- TikTok is opening ghost kitchens across the United States to serve dishes made popular by the social media app.
- A total of 300 TikTok restaurant locations are slated for March, with 1,000 expected by the end of 2022.
- TikTok said it plans to reinvest its profits in the food creators and culinary talents of the platform.
- For more stories, visit Business Insider.
For die-hard foodies who love scrolling through cooking videos on social media, TikTok has a new concept of ghost cooking restaurant based on its most viral culinary hits in the United States.
The video-sharing platform announced Friday that it is partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts to launch a delivery-based restaurant service chain starting March 2022. Entitled “TikTok Kitchens,” the company aims to bringing TikTok famous foods to their fans, rather than serving as an official push in the restaurant business, a TikTok spokesperson told Insider.
The social media-themed restaurant menu will feature dishes popular with platform users, including baked feta pasta, smash burgers, corn ribs and pasta chips. The offerings are expected to adapt to changing food trends on the app and will be updated quarterly, according to a press release from the company.
TikTok Kitchens is slated to launch with 300 locations to boot and will operate from US national restaurant chains like Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s. These businesses will join the popular trend of ghost kitchens, where restaurants offer delivery-only or drive-thru orders without a physical storefront, which has exploded in popularity as food deliveries increased during the pandemic.
TikTok has an average of over 130 million monthly active users in the United States and topped three billion downloads worldwide in July. #FoodTok – food-related content on TikTok, including experimenting with recipes and cooking tips – is one of the most popular corners of the platform, with its videos racking up over 11.5 billion dollars. views in December, and TikTok aims to tap into this niche.
“Look, you have a platform with a billion viewers per month who are constantly engaged, as the numbers show,” Virtual Dining Concepts president Robert Earl told Bloomberg. “This is the first time that there has been a brand like this – an audience of hundreds of millions of people.”
US customers will be able to place orders for TikTok Kitchen through Grubhub, and food prices will be “comparable to other Virtual Dining Concept brands,” Earl added. For reference, Earl’s MrBeast Burger company with YouTube star MrBeast serves burgers starting at $ 6.99, the equivalent of Rand 110.
Restaurants across the United States can also apply to become a “market partner,” according to the press release, allowing them to host food preparation for TikTok Kitchen orders. Virtual Dining Concepts has announced its goal of opening 1,000 locations by the end of 2022.
Proceeds from TikTok Kitchen sales will be used to support the creators who inspired the menu items and other designers who want to create new foods, according to a press release, but the companies did not specify how the money would be spent. .
Jenni Häyrinen, a Finnish culinary artist behind the popular baked feta recipe on TikTok in early 2021, told Insider that she was “excited and proud” that her original dish was on TikTok Kitchen’s menu. .
“The baked feta pasta recipe was created at a time when I needed a quick lunch at home,” she said. “It has helped millions of people since and now it’s getting even easier.”
Creators including Yumna Jawad, a food blogger who has helped foods like the baked feta pasta and pasta crisps trend on TikTok, told Insider she’s been eagerly awaiting how this effort will support consumers. creators.
“I think it’s such a cool concept,” Jawad told Insider. “I love that TikTok is shining more light on influencers like me who got more people to watch these trending food videos and cook up the recipes.”