Riding off the red-hot popularity of TikTok recipe trends like baked feta pasta and dalgona coffee, TikTok is breaking into the restaurant business with the delivery-only ghost kitchen brand TikTok Kitchens. The social media giant is partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts and chain Italian brand Buca di Beppo to open 300 locations across the United States in March 2022. There are already plans to expand to 1,000 by the end of 2022.
Virtual Dining Concepts co-founder Robert Earl told Kate Krader of Bloomberg, “You have a platform with 1 billion viewers monthly who are constantly engaged, as the numbers show. It’s the first time there’s a brand like this out there—an audience of hundreds of millions of people.”
TikTok Kitchen will use facilities for chains like Bertucci’s and Buca di Peppo. The menu will constantly evolve as dishes go viral on TikTok, with pricing similar to that of a fast-casual bowl meal. TikTok said in a statement, “Proceeds from TikTok Kitchen sales will go to both support the creators who inspired the menu item and to encourage and assist other creators to express themselves on the platform, in keeping with TikTok’s mission to inspire creativity and bring joy to its users.”
Operations are not limited to Buca locations. As of the time of writing, Virtual Dining Concepts has a standing invitation to restaurant owners to become a “TikTok Kitchen. Interested restaurant owners can apply here.
“Restaurateurs, increase profits daily by utilizing your existing equipment and staff to operate this delivery-only brand. TikTok Kitchen will be available online only thus not affecting your restaurant’s in-person dining and pick-up options.
The menu is inspired by the hottest food trends on TikTok. The dishes celebrate food trends made famous by TikTok creators. TikTok, with over 1 billion subscribers, provides a space for a wide range of creators to post videos featuring recipes and food hacks. These culinary trends have made the food space explode, and VDC has a menu that allows restaurants across the country to opt-in and become a market partner.”