The feud between YouTuber James Donaldson, more commonly known as MrBeast, and ghost kitchen company Virtual Dining Concepts continues to rage on. After MrBeast filed a lawsuit against the company’s poor performance in scaling up MrBeast Burger, Virtual Dining Concepts is now accusing him of greed and bullying.
Virtual Dining Concepts did not take kindly to MrBeast’s lawsuit, in which he claimed that the company allowed ghost kitchens associated with his name to serve customers poor quality and undercooked food that reviewers called “revolting.” The company now claims that the lawsuit is “meritless” and “riddled with false statements and inaccuracies” in a statement shared with Gizmodo. Virtual Dining Concepts also alluded in its statement to the fact that MrBeast apparently wanted a larger stake in his deal with the company, leading VDC to label him as greedy and relying on bullying.
“To the detriment of approximately ten million happy MrBeast Burger customers, hundreds of restaurants, and their thousands of employees who make MrBeast Burger products daily, Mr. Donaldson recently attempted to negotiate a new deal to serve his own monetary interests,” the company wrote in an emailed statement shared with Gizmodo. “When VDC refused to accede to his bullying tactics to give up more of the brand to him, he filed this ill-advised and meritless lawsuit seeking to undermine the MrBeast Burger brand and terminate his existing contractual obligations without cause.”
MrBeast did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.
MrBeast and Virtual Dining Concepts entered into an agreement in December 2020 to bring MrBeast Burger to the masses. Virtual Dining Concepts is a company that sets up ghost kitchens—pop-up restaurants posing as small businesses that cater exclusively to customers on delivery apps—with celebrity clients that include Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, Bravo, and the podcast “Pardon My Take.” MrBeast Burger is a fast food burger joint concept with offerings named after references to MrBeast’s content and collaborators. While the chain started strong, fueled by MrBeast’s rabid audience and the covid quarantine delivery boom, it was plagued by the inevitable trappings of a company that was too obsessed with expansion, rather than quality control.
Earlier this week, MrBeast sued Virtual Dining Concepts to prematurely end the agreement between the two. MrBeast and his legal team argue that Virtual Dining Concepts was using the YouTuber’s reputation and name to pitch the ghost kitchen idea to other celebrities, and allowed MrBeast Burger’s quality to languish as collateral damage. The lawsuit featured evidence from fellow YouTubers like Eddy Burback and H3 Productions, who tried the restaurant in videos published to the platform, but also from customers who claimed to have received raw beef and undercooked chicken in their orders.
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