The ghost kitchen company that runs MrBeast Burger has countersued Jimmy Donaldson, aka YouTube megastar MrBeast. Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) alleges that Donaldson and his Beast Investments (BI) company failed to abide by contractual obligations, such as carrying out promotional work, and that they "materially damaged" its reputation. VDC is seeking over $100 million in damages according to Variety, which first reported the news.
“VDC alleges that Mr. Donaldson’s and BI’s actions have materially damaged the reputation of MrBeast Burger and VDC, turned away customers, and shattered hard-won relationships with vendors and suppliers, damaging the bottom lines of hundreds of restaurants across the country and around the world, and causing damages to VDC that, according to VDC’s evidence and Mr. Donaldson’s own estimations are in the nine-figure range,” VDC told Nation's Restaurant News in a statement.
Donaldson filed suit against VDC and its parent company last week. He sought to end his partnership with them, citing issues including "disgusting" and "inedible" food. The original suit claimed VDC caused “material, irreplaceable harm” to the MrBeast brand. Donaldson also alleged that VDC had generated millions of dollars in revenue but he had “not received a dime.”
In its countersuit, VDC claims that Donaldson made “disparaging comments” against the company and MrBeast Burger. It cites several tweets (some of which seem to have been deleted) from the YouTube sensation, including claims that he wanted to shut down MrBeast Burger and that “the company I partnered with won’t let me stop even though it’s terrible for my brand.”
“This case is about a social media celebrity who believes his fame means that his word does not matter, that the facts do not matter, and that he can renege and breach his contractual obligations without consequence,” VDC's countersuit claims. “He is mistaken.”
MrBeast Burger primarily uses a ghost kitchen format, which VDC specializes in. Ghost kitchens don't have dedicated storefronts (though some operate out of existing brick-and-mortar restaurants) and only fulfill orders for delivery or pickup. When the first physical MrBeast Burger location opened in New Jersey with Donaldson and his crew in attendance last September, more than 10,000 people showed up.