Long gone are the days of restaurant brands just using social media to be sassy. Now it’s time for them to be savvy on social media, and virtual restaurant MrBeast Burger was a perfect example of capitalizing on a moment.
It launched in December 2020 in partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts, and now operates in more than 1700 locations nationwide.
“The beginning has been just wonderful,” Robert Earl, CEO of Virtual Dining Concepts told Nation’s Restaurant News,. “The guest reaction has been superb. And after having Jimmy [Donaldson, a.k.a. MrBeast] create what is considered the leading virtual brand globally, to now build a bricks-and-mortar chain is very fulfilling.”
When the brand debuted, it was met with national acclaim, one of the biggest virtual brand openings ever. Now it has a brick-and-mortar location in the American Dream mall in New Jersey. Thousands of fans gathered on Monday to watch MrBeast cut the ribbon at the first permanent location of the chain that spawned over a thousand virtual units.
“I'm getting lots of phone calls saying that this is a real shot in the arm for the mall economy,” Earl said.
“American Dream is a world-class destination with one-of-a-kind experiences and first-to-market concepts, designed to delight a multi-generational audience,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream, in a statement. “MrBeast is the worlds’ greatest content creator. His passion for creativity, powerful brand and philanthropic nature aligns perfectly with the American Dream vision. We’re thrilled to have MrBeast join American Dream’s all-star lineup of entertainment, retail, dining and attractions.”
Celebrities, and the internet, are becoming more involved in the food world than ever before. Consumers are going to have to get used to their favorite stars from social media jumping into the food world like MrBeast, and brands doing the opposite.
Think about the rising tide of restaurants looking to TikTok and TikTok creators for content. Just last week, Chipotle used the corn kid on TikTok, a kid who loves nothing more than corn, to create a viral ad campaign for its burrito bowls and corn salsa.
There are no plans to franchise MrBeast Burger at this time.