A customer's late-night McDonald's run turned to disgust after he opened his gourmet burger to find what looked to be a bitten patty on the inside.
On Wednesday night at 10pm Joshua Fay was at Petone McDonald's when he ordered a Chicken Bacon Deluxe gourmet burger, but what he was served up was less than gourmet.
"I was pretty disgusted when I saw the pattie. One half looked hours old and the other half like an old dog's chew toy," he told the Herald.
In pictures supplied to the Herald, the chicken patty was broken into two pieces, one half looking as if it had bite marks through it and was served with half a piece of lettuce, one single piece of bacon, a piece of cheese, one tomato and a tiny blob of mayonnaise.
Fay said the patty was clearly tampered with.
"The half on the right had clearly not been cut. At best it was ripped in half by hand and the left half was rock hard when I got it, like it'd been sitting in the warmer for hours.
"I'm annoyed they thought it was suitable to serve such rubbish while calling it 'gourmet' and that I was going to have to make a trip back to get what I originally ordered."
After the customer's discovery, he returned to complain to the manager.
However, despite the offer of a replacement meal, Fay said he felt the staff didn't take his complaint seriously.
"When I returned I immediately asked for the shift manager, showed him the burger and asked 'what the hell is this'. He didn't seem to care about the situation too much.
"He muttered something about it not being good enough and offered a replacement burger. I explained my dissatisfaction with the burger and his offer of a replacement which he then offered to throw in a free drink and chips to try to get rid of me.
"I have no idea what was going on behind the scenes at [McDonald's Petone], But I assume they couldn't care less about what they were serving and could not be bothered to make a fresh one. I would hate to think that someone actually ate half of it before it was served into my burger."
A McDonald's spokesperson told the Herald that the chicken patties are cut in half to use in their chicken wraps, and that the staff member had made a mistake.
The spokesperson explained that the situation had been dealt with and that the manager followed up with staff to address the error.
"A staff member made a mistake using two halves of chicken patties that were cut to use in wraps. When the customer returned the burger the manager apologised, replaced the full meal, and followed up with the staff member to address the mistake."
While Fay understands fast food burgers can be hit and miss, he is frustrated that what he was served up is considered "gourmet".
Following McDonald's response, Fay feels the fast-food restaurant has missed the point, saying it's not just about the quality of his burger, but about the standards of their gourmet menu.
"I've eaten my fair share of fast food and I understand it is hit and miss and hardly ever complain unless they really missed the ball. This, however, was absurd.
"The burger looked gross, consisted of ingredients cooked hours apart and in no way was suitable to be serving under their so-called 'gourmet' range."
Others on social media have also complained about the service and quality of food at Petone McDonald's.
"That happened to me as well from the Petone Maccas some a**hole works there that does that to people," one person said.
Another alleges Petone McDonald's to be "the worst in the country", saying she once got a burger with no bottom bun and that she's often arrived home to missing items in the bag.