MrBeast is one of the most subscribed content creators on YouTube, with 108 million subscribers as of October 30th, 2022. With that kind of star power backing up the MrBeast Burger chain, it’s no surprise this entrepreneur has created a franchise with over 1,700 locations as of this past September, with more openings shortly. But first, let’s cover how to start selling MrBeast Burgers and the total investment cost.
Selling MrBeast Burgers at a Glance
- How to Start Selling MrBeast Burgers
- What Are MrBeast Burgers?
- MrBeast Burger Menu
- How Much Does It Cost to License MrBeast Burgers?
- Early Reviews of MrBeast Burgers
- Franchise vs License: What’s the Difference?
- Advantages of the MrBeast Brand
- Disadvantages of the MrBeast Brand
How to Start Selling MrBeast Burgers
Unlike other franchises, the main cost of MrBeast burgers comes from licensing the packaging and the menu. Their business model involves using existing commercial kitchens and restaurants and allowing them to use the MrBeast brand through a licensing agreement. If you want to start a restaurant franchise instead of licensing, take our 8-minute quiz to be matched with something that fits your budget and interest.
MrBeast burgers are largely “virtual” partnerships, meaning the brand allows restaurants to use their branding and offer the menu on delivery apps. That said, the brand doesn’t post its licensing fees, requiring potential partnerships to apply through its website for the latest costs. However, this licensing deal costs less than other franchise opportunities, mainly because it depends on an already existing business or kitchen to host the product rather than starting a business from scratch.
Before we discuss MrBeast Burgers and their licensing opportunities, let’s first take a closer look at the MrBeast brand and how MrBeast became the YouTube and restaurant star he is today.
Who Is MrBeast?
Jimmy Donaldson, now more commonly known as MrBeast, started his entertainment empire with a simple YouTube channel titled “MrBeast6000” back in 2012. This YouTube channel, which began when the influencer was only 13 years old, has grown into the internet sensation that is MrBeast.
From early “let’s play” videos (videos where individuals stream or record themselves playing a game) to MrBeast’s now-infamous video recreating the Netflix series Squid Game in real life, including the lofty $456,000 prize, this YouTube has gained a reputation for over-the-top cash prizes and surprising levels of philanthropy. But, before fans of Squid Game get concerned, MrBeast did not stay true to the murderous themes of the TV show and has a history of donating to various causes, including other content creators.
In fact, as of October 29th, 2020, MrBeast is eyeing a $1.5 billion valuation for his brand empire, making it clear that these insane challenges and fan-fed marketing opportunities aren’t going anywhere soon. So what better way to capitalize on the influencer-led marketing that is the MrBeast name than investing in MrBeast Burger?
What Are MrBeast Burgers?
MrBeast burgers gained notoriety for being a “ghost franchise.” This title takes inspiration from the idea of a “ghost kitchen,” which became popular during the early 2020s pandemic shutdowns. In both concepts, a restaurant only operates through virtual distribution channels, including meal delivery apps. However, MrBeast Burgers takes the idea of a “ghost kitchen” to a new level, licensing the menu and branding it to restaurants in exchange for the burgers’ income.
While many influencers would be over the moon to start just one restaurant with their branding, MrBeast opened 300 at once with a partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC). The first day this burger business went live, MrBeast gave away the burgers for free and handed out $100 with each burger, not to mention some choice electronic prizes. Not only did this generate plenty of customers, but the video of the day-one launch earned over 121 million views. Now, the ghost franchise has over 1,700 locations across the United States and Canada.
Of course, restaurants that partner with MrBeast are not handing out $100 bills with their orders anymore, but the launch day success has continued, with the MrBeast Burger selling over a million burgers in the first two months since beginning the franchise. MrBeast Burgers operate thanks to a strong internet personality and a stronger fanbase.
You must be wondering what these incredible burgers are; surprisingly, they’re standard franchise burgers. The MrBeast menu includes standard diner burger fare, named after personalities attached to MrBeast’s channel, and some Impossible™ burger offerings for vegetarian customers. Overall, the most complicated ingredient on their menu is a toss-up between caramelized onions and mayo with house seasoning. Some Nashville-style chicken rounds out the menu and orders are served with crinkle-cut fries.
The burgers are only available through virtual delivery apps, including Grubhub, Postmates, UberEats, Doordash, and MrBeast Buger’s app. In most cases, customers are not concerned about what restaurant makes their burgers, so long as they have the MrBeast branding and are located near them, making this a low-investment, low-hassle ghost franchise.
MrBeast Burger Menu
As stated above, the MrBeast Burger menu is rather simplistic. The most prominent indicator of a MrBeast burger is the smashed-style patties, which have more caramelization on the edges than standard burger patties. Their offerings can be found at major burger joints, with some unique flavors added to their seasoned crinkle-cut fries. Still, their offerings are easy to make at most restaurants, meaning less ingredient variety for virtual restaurant investors.
Beast Style: Smashed crispy beef patties with house seasoning, sharp American cheese, pickles, diced white onion, mayo, ketchup, and brown mustard on a soft roll.
Crispy Chicken Tender Sandwich: Made with mayo, shredded lettuce, and pickles.
Chandler Style: Two smashed crispy beef patties with house seasoning, served plain with American cheese on a bun.
Nashville Hot Chicken Tender Sandwich: Made with mayo, ketchup, shredded lettuce, and pickles.
Chris Style: Two smashed crispy beef patties with house seasoning, sharp American cheese, and bacon, topped with crinkle fries.
Beast Style Fries: Loaded with caramelized onions, American cheese, pickles, mayo, ketchup, and mustard.
Karl’s Grilled Cheese: Three slices of American cheese griddled crisp on an inverted bun.
Seasoned Crinkle Fries: Crinkle fries seasoned with spicy red pepper, garlic, paprika, sugar, and a hint of lime.
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Karl’s Deluxe: A patty melt served Karl’s Style with a crispy seasoned beef patty, caramelized onions, and cheese on a toasty inverted bun.
Impossible™ Beast Style: Smashed crispy Impossible™ patties with house seasoning, American cheese, pickles, diced white onion, mayo, ketchup, and brown mustard on a soft roll.
Impossible™ Chandler Style: Two smashed crispy Impossible™ patties with house seasoning, served plain with American cheese on a bun.
Impossible™ Chris Style: Two smashed crispy Impossible™ patties with house seasoning, American cheese, and bacon, topped with crinkle fries.
Impossible™ Karl’s Deluxe: A patty melt served Karl’s Style with a crispy seasoned Impossible™ patty, caramelized onions, and cheese on a toasty inverted bun.
Of course, the brand also offers combo deals with bottled beverages and fries and has standard chocolate chip cookies as their dessert.
While the website does not list the prices of each item, standard pricing goes for about the same as a McDonald’s or Five Guys burger, with a slight increase in price due to the virtual cost of the burgers. On average, the burgers range between $8 to $11, which is standard among non-McDonald’s burger joints. With price increases over the past year, the price of MrBeast burgers has come somewhat close to average burger costs, especially when compared with in-restaurant dining costs.
How Much Does It Cost to License MrBeast Burgers?
Currently, the cost of licensing MrBeast Burgers is private information. The overall cost of investing in this franchise is hidden behind the website’s information form. Once you submit your restaurant information, you must wait for the company to contact you. The most significant investment in this brand comes from building or purchasing a commercial restaurant. Estimates place startup fees for a from-scratch restaurant location at between $500,000 to $1,000,000, but this depends on the kind of restaurant equipment you invest in and inventory.
Remember that, according to MrBeast himself, MrBeast Burger has earned over $100 million in revenue since its opening. Unlike other franchise deals, the risk/reward of a MrBeast partnership is quite reasonable. Most restaurants offer the simplistic MrBeast menu alongside their food and have it as a takeout-only option through mobile apps. A restaurant partnered with this “ghost franchise” is not limited to one form of income like other franchise agreements.
Much like other forms of influencer marketing, MrBeast comes with his built-in fanbase, allowing you to capitalize on his fans without drumming up potential customers. However, if the 20-mile-long line of cars on release day is any indicator, this brand has a way of bringing in customers.
Early Reviews of MrBeast Burgers
While MrBeast may have a relatively high approval rating on YouTube, his burgers have been largely hit-or-miss upon release. Fans complain about soggy fries, raw meat, and an overarching lack of quality control since the products are licensed to many restaurants. While MrBeast has stepped in and offered refunds to fans, the reviews have been somewhat disappointing. However, these few reviews have continued the franchise, with incredible revenue reports and 1,700 restaurants signed on to the program.
Some have expressed concerns about how simple the MrBeast menu is, and with the rise and fall of internet celebrities being instantaneous these days, there are concerns that MrBeast Burgers will fall flat should any big news break about the YouTube star. But, of course, this goes hand-in-hand with the franchise and licensing developments.
However, the relatively low startup costs of a MrBeast Burger agreement compared with other franchises make it a tempting arrangement for many restaurants looking to generate customers after the downturn of the pandemic.
Franchise vs License: What’s the Difference?
While we’ve been using the term “ghost franchise” to describe MrBeast Burgers, it is best described as a licensing agreement, as there aren’t the traditional trappings of a franchise. Restaurants pay to use the logo and menu associated with MrBeast, giving MrBeast part of their revenue from the products. The product overhead is relatively low, as the burgers are only sold using delivery apps and have simple recipes you can make at most Americana restaurants.
The most significant part of this brand that makes it a “ghost franchise” is that customers are looking to buy into the brand as a “virtual restaurant” instead of simply being a menu item deal with a company. Take, for example, the Mountain Dew partnership with Taco Bell; this is a licensing deal as Taco Bell gets to offer new Mountain Dew flavors year-round, including their signature Baja Blast. However, the packaging deal for MrBeast Burgers is more like a franchise without the startup franchise investment.
Since it is accurate to call MrBeast Burgers a “ghost franchise” and a licensing deal, we’ve referenced the company both ways in this article. Still, the initial investment and brand exchange make it more like licensing deal than a traditional franchise.
Advantages of the MrBeast Brand
As with all forms of influencer marketing, the main perk of the MrBeast brand is the built-in customer base. MrBeast has the 5th most subscribers on YouTube and, compared with other personalities, has a largely positive reception. He’s known for giving to charity, helping those impacted by the pandemic, and continues to turn out new content that, in turn, creates more fans.
The other advantage of the brand is that its menu is simple to make and easy to implement. No additional restaurant space is needed to sell this online-only menu, allowing restaurants to craft the menu on the side. Plus, more virtual orders will enable restaurants to operate without the cost of customer seating and amenities.
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Another added benefit of MrBeast Burgers is the low startup cost. This licensing agreement is much cheaper than other franchises, and for those who already have a restaurant, this is a no-brainer licensing deal. Of course, startup costs are still associated with starting your restaurant, but without franchise fees, MrBeast Burgers is relatively low-cost.
Disadvantages of the MrBeast Brand
As with any brand associated with a celebrity, MrBeast Burgers are heavily tied to the rise and fall of MrBeast’s career. While this YouTube influencer has a largely positive perception now, the internet age can make or break celebrities with one piece of information, which could tank the entire brand.
Quality control is another problem with the concept of a virtual brand. Of course, your restaurant may make the best MrBeast Burgers out there, but if the brand becomes associated with sub-par, simple burgers, that can impact your whole sales model. Another concern is the menu’s simplicity and if it will outlive its hype. Thankfully, the simple menu choices have carried the brand so far, but whether MrBeast Burger will join the burger joint hall of fame has yet to be decided.
If you’re interested in finding out about other burger franchises or are curious about different kinds of startups, check out our other articles. We aim to take some of the mystery out of investing in franchises and startups, so we hope we’ve answered some of your questions about this popular “ghost franchise” and the famous MrBeast. Thankfully, if MrBeast Burgers is too new to fit your investment goals, we cover plenty of other franchises that might work better with your business plan.