I recently worked on a campaign for Casey's restaurants, the premise being that the food is already the deal - no other incentive required. The desired "feel" to the images was that they should be authentic looking, appealing and somewhat retro. The executive chef from Casey's was also present at the shoot, he typically works on product development and kitchen training for new franchise owners. On shoot day he helped ensure that the finished product well resembled the Casey's style, portions and look.
Styling burgers come with their own challenges, especially when there is melted cheese and multiple components on them and hence this shot took a bit more time than the steak and rib shots.
As someone who works in food, I confess to looking and even scrutinizing food photos on everything from flyers, to magazines, packaging and menus. I can't help it, and it seems that my kids have picked up on the habit as well. We often compliment the work, discuss how it might have been made, sometimes we criticize it and even provide potential solutions for the perceived problems. Michael Kohn photography.
I was on a TV shoot recently when one of the crew showed us this site: http://www.zuzafun.com/ads-vs-reality, it compares professionally styled fast foods with what the typical consumer would receive - and then run home and photograph. Enjoy! It reconfirms the importance of making food look appealing.