This YouTube Star Just Started His Own Burger Chain

A little more than a week ago, when most of us were in mid preparation for the holidays' onslaught, a new chain, MrBeast Burgers, seemingly appeared overnight. Launched and personally owned by YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, the chain's size immediately placed it as a contender. According to FoodBeast, with Shake Shack nearing 300 outlets and In-N-Out Burger almost reaching 400, MrBeast Burgers' size of 300 restaurants places the new chain immediately in the midst of more established brands. As Constantine Spyrou writes, this "marks one of the most ambitious moves a media personality has taken in the food space to date."

The operating logic of the MrBeast Burger restaurant is a delivery-only brand with orders registered either via an app or an online order page. The model does give Spyrou pause, as the burger they tried strives for a smashburger style. And while the burger was, in their opinion, solid but not special, they worry that burgers, especially smashburgers, do not lend themselves to delivery. That said, their ultimate verdict was that MrBeast Burger is a solid, reliable burger option during pandemic conditions. Tweeted reviews curated by Republic World agreed with the verdict more enthusiastically.   

A beast of a launch

Even with what Forbes records as the second-highest paid Youtube star of 2020, MrBeast Burgers needed hype for their unprecedented launch. After all, many brands begin with a single store and expand, not 300. MrBeast Burgers, however, launched with a promotion to match the big named brand of MrBeast. As The Verge details, MrBeast's YouTube identity revolves around viral philanthropy which is largely funded by brand deals given to him due to his virality, which is in turn developed by his antic filled philanthropic videos.

So, in keeping with this brand, he released on December 19 a video titled "I Opened A Restaurant That Pays You To Eat At It." In QSR's coverage, this one-day-only stunt took place in Wilson, North Carolina, a city close to MrBeast's hometown. All of the burgers offered on that day were free and wads of cash were distributed willy-nilly. Obviously, thousands of cars showed up, reaching over 20 miles at one point. In fact, so many people showed up for burgers and bucks that the police had to clear neighboring roads. And, as of this writing, the video was approaching 31 million views. All in all, then, MrBeast Burgers entered the pandemic-fueled industry with a splash.