TikTok to Launch Hundreds of Delivery-Only Kitchens Across US


TikTok users will soon have the option to consume more than just the app’s videos.

The viral video-sharing platform is partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts to launch around 300 delivery-only kitchens across the United States, TikTok announced on Friday. 

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The premise of the restaurants dubbed TikTok Kitchen is that the app’s loyal following — numbering at 100 million in the U.S. — will line up to buy recipes that have gone viral on the app, like baked feta pasta or American model Gigi Hadid’s famous vodka sauce pasta, Bloomberg reported

The concept has worked for internet celebrities before, like when YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson — better known by his screen name “MrBeast” and elaborate, video-recorded stunts — launched MrBeast Burger in the fall of last year. The new eatery sold 1 million burgers in three months and launched in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Bloomberg reported.

Virtual Dining Concepts provides marketing, training, ordering technology and menu development assistance to restaurants looking to increase or start delivery locations. The company has previously partnered with “All I Want for Christmas” singer Mariah Carey to found Mariah’s Cookies, television host Steve Harvey to form Steve Harvey’s Family Food, and sports-focused media network Barstool Sports for Barstool Bites, according to the company’s website.

Food fans on TikTok would certainly be among interesting company, as the app mines video creators for viral meals and recipes. Some food accounts and videos garner followers in the millions.

It’s part of a growing trend of celebrities and brands that have turned to ghost kitchens to launch their own restaurant chains, joining the likes of DJ Khaled’s Another Wing, rapper Wiz Khalifa’s Hotbox and actor Mario Lopez’s Tortas Lopez.

Virtual Dining Concepts plans to open more than 1,000 TikTok Kitchen locations by the end of 2022, Bloomberg reported. The menu will change on a quarterly basis and be priced similar to other Virtual Dining Concepts eateries. 

It’s unclear how the media organization, owned by the Chinese internet technology company ByteDance, plans to compensate app users who create the internet-famous meals. TikTok said profits from the restaurants would go to the creators of the recipes and support the platform’s foodie talent, but did not share how much the app expects to pay out to its users or how it would determine authorship of a recipe. 

TikTok and Virtual Dining Concepts did not respond to requests for comment from Commercial Observer.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.