TikTok is teaming up with Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) to launch TikTok Kitchens, a delivery-only service that will whip up some of the app’s hottest recipes, first reported by Bloomberg. TikTok and VDC would open around 300 locations across the United States to begin with, but plan to expand to around 1,000 by the end of 2022.
TikTok Kitchens will operate from existing restaurants, including chains owned by VDC co-founder Robert Earl such as Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s. It’s basically a ghost kitchen service, but unlike some companies in this niche, VDC’s kitchens don’t seem to be operating from satellite kitchens converted to trailers in parking lots. As the Description of the service by VDC Notes, TikTok Kitchens will use a restaurant’s kitchen and existing employees, but provide training, food packaging, and recipes from TikTok.
To keep things up to date, the menu will rotate quarterly, considering how quickly viral content comes and goes on the platform. Bloomberg says the menu will initially feature the viral baked feta pasta – who was apparently the most searched recipe on Google in 2021 – air-fried corn strips corn ribs, the crisp, coated with cheese pasta chips, as well as the smash burger. The creators who inspired the menu’s recipes will receive a portion of the proceeds, as noted by the Press release.
“Creators will receive credit for menu items and feature prominently throughout [the] promotion, ”TikTok spokeswoman Elena Saavedra said in a statement to The edge. “To be clear, this is a campaign to bring TikTok food to fans, not a restaurant business.”
VDC has already experienced success with MrBeast Burger, a virtual kitchen that ultra-popular YouTuber, MrBeast, first launched in late 2020. Bloomberg notes that MrBeast has sold a million burgers in just three months and that there are now 1,500 kitchens in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.