TikTok launches delivery-only restaurants across the US in March – TechCrunch

TikTok is gearing up to launch a new service that will turn its viral food videos into meals you can actually order and enjoy. The social app is teaming up with Virtual Dining Concepts to launch “TikTok Kitchen”-branded delivery-only restaurants across the United States next year, as first reported by Bloomberg. The restaurant menu will be based on the most popular viral food posts on TikTok, which people can then have delivered to their doorsteps. The two companies plan to launch around 300 locations that will begin delivering food in March, and plan to open more than 1,000 restaurants by the end of next year.

The initial menu will feature TikTok’s best viral dishes like baked feta pasta, a smash burger, corn ribs, and pasta chips. Baked feta, in particular, gained popularity in 2021, as Google reported it to be the most searched-for dish of the year after gaining immense popularity on TikTok. Going forward, the location menu will change quarterly with new dishes that have started to go viral. It’s unclear whether TikTok will choose to make some popular dishes, like oven-baked feta pasta, standing offerings on the menu.

TikTok confirmed to TechCrunch that creators will receive credit for menu items and feature prominently throughout the partnership.

“The proceeds from TikTok Kitchen sales will be used both to support the creators who inspired the menu item and to encourage and help other designers express themselves on the platform in line with TikTok’s mission. inspire creativity and bring joy to its users, ‚ÄĚTikTok said.

The company clarified, however, that it was more of a campaign to bring TikTok food to fans, and not TikTok’s attempt at the restaurant business. This means that the company is probably looking at this as a marketing effort rather than a long-term endeavor. TikTok has not specified how long this “campaign” will last, nor provided any further details on the ordering process, nor how menu items will be selected and updated.

Founded in 2018, Virtual Dining Concepts operates several delivery-only ghost restaurants and has partnered with many notable people including YouTube celebrity MrBeast (who runs his own virtual dining business, MrBeast Burger), Guy Fieri, Steve Harvey, Mariah Carey, Tyga and others. The company also has a partnership with Barstool Sports. In October, Virtual Dining Concepts raised $ 20 million in Series A funding, saying it plans to use the investment to fund additional technology, improve business infrastructure, and provide marketing and support. additional customer.

TikTok is widely known for popular food trends and is home to many viral recipes that are often re-shared on other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The shortened video app’s latest partnership says the company is looking to capitalize on this popularity to raise the profile of its brand and those of its creators who feed the food content for its app.

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