Jimmy Donaldson, aka the American YouTube sensation more popularly known as MrBeast is facing allegations of employing “bullying tactics” following his lawsuit against Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC), the Florida-based company behind his fast food chain, MrBeast Burger.
As customers continue to criticise the quality of MrBeast Burger’s food, the 25-year-old YouTuber famous for his daring stunts and challenges has made the decision to shut down his own burger-making operation.
Donaldson’s lawsuit claims that the quality of the food served by VDC has caused “irreparable harm” to his reputation. Seeking to terminate the partnership, he alleged that the burgers served under the MrBeast brand are nearly “inedible,” a sentiment that countless customers in fact echoed on social media.
In 2020, Donaldson partnered with VDC to take advantage of the company’s ghost kitchens. At the time of writing, MrBeast Burger boasts 40 locations in the UK and a whopping 1,700 in the US.
The initial launch of MrBeast Burger drew massive crowds, with reports of over 10,000 eager customers lining up at the first location in New Jersey’s American Dream Mall. Then in November 2022, the fast food chain began using its first ghost kitchen, leading to MrBeast selling over a million burgers in only three months.
However, despite the initial enthusiasm, ongoing complaints about the burgers started to surface on social media. Some fans took to Twitter to share images of raw meat in their burgers, and customer reviews criticising the food as “terrible meme burgers,” “disgusting,” and “revolting” have also been included in the lawsuit.
In response, VDC has denied the allegations and described Donaldson’s legal claims as “riddled with false statements and inaccuracies.” The company’s lawyers assert that the lawsuit is a distraction from MrBeast’s own breaches of agreements between the parties, including disparaging statements he made about the MrBeast Burger brand and VDC itself.
The YouTuber addressed concerns about the quality of MrBeast Burger in a June tweet, expressing disappointment and explaining that the challenge lies in controlling the quality when working with other restaurants. He has accused VDC of prioritising rapid expansion to attract other celebrities, rather than focusing on ensuring a high-quality customer experience.
Lawyers for VDC have dismissed Donaldson’s lawsuit as “meritless” and suggested that he resorted to legal action after VDC rejected his “bullying tactics.” They maintain that their commitment is to improve the business and customer satisfaction, despite the negative reviews.
The concept of celebrities owning eateries is not an uncommon trend. Ashton Kutcher, Lebron James, and Venus Williams all own their own restaurants. While some celebrities have found great success in this venture, others have encountered unforeseen issues that have negatively impacted their brand image.
With daily content a priority for most YouTubers, it’s unrealistic to think that they can physically monitor and look over every location at all times. As a result, celebs are often blindsided by controversies or in-house issues. And when it’s your face on the front door, things can get pretty dicey.
While the allure of having a successful fast food chain with your name lit up in lights is hard to ignore, running and watching over a hefty eatery business can definitely have its downsides—it’s not all glamour and burger buns.
MrBeast is currently the most subscribed content creator on YouTube, boasting an impressive 287 million subscribers. He also has a staggering net worth of $110 million. So, I have a sneaky feeling this potential lawsuit won’t exactly break the YouTuber’s bank.