It’s Thursday night. I had dinner a couple of hours ago and I’m contemplating going to the gym…but I’m tired and still hungry. The thought of a greasy burger crosses my mind and I try to ignore it but it plants itself at the front of my brain and refuses to budge. I’m currently doing some writing/researching and decide to take a break by flicking through some YouTube Shorts (they’re videos on YouTube, not actual clothing-type shorts). Low and behold, one of the first videos presented to me is the YouTuber ‘MrBeast’ on a podcast talking about his business ‘MrBeast Burger’.
If you haven’t heard of MrBeast, don’t worry, neither had I until recently. MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson (the most American name ever), is an “American YouTube personality” according to Wikipedia and is basically a 24 year old guy who has racked up over 6 billion views and 106 million subscribers on his original ‘MrBeast’ YouTube channel since he first started it in 2012 at the age of 13. It is just one of his many YouTube channels now, which have collectively made him the second biggest YouTuber in the world. His videos are mostly ‘stunts’ in which he’ll walk up to a random stranger and present them with a million dollars, or a private jet, or something equally outrageous and life-changing for the receipient. With his fame has come a sh*t ton of money and a passion for philanthropy, and the ‘About’ section of his channel lists just some of these philanthropic achievements. They include: raising $20 million to plant 20 million trees, giving millions to charity, donating over 100 cars, giving away a private island, and giving away 1 million dollars in one video. Quite an achievement at 24 years old.
He has also built various businesses, one of which is the ‘MrBeast Burger’, founded in November 2020. On the company’s website it is described as ‘a virtual restaurant brand’ operating out of existing restaurant kitchens which allows restauranteurs to add a new source of revenue without impacting the operation. So, there are no physical ‘MrBeast Burger’ locations apart from the occasional pop-ups that they do to promote the brand. Consequently, The New York Times calls it a ‘ghost franchise’ and predicts that there will be many more with and without celebrity names attached. In exchange for a cut of sales revenue, any restaurant with the space and staff to make burgers is supplied with the name, logo, menu, recipes and publicity images, providing the restaurant with a trendy little side hustle. In a YouTube video MrBeast claims “I literally just opened 300 restaurants all across America” and, in the digital world, that’s not wholly inaccurate.
My food has arrived promptly, thanks to Deliveroo, and my first impressions are that the burger and fries both look and smell very American. I feel like my flat has just been converted into a greasy American diner (in a good way). To clarify, my order consists of:
Beast Style Burger: smashed crispy beef patties with house seasoning, sharp American cheese, pickles, diced white onion, mayo, ketchup, and mustard on a soft roll.
Beast Style Fries: Loaded with caramelised onions, American cheese, pickles, mayo, ketchup and mustard.
So, along with a can of Diet Coke, that was my overly indulgent order which added up to something like 1700 calories and £21, which is around my average takeaway spend in London anyway. Their menu online also lists dessert as being a chocolate chip cookie, but I missed out on that unfortunately as the restaurant providing my meal didn’t offer that.
Now to my meal. It arrives in two separate, simple boxes. Both parts of my meal have very distinct flavours and seasonings so it is definitely a good idea not to squeeze them into one box (even if it is more environmentally-friendly).
My first realisation is that I’m going to need a fork for my fries because all of the sauce and melted cheese makes it impossible to eat them with my fingers like the uncivilised caveman that I am. But, first up is the burger…
Now, I’ve enjoyed many many burgers during my thirty years on this planet so I know a good burger when I eat one and this one was…average. I’m struggling to remember the taste of it already and I‘ve only just consumed it. Nevertheless, it’s tasty and does the job, which is all you can really ask for from a takeaway. Would I order it again? Probably not, since I can get a similar style of burger from a cheaper takeaway. Plus, I like bacon on my burgers and MrBeast doesn’t even give you the option *insert sad face emoji here*.
Usually I would have my fries first, since they’re the warm-up act to the burger, but I was eager to get stuck into my burger so the fries had to wait patiently. It turns out that I was inadvertently saving the best for last because I literally couldn’t get enough of these fries, they were easily the highlight of the entire meal. I’ve never known these humble potato products to have so much flavour. Granted, the flavour is from the addition of the sauce, the cheese, mayo, mustard etc. but the combination of all of these has made me realise why America has a chronic obesity epidemic. If I could have these fries with every single meal (including breakfast), I would sign up in a heartbeat.
So there we are, MrBeast Burger in all its glory. Would I buy this exact meal again? Probably not, because I can get a better burger and an amazing milkshake, with more fries, from Five Guys for just a few pounds more. BUT, that doesn’t mean I won’t buy from MrBeast again as he’s got other items on his menu that I’m curious to try, like the Nashville Hot Chicken Tender Sandwich, and Seasoned Crinkle Fries with a variety of seasoning. All in all, I’m well and truly stuffed, and I feel like I just took a road trip to America. Plus, I now know who MrBeast is so I’m officially “down with the kids”, whatever that’s worth.