Donaldson, who has more than 170 million subscribers to his flagship YouTube channel, partnered with Virtual Dining in 2020. They began selling burger-and-fries combos in December of that year, tapping restaurants and commercial kitchens across the country that were experiencing downtime due to the pandemic. Customers ordered online for delivery or pick up through the MrBeastBurger website or other delivery services, a concept known as “ghost kitchens.”
Thanks in large part to Donaldson’s promotional skills, the partners sold 1 million burgers in the first three months, the suit said. By 2022, they had signed up 1,700 participating restaurants. The burger business became one of many ways in which Donaldson has used his large following on social media to build new enterprises, including the Feastables line of snacks.
Yet it wasn’t long before fans began complaining about the subpar burgers. Customers have posted thousands of negative reviews referring to the company’s sandwiches as “disgusting,” “revolting” and “inedible,” according to the suit. Donaldson said his own complaints about quality control “fell on deaf ears.”