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Where's the beef? McDonald's, Wendy's are sued over burger sizes

Stock Markets May 18, 2022 03:16PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The McDonald's logo is seen outside the fast-food chain McDonald's in New York, U.S., October 22, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton 2/2

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Justin Chimienti thought the Big Mac he bought at McDonald's and the Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger he bought at Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) would be as big and juicy as advertised.

He says they were not, and now he is suing the fast-food chains.

Chimienti sued McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) and Wendy's Co on Tuesday, accusing them of defrauding customers with ads that make burgers appear larger than they actually are.

The proposed class action filed in Brooklyn federal court is similar to a lawsuit filed in March, by the same three law firms, against Burger King Corp in Miami.

Chimienti said McDonald's and Wendy's use undercooked beef patties in ads, making the patties appear 15% to 20% larger than what customers get.

The complaint said meat shrinks 25% when cooked, and quoted a food stylist who said she has worked for McDonald's and Wendy's and prefers using undercooked patties because fully-cooked burgers look "less appetizing."

Chimienti, who lives in Suffolk County, said both chains "materially" overstate burger sizes, while Wendy's also inflates the amount of toppings.

"Defendants' 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 complaint said.

McDonald's and Wendy's did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Chimienti had no immediate additional comment.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for alleged breaches of contract since May 2016 and violations of consumer protection laws nationwide.

In an April 28 conference call with analysts, McDonald's Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said lower-income consumers probably faced "increased value sensitivity" as rents and gas prices rise.

Meanwhile, Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor told analysts on May 11 that "inflation is being noticed by the consumers."

Burger King, part of Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR) Inc, has yet to formally respond to the Miami lawsuit.

The case is Chimienti v Wendy's International LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 22-02880.

Where's the beef? McDonald's, Wendy's are sued over burger sizes
 

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Comments (9)
Todd Gray
Todd Gray May 19, 2022 3:30PM ET
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Why doesn't inversion.com simply ban everyone who writes anything and everything they don't want anyone to read?
Todd Gray
Todd Gray May 19, 2022 3:27PM ET
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I think the McD hamburgers & Big Mac patties are the same size they've been for a very long time. On the other hand, the federal government has been letting big corporate advertisers get away with massive amounts of fraud and deception for a very long time. I don't know why they took to time to create advertising laws in the first place. Why are we paying them to create useless laws they don't enforce? And, in whatever department handles the complaints, it's probably a few people sitting around chuckling at all the email complaints they get, and  thinking to themselves, too bad & so what! Of the people, for the government and the government's contributors, is what we get now.
Options Trader
Options Trader May 18, 2022 11:25PM ET
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The ironic part…this lawsuit just perpetuates inflation.
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson May 18, 2022 3:51PM ET
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I'm really glad this app published the story. I could not live without knowing that someone is so angry at MCD for using large patties in its promos that he wants to spend the next 2 years of his life suing them. Hopefully they will settle on a lifetime all he can eat supply of burgers. Maybe he will have a heart attack from all the saturated fat and cholesterol within 3 months of the settlement
John Wim
John Wim May 18, 2022 3:30PM ET
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No thats a sausage. It becomes fat and juicy
John Wim
John Wim May 18, 2022 3:29PM ET
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That’s a sausage. It become hat and juicy
Flat Top
Flat Top May 18, 2022 3:22PM ET
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I know of another type of burger that shrink when it’s cooked. If you are a male you should know that.
Marec Huber
Marec Huber May 18, 2022 12:09AM ET
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Theres always at least one person trying to make a quick buck, if they think its possible.The judge should tell Justin Chimienti to quit wasting everyone’s time and money.Plus, find something more constructive to do instead of thinking of ways to sue successful corporations ! How about educating yourself ,or try volunteering, since he cant figure out how to better spend his time !
Alan Rice
Alan Rice May 17, 2022 7:42PM ET
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Wendys : The Best place to eat in my home Town !! (Sure. Everybody knows Photographic perspective can make a mountain look like a mole hill, and in fast food adds , vice versa. EVERYBODY.
Fernando Saldanha
Fernando Saldanha May 17, 2022 7:42PM ET
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I am sorry your town does not have even one Michelin one-star restaurant.
 
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