A popular YouTuber filed suit after an endorsement deal for a concept burger venture not only tarnished his brand with “inedible” products but reportedly awarded him zero financial return.
James Donaldson is better known to the world by his YouTube personality MrBeast by which he has gotten rich while donating tens of millions of dollars to charities. In 2020, he teamed up with a company to explore a “ghost kitchen” concept aimed at driving extra revenue into existing restaurants that instead left consumers crying foul at the “revolting” burgers.
Monday, Donaldson filed suit against Virtual Dining Concepts in New York’s Southern District through his Beast Investments LLC to immediately end the MrBeast Burger business, for damages and for “an accounting of all revenues and expenses of the MrBeast Burger business.”
“The goal of the business was simple,” the complaint outlined, “relying entirely on the strength of MrBeast’s brand,” which boasts over 172 million subscribers on YouTube, “the business would create virtual restaurant with a selection of MrBeast-branded food items, but would then partner with existing restaurants who would prepare those items and share in a significant portion of the revenue for their sales.”
“The business model would not compete with its partner restaurants, but would instead generate significant additional revenue for them that did not require brick-and-mortar service (the menu items are only ordered online or through food delivery applications such as Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats),” the suit added.
However, “literally thousands of negative reviews” told of the terrible customer experiences that included delivery of undercooked or raw burgers with missing ingredients in plain, unbranded packages unlike the products available at a physical MrBeast Burger restaurant.
— richlux713 (@RichLux713) August 1, 2023
“Finally ordered our first Mr. Beast burger and then realized after the first bite that it was mostly just raw meat…” wrote one review that was included in the suit along with images of the burger’s red interior.
More than half of the over 1,000 MrBeast Burger virtual restaurants were said to have ratings of “less than two (out of five) stars.”
“Virtual Dining Concepts was more focused on rapidly expanding the business as a way to pitch the virtual restaurant model to other celebrities for its own benefit, it was not focused on controlling the quality of the MrBeast Burger customer experience and products,” Donaldson’s suit charged while also alleging he has “not received a dime.”
Further, the YouTuber contended that even after issues had been presented, they went ignored. “As a result, MrBeast Burger has been regarded as a misleading, poor reflections of the MrBeast brand that provides low-quality products to customers that are delivered late, in unbranded packaging, fail to include the ordered items, and in some instances, were inedible.”
“It is MrBeast himself, and not Virtual Dining Concepts, who has borne the brunt of the (justified) attacks and criticisms. MrBeast made every effort to cause Virtual Dining Concepts to fix these significant quality control problems as soon as he learned of them, but they refused and/or were incapable,” the suit alleged.
Last month, Donaldson replied to a social media user who asked “Is @MrBeastBurgher done?” by stating, “Yeah, the problem with Beast Burger is i can’t guarantee the quality of the order. When working with other restaurants it’s impossible to control it sadly…And [to be honest] I just enjoy Feastables 100x more. Making snacks is awesome and something I’m way more passionate about.”
Yeah, the problem with Beast Burger is i can’t guarantee the quality of the order. When working with other restaurants it’s impossible to control it sadly
And tbh I just enjoy Feastables 100x more. Making snacks is awesome and something I’m way more passionate about
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) June 17, 2023
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