A burger joint in Pittsburgh’s South Side with a Burger King sign, employees in Burger King uniforms, and a drive through with a Burger King menu, turned out to not be a Burger King.
As reported by WPXI Channel 11 News, customers received fast food from the restaurant in generic packaging. Diner Montanya Crosby told the station her meal didn’t taste the same and, “The food was in a brown paper bag, the fries were in a Dixie cup. I’m like, ‘What the heck is this?’” When asked if the appearance of the restaurant was deceptive, another customer told the station, “Yeah I didn’t know. Actually, I ordered a double Whopper.” He added, “I mean, the cup doesn’t say Burger King on it.”
A post by eXceLon on an Ars Technica forum recounts another experience with unbranded packaging, dating the problem back to at least January 2nd of this year. Recently other customers have taken to Reddit, posting about the faux BK. Redddit user dehehn shared a picture of his friend’s meal, confirming the claims, and saying it was bought at the questionable establishment. Another user, jayrod422 shared links to the restaurant’s reviews, which are less than stellar. Interestingly, as Redditor H_Badger pointed out, the East Carson Street location in question is still listed on the BK.com website.
When WPXI approached the restaurant to speak to the management, they were asked to leave the premises by a security guard. Eventually an assistant manager told the reporter that the business is in a transition from a Burger King to a restaurant called South Side Burgers, which is the name currently printed on their receipts.
Patrons still felt like they were misled. “I didn’t even know that anything had changed,” said Crosby. “They need to make it, make it known I guess, that it’s not a Burger King.”
WPXI reports that employees removed the exterior Burger King sign but they were still wearing Burger King uniforms. When reporters called the Health Department, they were told that the restaurant said they would be closing their doors tomorrow until they can reopen under their new name. The fast food chain’s corporate office told the station that they are launching their own investigation into the matter.
UPDATE February 8, 2014 5:45 PM PST :
Since their original report, WPXI received numerous photos from customers of this fast food location with receipts dating back to November 2013, and claims that they were not served genuine Burger King meals. The station found Health Department reports that uncovered a history of complaints about food quality from the establishment over the past two years. Though, the restaurant passed random inspections each time.
In an earlier report, the Health Department claimed that the restaurant would close until it could open under its new name. However, customers told WPXI reporter Timyka Artist, that they were allowed to enter and place orders, even though managers told them the business was closed.
WPXI reported that The Burger King Media Team released a statement saying that Burger King restaurants are dedicated to providing high quality food and after a recent dispute with the former owner, Burger King is working to place a new franchise in the location.