on location #2, and #1 has only been open for about a month.

I grew up in Southern California, and Carl's Jr. was one of my favorite fast food chains.  Their burgers actually tasted like a burger, their toppings were always fresh, and their iced tea is one of the best.

So when I heard one was opening in IF, I was excited.  Now if only we could get a Chipotle, and a good Greek place....

I waited about a month before going there, to let the crowds die down and to let the new employees get into a rhythm.  Last night was my first visit, and I wasn't really impressed.

The drive thru speaker is already cracking like it's years old.  The person taking my order kept trying to cut me off (I had my girlfriend with me) and it took forever to go over the order 2/3/4 times before SHE felt comfortable she got it right...  The cash register at the drive thru was malfunctioning, so it took a while for her to take my payment, and then I didn't get a receipt.

But the best part?  The food.

Don't get me wrong, the food was fantastic and tasty as always.  What I'd like to complain about is not only a problem at this Carl's, but an issue at almost any fast food chain:  Presentation.

Look at the 'official' picture of a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, from the Carl's Jr. website.  This is similar to what you see on commercials from other burger places.  Big pieces, clean presentation.  Perfection.

Would you like to see what came in my wrapper?

Squished, drippy, and just plain sad-looking.

Granted, it all goes down the same, but I've been to enough good restaurants to appreciate the presentation of food.  I cook myself (from time to time) and I take pride in a good plating appearance.

Carl's?  Welcome to Idaho Falls.  It's good to have you here.  Now please stop sitting on my burger before giving it to me.  I'd like it to look like a burger before I eat it, not a glob of bunnish chaos.

Maybe if they put in a fraction of the effort used to photograph this food into making and packaging it, things would be better.  See how much goes into taking a photo of food like the one above?

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16 witty retorts:

Lady Estrogen said...

Eww! That looked like it's been stomped on.

Lil Dreamer said...

My guess is your burger was the culprit that was jamming up the cash register. It looks like it got slammed in the crack of the drawer jamb a couple times before it was handed over to you.

Melanie said...

The presentation is NEVER the same. Glad it tasted good though, 'cause it really wouldn't have been worth the effort. We recently just got Sonic to move into our area. They have been teasing and advertising for years. We too waited to check them out...they did a wee bit better in the presentation department...AND it is way better than anything else around here!

StephanieC said...

I actually thought "it looks like someone did a butt impression on the bun before 'wrapping' it up..." before reading your sitting comment.

I find fast food SO FRUSTRATING, I try to remind myself regularly, so I don't bother going.

Having said that, being a gluten-free vegetarian really limits drive-thru options...

But... yay to tasting good? Right?
(The burger, not me).

Random Girl said...

Wow, that is less than appetizing to say the least. Ick! I guess that's one way to stick to a diet. If everything I got from fast food looked like that, I would never touch it. Hope it improves for you...quickly!

Josie said...

I love Carl's Jr. as well, but some of their employees definitely leave something to be desired.

Fuck their special sauce.

G said...

I used to hang out with a guy who's day job was photographing'd never want to eat the burgers after he'd finished with them

klahanie said...

I hear you. Talk about misleading. I once went for a 'Happy Meal' at a certain well-known restaurant. Well, I didn't feel any happier! Can I sue the silly clown with the big shoes?

Mrs. Small Soldier said...

This has ALWAYS been a huge pet peeve of mine...if only the food could even almost look like the commercial or all the pictures hanging in the actual restaurant...but alas...I'm always disappointed.

The Frisky Virgin said...

Dang, what did they do to that poor burger?! I mean, really, how does that even happen without effort? Ugh.

D4 said...

But dude, if they worked at the presentation it wouldn't be fast anymore. It'd just be.. "food".

Mynx said...

Saw a doco on how they photgraph the fast food for the adds.
Seriously they resort to even doing things like making the buns smaller than usual to make the filing look larger.

You will never get a burger that looks like the photo.
They photoshop food just like they do models

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Bart said...

haha im blacked out a bit too, kinda. and damn those burgers look delicious. also thanks for that info, ive signed up for one of em

Adsila said...

I am currently losing weight on Weight Watches and Carl's Jr. has the most points in all their burgers than many of the other fast food places. I am sticking with my tasty but good foods.

goldenrubbers said...

I met a lady whos profession is to make fast food products look "pretty" on tv. She told me that the product shown on TV would be lethal to eat. It has toothpicks in order to hold the burger together, she paints part of the product to make it prettier. She told me a lot of details about, it was just wrong. Ironically she claims to have never tried eating fast food products ever since she got into that business.

Thank, Q said...

LOL! Your burger looks like a bloody bean bag. I wish food looked half as good in my hands as they do in the commercials. The food on the commercials are slammin' and then you get home, go in the bag and pull out a burger the size of a 50 cent piece.

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