TikTok is getting ready to launch a new business that will transform its famous food videos into actual meals that you can buy and eat. According to Bloomberg, the social media platform is teaming up with Virtual Dining Concepts to open “TikTok Kitchen”-branded delivery-only restaurants across the United States next year.
The restaurants’ menus will base on TikTok’s most successful viral food posts, which customers may order and have delivered to their door. The two businesses intend to establish roughly 300 eateries that will begin delivering meals in March, with a goal of opening over 1,000 by the end of next year.
Top TikTok viral foods such as baked feta pasta, a smash burger, corn ribs, and spaghetti chips will be on the inaugural menu. The baked feta, in particular, gained enormous traction in 2021, with Google reporting it as the year’s most-searched meal after it became extremely popular on TikTok.
The menus at the venues will update quarterly in the future with new recipes that have gone viral. It is unclear if TikTok will make some of the most popular meals, such as baked feta spaghetti, permanent menu items.
TikTok confirmed to TechCrunch that creators will be credited for items on the menu and that they will be prominently highlighted throughout the relationship. “Proceeds from TikTok Kitchen sales will go toward supporting the creators who inspired the menu item, as well as encouraging and assisting other creators to express themselves on the platform in line with TikTok’s objective to inspire creativity and offer joy to its users,” TikTok stated.
However, the firm stressed that this was more of a push to deliver TikTok cuisine to fans, rather than TikTok’s foray into the restaurant industry. That suggests the corporation is most likely treating this as a one-time marketing stunt rather than a long-term investment. TikTok did not specify how long the “campaign” would last, nor did it disclose any more information regarding the ordering procedure or how menu items will choose and replenished.
Virtual Dining Concepts, which was founded in 2018, operates a number of delivery-only ghost restaurants and has teamed with a number of celebrities, including YouTube star MrBeast (who has his own virtual restaurant, MrBeast Burger), Guy Fieri, Steve Harvey, Mariah Carey, Tyga, and others. Barstool Sports is also a partner of the firm.
Virtual Dining Concepts secured $20 million in Series A fundraising in October, stating it will use the money to develop new technologies, improve corporate infrastructure, and expand marketing and customer service. TikTok is well known for popular culinary trends and has a large number of viral recipes that are frequently reshared on other social media sites including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The newest agreement for the short-form video app signals that the firm is aiming to capitalize on its popularity to improve the profile of both its brand and the producers who are fuelling the app’s culinary content.