The legendary Burger King Whopper came under scrutiny for its lack of size.
Claims that the fast-food restaurant falsely advertised the sandwich and misled customers have led to a class-action lawsuit.
Burger King tried to dismiss the lawsuit, but US Judge Roy Altman denied the company’s motion.
The lawsuit alleges that the burger chain makes the Whopper appear 35 percent larger on in-store menus than it actually is.
Customers also complain that Burger King ads show ingredients that “overflow the bun” and contain twice as much meat as they actually get on the sandwich.
According to the company’s website, the Whopper is made with a quarter pound of hearty flame-grilled beef and is topped with flavorful pickles, ketchup, fresh tomatoes, slaw and fresh onions.
The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages to fully compensate all those who were deceived by the defendants into purchasing the overrated menu items.
The exact amount of compensation sought was not disclosed.
Burger King could also be required to provide corrected advertising or discontinue overrated menu items.
The fast-food company has defended its marketing, saying it has no obligation to prepare burgers that are “exactly like the picture.”
“Food in advertising is and has always been designed to appear as appetizing as possible,” Burger King officials wrote in the lawsuit.
“This is not news; sensible consumers who see food ads know innately. This lawsuit improperly alleges otherwise.”
The judge has expressed that public opinion will have an impact and that it will be left to the jury “to tell us what sensible people think”.
Altman’s ruling will allow customers to pursue negligence and unjust enrichment claims, but not TV and online advertising claims.
The judge did not cite any occasion where Burger King promised the Whopper a specific size or weight and failed to deliver.
According to a Reuters report, previous attempts to broker an agreement have been unsuccessful.
Competing restaurants, including Wendy’s and Taco Bell, have faced similar lawsuits in recent months, with customers citing exaggerated portion sizes.
In a statement to The US Sun, a company representative defended the famous sandwiches.
“The allegations made by the plaintiffs are false. The flame-grilled beef patties featured in our advertisement are the same ones used in the millions of Whopper sandwiches we serve to our diners across the country,” the spokesman said.