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September 13, 2022

On the day of, Donaldson tried to set expectations for the crowd. Ten minutes before opening the restaurant, he estimated that more than 10,000 people were already queuing. “I feel pretty good about serving all you but anyone else coming idk maybe come tomorrow/later tonight haha,” he wrote on Twitter. By closing, his tune had changed. MrBeast claimed that his grand opening broke the world record for most burgers sold in a day by a single restaurant. That hasn’t been confirmed yet, and the Guinness World Records is demanding proof: “Send us the numbers, Jimmy,” the account posted on Twitter. One thing that’s undeniably true: Even the most hyped-up, celebrity-frequented restaurants or buzzy pastry drops don’t see crowds like this, despite MrBeast’s very average-looking food offerings.

While the YouTube star to restaurateur pipeline may not seem like an obvious path, burgers aren’t Donaldson’s first foray into food. In January, he launched Feastables, which sounds like a brand of cat food but is actually a chocolate company featuring MrBeast bars. And, Donaldson, known for giving away huge sums of money, launched Beast Philanthropy in October 2020. The charitable organization currently operates a food pantry and distribution network in North Carolina “to address the food insecurity needs of remote and under-served food deserts,” according to its website.

MrBeast is not the first viral online star to launch a food empire in real life. TikTok Pink Sauce creator Chef Pii partnered with Dave’s Gourmet Sauces in August to mass produce her controversial psychedelic goop. And from ghost kitchens like MrBeast’s, celebrities like Steve Aoki hawks pizza and DJ Khaled sells chicken wings. The food, it seems, is not typically any good. But that’s not the point. Chains like this aren’t for people who love food. They’re for fans. And lucky for MrBeast, he’s rolling in them.

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