Coming Soon: TikTok Restaurants That Will Deliver the Platform’s Most Popular Dishes

TikTok is partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts to bring baked feta pasta, pasta chips and more right to your door.

December 20, 2021

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Baked Feta Pasta. Keywords: Cherry Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Mezze Rigatoni, Garlic, Basil, Red Pepper

Photo by: Matt

Matt

Don’t feel like making that TikTok-viral baked feta pasta or those pasta chips on your own, but still want to try them? Now there’s an answer: Just order them from TikTok Kitchen and get them delivered to your door.

TikTok is getting into the restaurant business (initially virtual, but can brick-and-mortar locations be far behind?) in a move that, once you stop and think about it, seems both genius and inevitable.

On Friday, the video-centric social-networking platform announced that it is partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts, which matches brands with existing restaurant kitchens to quickly ramp its concepts up to scale, to bring the world delivery-only TikTok Kitchen locations around the U.S. beginning in March.

According to Bloomberg News, TikTok Kitchen will offer a menu consisting of the most viral TikTok food trends, including its wildly popular baked feta pasta, which Google recently revealed was among its top trending recipes of 2021. Also on the initial TikTok Kitchen menu: TikTok’s pasta chips, smash burger and corn ribs.

The concept has built-in menu flexibility, with quarterly updates planned. So if a new dish goes viral, it can be added to the menu; and if another one loses its broad appeal, it can be phased out.

At launch, Virtual Dining Concepts is planning for about 300 delivery-only restaurant locations (including some that will piggyback onto the kitchens of chains Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s) offering TikTok meals, with intentions to scale up to more than 1,000 locations by the time 2022 rolls to a close. The idea is to capitalize on the broad popularity of TikTok food and recipe videos.

“Look, you have a platform with a billion viewers monthly who are constantly engaged, as the numbers show,” Virtual Dining Concepts co-founder Robert Earl told Bloomberg. “It’s the first time there’s a brand like this out there – an audience of hundreds of millions of people.”

And in case you wondered, the TikTokers who’ve developed and shared the viral recipes will reap some of the TikTok Kitchen profits, although exactly who is entitled to that “creator” share may prove somewhat sticky.

“I’m doing it as a business, TikTok are doing it for development of that category. It’s an investment in their business,” Earl said.

Virtual Dining Concepts, which partners with GrubHub for delivery, is also the operation behind Mariah Carey’s Mariah’s Cookies.

It has also seen rapid expansion in its partnership with YouTube stuntmeister Jimmy Donaldson, whose delivery-only MrBeast Burger has sold more than one million burgers and expanded to more than 1,000 locations across North American and Europe since it launched in November 2020.

While it’s currently only virtual, a brick-and-mortar MrBeast Burger may be in the offing, Bloomberg reports. Can IRL TikTok Kitchens be far behind?

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