A lot of people showed up for the opening of the first physical MrBeast Burger restaurant—so many, in fact, that the brand is now putting out feelers on the possibility of franchising.
Videos from the event at American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sept. 4 show people crammed onto the mall’s main floor and crowded along balconies, awaiting a burger and a chance to brush shoulders with the restaurant’s namesake, YouTube megastar MrBeast.
According to a tweet from MrBeast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, more than 10,000 people were already in line to enter the restaurant when it opened at 11. They went on to order more than 5,500 burgers, he said, claiming it was a new record for the most burgers sold in one day by a single restaurant.
In a tweet on Thursday, MrBeast Burger hinted there could be more such openings in the brand’s future, posing this question to its followers: “Should we… franchise?”
The American Dream event was the latest landmark moment in the meteoric rise of MrBeast Burger, a heretofore delivery-only restaurant brand that has used MrBeast’s massive audience—100 million YouTube followers and counting—to fuel expansion. Since its launch in late 2020, MrBeast Burger has opened more than 1,700 “virtual” locations and now one physical one.
The brand’s hopes, and potential pitch to franchisees, were no doubt buoyed by the response to its brick-and-mortar debut, which drew admirers in droves to American Dream, a massive shopping and entertainment complex just outside of New York City.
The turnout, in fact, shattered the record for foot traffic at the 3 million-square-foot mall opened in 2019. According to an analysis by data firm Placer.ai, visits were up more than 325% on Sept. 4 compared to the mall’s 12-month average and nearly 32% higher than American Dream’s previous daily high.
As of now, all of MrBeast’s other locations are “virtual,” hosted by partner restaurants that license the menu and sell the food on delivery apps as an additional revenue stream.
It was one of many virtual brands that popped up during the pandemic as more restaurant traffic shifted to online. But as consumers return to more normal dining patterns, there are signs physical outposts could be a next step for concepts that were previously limited to delivery only.
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