When ghost kitchens emerged as a popular trend, it seemed like every chain restaurant and celebrity wanted a piece of the action. From DJ Khaled’s chicken wings to Mariah Carey’s cookies, the culinary world was flooded with celebrity-backed virtual brands. One such concept that gained significant attention was MrBeast Burger. However, since its debut, the hype and reputation surrounding this virtual brand have dwindled drastically, begging the question: Is MrBeast Burger shutting down?
MrBeast Burger was the brainchild of Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, the YouTube sensation with a staggering net worth of $500 million and a massive following of 162 million on YouTube alone. People outside the YouTube community may be unfamiliar with MrBeast’s over-the-top stunts and challenges, as well as his incredibly generous donation videos. Given his influence and ability to captivate young audiences, it was only natural for MrBeast to venture into the restaurant industry, especially during a pandemic.
Launched in late 2020, MrBeast Burger operates as a ghost kitchen concept. Customers place their orders through delivery apps, and affiliated restaurants prepare the burgers. Unfortunately, in its short existence, MrBeast Burger has experienced both highs and lows across its 2,000-plus kitchens.
On one hand, the brand opened its first physical restaurant at the American Dream mall in New Jersey in September 2022, drawing a significant crowd and hinting at the possibility of franchising. However, despite the initial excitement surrounding MrBeast Burger, the quality of the food has been inconsistent. A scathing review from the New York Post likened the experience to “a catfish Tinder date.” While YouTubers initially praised the burgers, customers on Twitter complained about receiving either raw or fully charred patties.
In now-deleted tweets, MrBeast expressed his desire to distance himself from the business. He cited concerns about the negative impact on his personal brand and his inability to ensure consistent food quality across all locations. However, the company he partnered with, Virtual Dining Concepts, which also operates Mariah Carey’s Cookies, refused to allow him to terminate the brand. In a subsequent tweet, MrBeast lamented, “Young Beast signed a bad deal.”
Amidst the controversy, MrBeast also highlighted his passion for his snack brand, Feastables, as he found the process of making snacks to be truly gratifying. To anyone familiar with the challenges of running a restaurant, MrBeast’s complaints about inconsistency and the complexities of scaling operations ring true. Yet, he seems trapped in the beast of his own making, unable to break free from the constraints of MrBeast Burger.
The future of MrBeast Burger remains uncertain. Will the virtual brand continue to operate, plagued by issues of quality control? Or will MrBeast ultimately find a way to sever ties with the problematic venture? Time will reveal the fate of MrBeast Burger, but one thing is certain: the virtual food landscape has witnessed both the rise and fall of this once-promising concept.
For more information, visit the official Hook’d Up Bar and Grill website.