Controversial Burger Brand MrBeast May Be Closing Up Shop
Popular YouTuber MrBeast has built a culinary empire in just a few short years, thanks to his virtual fast-food chain MrBeast Burger, which currently operates out of about 2,000 restaurants across the globe. However, the future of this fast-growing brand is now in jeopardy, as the influencer announced he was "moving on" from the endeavor amid major quality issues and customer complaints.
MrBeast—whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson—founded MrBeast Burger in 2020 in partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts, the company behind virtual restaurant brands like Guy Fieri's Flavortown Kitchen and Robert Irvine's American Heroes. Only available via delivery and pick-up, MrBeast Burger works out of existing restaurants that prepare the virtual chain's smash burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries, in addition to their own menus, as an extra revenue stream. This business model and MrBeast's massive following in the tens of millions allowed the nontraditional burger chain to expand rapidly in the short time it has been around, but that quick growth seems to have come at a cost.
Customers would regularly complain about receiving wildly inaccurate orders from MrBeast Burger, as well as burgers and chicken sandwiches that are either charred or completely raw in the middle. In 2021, one especially frustrated customer went so far as to compare MrBeast Burger to the Chum Bucket, a fictional restaurant known for serving up unappetizing foods from the children's show Spongebob Squarepants.
Now, even MrBeast himself has acknowledged the toll that these iffy virtual burger joints are taking on his image. In a now-deleted tweet from this past weekend, the Youtuber wrote that it was "impossible" to guarantee good quality while working with thousands of restaurants he doesn't actually own.
"I'm moving on from MrBeast Burger so I can focus on Feastables and making snacks!" he wrote, referring to his snack brand that sells candy bars, gummies, and cookies.
In another deleted tweet, he added that he wanted to completely shut down MrBeast Burger, "but the company I partnered with won't let me stop even though it's terrible for my brand," according to Restaurant Business Magazine.
As of today, Virtual Dining Concepts still lists MrBeast Burger as one of its brands and multiple locations that we checked were still accepting food orders. However, Donaldson's attempt to publicly cut ties with the company casts doubt on the future of the troubled burger brand, especially if it loses the support of his fans.
Virtual Dining Concepts did not immediately respond to our requests for comment on Donaldson's tweets and what lies ahead for MrBeast Burger.