YouTube Star MrBeast Uses Ghost Kitchens To Launch Burger Brand In 300 U.S. Markets
One of YouTube's most popular personalities has entered the world of physical retail through one of its trendiest models.
MrBeast on Saturday announced the launch of MrBeast Burger, a delivery-only brand with 300 locations across the U.S. True to form, the announcement came in the form of a video wherein Mr. Beast (real name: Jimmy Donaldson) opened a MrBeast Burger drive-thru pop-up where he and his friends gave away burgers, Apple products and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
The MrBeast YouTube channel has over 48 million subscribers, a level of popularity that garnered Donaldson second place on the Forbes list of the highest-paid YouTube stars of 2020, with an estimated $24M of income in the 12 months ending June 1. That reach lifted the MrBeast Burger app to the Apple App Store's most popular free app on the day of its release. It also caused the app to crash several times due to its servers being overloaded.
As restaurants have spent most of 2020 with indoor dining either banned or forced to operate at greatly reduced capacity, ghost kitchens have gained market share as a method to either launch or maintain brands without the overhead cost of a dining room. As MrBeast Burger's 300-location rollout demonstrated, ghost kitchens also can greatly reduce the time it takes for a brand to scale nationally.
With extravagant stunts, giveaways and donations making up the bulk of his YouTube output, Donaldson has expressed a desire to build up enough side businesses that he can focus his main channel on giving away money and "one day" open up food banks and homeless shelters.