The ghost kitchen company behind MrBeast Burger has vowed to fight back against the YouTube star’s recent lawsuit – calling claims they served ‘inedible’ sandwiches that hurt the internet star’s reputation ‘false’ and ‘disparaging.’
Aired in a statement Tuesday, the response from Virtual Dining Concepts comes a day after the YouTuber filed a federal suit in Manhattan claiming the firm tarnished his reputation by selling undercooked burgers and fries with his name on them.
The retort slammed the lawsuit – which offered snippets of reviews and photos from dissatisfied customers – as ‘riddled with false statements’, as well as ‘a thinly-veiled attempt to distract’ from alleged breaches in agreements between the two parties.
The Florida-based company initially partnered with MrBeast – whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson – to launch the venture back in 2020.
In the years since, it has served sandwiches to some ten million customers, the statement claims, using storefronts of other existing restaurants to cook up the food.
Last month, Donaldson abruptly announced an end to the venture, citing ‘quality issues’ with participating kitchens. The suit filed Monday demanded Virtual Dining cease operations immediately to halt any further damage to the star’s reputation.
The ghost kitchen company behind MrBeast Burger, Florida -based Virtual Dining Concepts, has vowed to fight back against the YouTube star’s recent lawsuit, calling claims they served ‘inedible’ sandwiches that hurt the internet star’s reputation ‘false’ and ‘disparaging’
‘MrBeast, by and through Beast Investments, LLC, filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against affiliates Virtual Dining Concepts, LLC, Celebrity Virtual Dining, LLC and Virtual Concepts Holdings, Inc.,’ the firm’s retaliatory statement, offered exclusively to DailyMail.com Tuesday, begins.
‘The complaint is riddled with false statements and inaccuracies and is a thinly-veiled attempt to distract from Mr. Donaldson’s and Beast Investments’ breaches of the agreements between the parties.’
Among those alleged violations, brass at the Orlando company said, were ‘Mr. Donaldson’s recent false, disparaging statements regarding the MrBeast Burger brand and VDC’ aired in the Monday lawsuit.
The statement went on to claim that the suit comes as part of MrBeast-led bullying tactic to negotiate a new deal to better served his own financial interests.
That maneuver, founders Trish Giordano and Robert and Robbie Earl wrote, was ‘to the detriment of approximately ten million happy MrBeast Burger customers, hundreds of restaurants, and ‘the thousands of employees who make MrBeast Burger products daily’.
It states: ‘Mr. Donaldson recently attempted to negotiate a new deal to serve his own monetary interests.
‘When VDC refused to accede to his bullying tactics to give up more of the company 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.’
It then calls attention to what execs labeled ‘the alleged basis for Donaldson’s complaint’ – that his reputation has been ‘materially and irreparably’ harmed by the several negative reviews and complaints aired in the lawsuit, which lawyers for Donaldson wrote ‘echoed the sentiments of thousands.’
To that, the firm – whose past celebrity partnerships include Mariah Carey and Pauly D – said: ‘In reality, Mr. Donaldson’s notoriety has grown exponentially over the life of the MrBeast Burger brand, in part because of the MrBeast Burger brand itself.’
‘Any negative customer reviews reflect the experience and opinion of a very small minority of MrBeast Burger customers,’ the statement said of the suit, which was filed Monday and offered snippets of dozens of reviews from dissatisfied customer to support Donaldson’s claims
Filed in Manhattan federal court Monday, the suit accused the ghost kitchen company of damaging his reputation by selling undercooked burgers and cold fries with his name on them, and not overseeing promised quality checks. The Orlando firm is calling those claims baseless
The suit – which claims that virtual restauant company failed to heed quality standards expected of the YouTuber – came after Donaldson abruptly called an end to the experiment last month, citing ‘quality issues’ with participating fast-food kitchens
It adds that contrary to Donaldson’s claims, ‘VDC takes quality and customer reviews very seriously’ and ‘consistently strives to improve quality and customer satisfaction’.
‘Any negative customer reviews reflect the experience and opinion of a very small minority of MrBeast Burger customers,’ New York lawyers Richard A. Edlin and Mathew S. Rosengart wrote, adding ‘VDC looks forward to being vindicated in court.’
‘In the meantime, it is business as usual for MrBeast Burger and VDC,’ the statement added of the operation’s 1,000 or so still participating restaurants across the country.
‘We had hoped Mr. Donaldson would act honorably. Instead, having elevated greed over his word and the truth, he will face the consequences in court when VDC files it claims against him.’
‘We extend our sincere appreciation to our customers, market partners, vendors and employees for all of their past, present and future support.
‘We look forward to serving many more happy customers.’
Apart from slamming Donaldson’s lawsuit, the scathing statement served to throw cold water on claims aired by the world’s most subscribed internet sensation last month, in which he said all participating MrBeast restaurants would soon cease operations immediately.
Aired in a series of now-deleted tweets, the announcement saw Donaldson tell is some 26million followers that he is ‘moving on from MrBeast Burger’ – instead choosing to concentrate on his other food-related venture, Feastables.
At the time, Donaldson credited the major driving force behind his decision – which saw him suddenly move on from the virtual brand after a great deal fanfare throughout their three years together – was a lack of quality control at the mostly online ventures increasing amount of participating locations.
The venture between the two parties was initially a hit – with Donaldson parlaying his fame so that a mass of more than 10,000 lined up for the opening of the first location in New Jersey. It also saw more than a million burgers sold before he had the opportunity to advertise them
It comes after Donaldson abruptly called an end to the experiment last month, citing ‘quality issues’ with participating ghost kitchens
At the time, the statement aligned with an increasing amount of negative reviews involving MrBeast Burger that had been surfacing online, in which customers paying $10 for a MrBeast-branded burger regularly complained about waning food quality.
Others – as the pandemic boom of virtual restaurants began to fade this and last year – lamented how the delivery experience had become subpar.
Donaldson’s displeasure was then laid bare this Monday, when Bloomberg was the first to report the multimillionaire was suing the company behind his branded line of burgers, demanding it be shut down due the alleged effects the dissatisfaction was having on his reputation.
The suit – which was filed in New York District Court -included snippets of reviews from customers to illustrate this dissatisfaction, in which customers blasted their meals with less-than-appetizing buzzwords such as ‘inedible’ and ‘revolting.’
A section of federal filing reads, ‘Customers have referred to the burgers as being “disgusting,” “revolting,” and “inedible.”’
Gripes from unhappy patrons included, ‘It is sad that MrBeast would put his name on this’, where another simply said they had ‘never had something so nasty.’
Other quoted criticisms included claims of ‘inaccurate marketing’, ‘big name, poor food,’ and ‘very upsetting for the high price.’
One simply slammed the YouTuber’s sandwich as ‘the worst burger I have ever had.’
In one exhibit, lawyers for the world’s most subscribed YouTuber offered a compilation of ‘just a handful’ of the thousands of negative reviews that have been published online by MrBeast Burger consumers over the years. Lawyers for VDC said the media was carefully picked and does not provide an accurate gauge on the experiences of some ’10million happy customers’
Lawyer also bolstered those claims with multiple separate exhibits that contained similar assertions and accounts from people at large.
In one, lawyers shared a Florida father of two’s email to MrBeast’s reps in January after a poor MrBeast Burger experience.
In it, the man described how he felt as though he had ‘let his children down’ by ordering from Donaldson’s service.
‘My children adore and love watching Mr Beast videos daily,’ the correspondence, sent to MrBeast and his reps in January, read.
‘This is not a complaint or grab for attention or money back,’ the dad went on to disclaim before offering the account.
‘It’s more to make you aware of a situation that may be tarnishing your name with a product that just is being misrepresented.’
It read as follows: ‘On December 30th my son, 11 and daughter, 8 planned out an evening with their father and it consisted of introducing me to Mr Beast while eating MrBeast Burgers.
‘Sounded like a good plan to me, so I first tried to help them with the App which continued to say it was not available in my country, the USA. After a while, I decided to just order through Mrbeastburger.com.
‘This went fairly well but after the order was placed over I noticed that I could not tip the driver which ended up being Uber picking up the order,’ the account continued.
‘I ended up paying cash to the driver but I’m not sure how often this happens or if it was a glitch. Drivers may not want to pick up orders because of this which delays your food being delivered in a timely manner.’
The claims aired in suit were further bolstered by multiple separate exhibits that contained similar assertions from people at large. In one, lawyers shared a Florida man’s email to MrBeast’s reps in January after a poor MrBeast Burger experience he said ‘let his kids down’
The man went on to recall how he received the food in unbranded packaging that he was able to trace back to a nearby 7-Eleven.
‘After the order, I was given an address that I was able to trace back to a 7-11 in Winter Springs, Florida,’ his recollection read.
‘After watching and learning more about Mr. Beast, I just don’t see how a place like 7-11 should be preparing and serving $10.00 burgers and expensive fries for a figure so well known and loved by so many people.’
He added: ‘Especially when they arrive in a white plastic bag with white generic Styrofoam containers and no pickles or any condiments on the Beast Fries.
‘With that being said,’ he went on, ‘I did not want to bring any attention to this with my kids or bring down their excitement. I just know by the look of disappointment on their faces when the food arrived and how items were missing upset them.
‘Prior to delivery they were showing me pictures of other delivered Mr Beast food and what it looks like so this is how I knew they were sad. They quickly got over it and ate their food.
‘I did not want to take pictures of their food or talk about it so that’s why I only took photos after we ate,’ he added.
‘I’m not even going to get into how everything tasted, Its just the misrepresentation that I am saddened by and how it let me children down.’
Of this, attorneys for Donaldson seeking to terminate his agreement with Virtual Dining Concepts effective immediately wrote : ‘Customers do not expect their MrBeast burger to come in a 7-11 bag.
‘That is not what anyone expects from a MrBeast-branded product.’
In another attachment, lawyers for Donaldson offered a compilation of ‘just a handful’ of the thousands of negative reviews that have been published online by MrBeast Burger consumers over the years.
An anecdote from a reviewer New York – ‘echoing the sentiments of thousands,’ as attorneys put it – stated his MrBeast Burger was ‘the absolute worst burger I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.’
That person added of their experience: ‘It was like eating spoonfuls of garlic powder. fries were soggy and ice cold. don’t waste your money.’
Others contained claims – along with photos and videos providing supposed proof – they received ‘raw’ MrBeast Burgers, while others slammed the sandwich as simply underwhelming.
Citing the mass of media – taken from videos from food reviewers and posts on social media – attorneys added that ‘there are literally thousands’ more negative reviews, articles, and comments from people who are ‘deeply disappointed’ by the product, and ‘by the fact that MrBeast would put his name’ on it.
‘Because the entire business is based on the tremendous global value of the MrBeast brand,’ the suit adds, ‘it is MrBeast himself, and not Virtual Dining Concepts, who has borne the brunt of the (justified) attacks and criticisms,’
It further claims that MrBeast made every effort to cause Virtual Dining Concepts to fix’ these significant quality control problems as soon as he learned of them, but they refused and/or were incapable.’
As a result, the suit claims Virtual Dining Concepts ‘has caused material, irreparable harm to the MrBeast brand and MrBeast’s reputation,’ not only through its abject failure to address ‘significant’ quality control problems with the virtual business, but also through other material breaches of the agreements with MrBeast.’
That broken agreement, the suit states, came after Virtual Dining repeatedly denied MrBeast his valuable approval rights by posting his name, image, and brand on social media and elsewhere without first obtaining his written approval and consent.
It also said that while the business has made millions of dollars, ‘MrBeast has not received a dime.’
Donaldson has yet to publicly comment on the suit, but has been doing so through a spokesperson.
Last July, about two years into the venture, Donaldson bragged about the astonishing amount of money the burger chain has earned in the US thus far, then tapped at $100million.
The firm started with 300 locations in the US, but quickly expanded to 1000 locations across North America.
In January, the cash earnings from the operation stood at $150,000,000 in revenue.
However, after accounting for the 30% fee paid to actual locations, as well as the cost of ingredients, packaging, shipping, storing, and other expenses, the net profit was somewhere around $30,000,000 – an amount supposed to be split between Donaldson and Virtual Dining Concepts.
The suit concludes that due to the material, irreparable harm to MrBeast’s reputation and brand caused by Virtual Dining Concepts’ failure to uphold its end of the parties’ agreement, MrBeast has no choice but to seek… a judicial declaration that he has the right to terminate the MrBeast Burger business.’
It also claims that Donaldson is entitled to unspecified damages from ‘the harm caused by Virtual Dining Concepts’ multiple material breaches of the agreements between the parties.’
‘Consistent with MrBeast’s philosophy, if the MrBeast Burger virtual business cannot provide the highest level of service and products to its customers, then it should not continue,’ it states.
The suit – which comes as so-called ghost kitchens exploded in popularity during the pandemic but have since seen their success slow drastically – is currently making its way through the Manhattan federal court system.
It is not clear how much the operation has made in the six months since. The case is currently ongoing.