McDonald's and Wendy's Facing Fraud Accusations Over Ads

Justin Chimienti is behind a lawsuit targeting McDonald's and Wendy's for poor advertisements for their beef sandwiches. According to the fast-food customer, his expectation was that McDonald's' Big Mac and Wendy's' Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger would be as large as advertised in photos and commercials, but he says they were anything but. And now, he wants the fast-food competitors to pay up. Chimienti sued McDonald's Corp and Wendy's Co., proposing a class-action suit through a Brooklyn federal court. Chimienti said McDonald's and Wendy's use undercooked beef patties in ads, which make them appear 15% to 20% larger than what customers get.

Chimienti claims the McDonald's and Wendy's meat shrinks 25% when cooked. He apparently knows firsthand from 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." He alleges both chains "materially" overstate burger sizes. Wendy's, on the other hand, also inflates the amount of toppings.

His claim states: "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. Neither chain immediately responded to requests for comment, according to Rueters. Chimienti's lawyer also didn't respond  for immediate additional comment on the matter.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages for alleged breaches of contract. The suit notes breaches dating back to May 2016, and violations of consumer protection laws nationwide.


McDonald's Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said lower-income consumers probably faced "increased value sensitivity" as rents and gas prices rise. As for Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor, he said that "inflation is being noticed by the consumers."