If viral dishes on TikTok are irresistible to you, the video-sharing platform is working with Virtual Dining Concepts to bring them to you hot and fresh!
TikTok, arguably the social media platform of the year, is soon going to be tantalizing not just the optic nerves of its users but their taste buds as well. The company has partnered with VDC to launch the TikTok Kitchen service to prepare some of the trendiest recipes on TikTok. The service is only available as delivery.
The two companies will start the new venture with 300 locations all over the US, but to reach more taste buds, they will expand to 1,000 spots by the end of 2022.
Food and recipe-related videos are a thing on TikTok, with such content racking up millions of views per video. And with the growth of TikTok not showing any sign of slowing, the trend will only grow. TikTok recently reported it had crossed the 1 billion monthly active users mark.
VDC will operate the virtual kitchens out of its existing restaurants. Other chains maintained by VDC co-founder, Robert Earl, will participate too. They include Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s.
Earl sees the business opportunity of a food service linked to TikTok. “Look, you have a platform with a billion viewers monthly who are constantly engaged, as the numbers show. It’s the first time there’s a brand like this out there—an audience of hundreds of millions of people.”
He continues, “I’m doing it as a business. TikTok are doing it for development of that category. It’s an investment in their business.”
This service is basically the same as ghost kitchens. However, VDC will operate TikTok Kitchen out of existing kitchens instead of kitting out shipping containers. The company has revealed that its existing restaurant staff will do the cooking, but they will get additional training. The food will also get a different packaging and branding.
To keep up with the fast-changing world of TikTok, VDC says the menu will be rotated quarterly at first. Trends on TikTok come and go, including the latest and greatest meals. The first recipe is festa pasta, which after going viral on TikTok, went on to become the most-searched dish of 2021 on Google. Other recipes on the menu are pasta chips, a smash burger, and corn ribs.
VDC is open to adding viral dishes to the menu without waiting for the current quarter to end.
As to the prices, they will be in line with offers from other VDC-owned brands.
As stated by TikTok, part of the proceeds will be shared with the creators of the recipes and also used to support upcoming cooking talents on the platform. What remains to be seen is how TikTok will determine who authored which video, as some viral dishes could belong to more than one person or even to cultures. Notably, the names of the recipe creator will not appear on TikTok Kitchen’s menu.
This is not the first celebrity-linked food initiative VDC will undertake. It had run MrBeast Burger in collaboration with popular YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, wildly successful since its launch in 2020. More than 1 million burgers were sold in just three months, and there are 1,500 locations in the US, Canada, and the UK taking customer orders.
Earl expects to replicate MrBeast’s success with TikTok Kitchen. “Working with the team at TikTok on development of the menu and the whole vibe of this brand has been so energizing, and I am thrilled to reveal our newest VDC concept today, TikTok Kitchen, which will be our first with an ever-changing menu. When we launched MrBeast Burger last December, we were in uncharted territory. Now, one year in, MrBeast Burger is seen as the absolute prime mover in the virtual space, with locations continuing to open throughout the USA and internationally, and we believe TikTok Kitchen is right up there in the same stratosphere. With TikTok’s constant support through initiatives on the platform and via their creators, TikTok Kitchen will always be relevant and exciting.”