Technology

MrBeast sues Virtual Dining Concepts to shut down MrBeast Burger

The YouTube megastar accused the company of damaging his reputation by selling bad food with his name on it.
The lawsuit claims MrBeast has not made a dime from MrBeast Burger. | Photo courtesy of Virtual Dining Concepts

MrBeast wants MrBeast Burger gone.

The YouTube megastar on Monday filed a lawsuit in New York District Court that accuses Virtual Dining Concepts, the parent company of the virtual burger brand, of damaging his reputation by selling undercooked burgers and cold fries with his name on them.

The complaint asks the court to allow MrBeast to end his agreement with Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) and shut down MrBeast Burger, one of the largest virtual brands in the U.S.

VDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the complaint, Beast Investments and Celebrity Virtual Dining, a subsidiary of VDC, entered into an endorsement agreement on Sept. 3, 2020. The agreement established MrBeast Burger and gave VDC the right to operate the brand, as well as use MrBeast’s name, images and likeness to promote it—as long as MrBeast approved the usage in writing. 

The brand, which is prepared and sold by existing restaurants for delivery and pickup only, launched in December 2020 and became an instant success. It expanded to hundreds of locations and sold more than 1 million burgers in its first three months. It continued to grow quickly over the next two years, reaching 1,700 global locations by the end of 2022.

But that fast growth, the complaint says, came at the expense of customer service and food quality. It cited reviews and articles highlighting “inedible” food, late-arriving and inaccurate orders, unbranded packaging and a faulty website. It includes dozens of examples of online reviews calling MrBeast Burger “disgusting,” “terrible” and “worst burger ever,” as well as numerous images of raw and undercooked chicken and beef. 

In some cases, it said, MrBeast himself was blamed for these problems.

MrBeast repeatedly broached these issues in meetings with Virtual Dining Concepts, but it did nothing to correct the issues, the complaint says. It also continued to use MrBeast’s brand and likeness without his consent, including in materials advertising its expansion to the European Union, Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Mexico and Malaysia.

The complaint notes that while VDC has made millions of dollars from MrBeast Burger, and used its success as a stepping stone to other celebrity virtual brands, MrBeast “has not received a dime” from the business, even though royalties and endorsements are part of the agreement with VDC.

MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, runs one of the most popular accounts on YouTube with more than 170 million subscribers. His videos feature elaborate stunts and games as well as giveaways of prizes and money. His large following was integral to the success of MrBeast Burger.

In June, MrBeast tweeted that he was “moving on” from MrBeast Burger because of concerns about quality and consistency. He later deleted the tweet, and the brand continued to operate. 

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