There was no big-name chef or mash-up pastry like the cronut behind the latest buzzy restaurant turnout. In this case, it was for the viral YouTuber MrBeast, who opened his first physical restaurant this weekend. Over 10,000 fans gathered on Sunday in a mall in New Jersey to taste MrBeast’s incinerated-looking burgers, despite recent tweets indicating their shortcomings.
Live coverage of the event depicted what appeared more like a concert than an opening ceremony for a burger joint. Over multiple floors, thousands of people packed into the shopping complex. Chanting was heard. As they waved handmade signs, they announced that they had driven 15 hours in order to reach the event. Their icon was draped over balconies like wet laundry as they tried to catch a glimpse of him.
More than 100 million cult subscribers have subscribed to Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson’s extreme stunt videos over the past decade. As a young Johnny Knoxville, the 24-year-old actor is known for his costly experiments: real-life reenactments of Squid Game (minus the killings) and a disturbing simulation entitled “I Survived A Plane Crash.”.
MrBeast Burger was opened in December 2020 by the YouTuber capitalizing on his online fame. With tens of thousands of locations around the world, the delivery-only restaurant chain operates out of partner kitchens like Atomic Wings in Queens and Dirty Bones in London. In just seven months, he has generated $100 million in revenue, and this weekend’s opening marks his first brick-and-mortar location, the American Dream Mall in Jersey, an appropriate location for someone who has been able to achieve success solely through the digital medium.
A restaurant opened at approximately 11 a.m. on Sunday, but many diners had been waiting since the previous night. “I stopped by the mall on Saturday to visit my former coworkers and people were already lining up to see Mr. Beast at the Mr. Beast Burger,” one user tweeted. Over the Labor Day weekend, shop owners expressed their disappointment with the crowds.
“Respectfully, if this man does not provide me with a Tesla, I will go feral, as I am actually going to die at work tomorrow morning,” said one employee in a tweet. On the other hand, fans seemed to be enjoying themselves quite a bit. At 4:30 in the morning, someone led an impromptu stretching session while another individual made artwork.
The day of the event, Donaldson attempted to set expectations for the audience. In the ten minutes prior to the restaurant’s opening, he estimated that there were more than 10,000 people waiting in line. “I feel pretty good about serving all you but anyone else coming idk maybe come tomorrow/later tonight haha,” he wrote on Twitter. Towards the end of the presentation, his tone had changed. MrBeast claimed that his grand opening had broken the world record for most burgers sold in one day by a single restaurant. Currently, that has not been confirmed, and Guinness World Records is demanding proof: “Send us the numbers, Jimmy,” the account stated on Twitter. There is one thing that cannot be denied: Even celebrity-frequented restaurants and buzzy pastry shops do not see crowds like this, despite MrBeast’s seemingly average-looking menu.
While the path from YouTube star to restaurateur may not seem obvious, burgers aren’t Donaldson’s first venture into the food industry. As of January, he launched Feastables, which has the appearance of a cat food brand but is actually a chocolate company that offers MrBeast bars. Moreover, Donaldson, renowned for his generosity, launched Beast Philanthropy in October 2020. As indicated on its website, the charitable organization operates a food pantry and distribution network in North Carolina in order to address the food insecurity needs of remote and under-served food deserts.
MRBeast is not the first viral online star to launch a food empire in the real world. As part of her controversial psychedelic goop, TikTok Pink Sauce creator Chef Pii partnered with Dave’s Gourmet Sauces in August. Moreover, celebrities such as Steve Aoki and DJ Khaled sell chicken wings from ghost kitchens like MrBeast’s. In general, the food does not seem to be of high quality. However, that is not the point of this discussion. A chain such as this is not suitable for people who are passionate about food. Fans are supposed to use them. As luck would have it, MrBeast is rolling in them.