I guess it had to happen sooner or later. TikTok is said to be in the process of opening up a string of delivery-only restaurants they’re calling TikTok Kitchen across the United States this coming March. The company plans to have 300 locations when it opens with as many as 1,000 by the end of the year.
The menu will consist of items that proved to be popular on the platform. According to Techcrunch:
“The initial menu will include top TikTok viral dishes like baked feta pasta, a smash burger, corn ribs and pasta chips. The baked feta, in particular, gained incredible traction in 2021 as Google reported it was the most-searched dish of the year after it gained immense popularity on TikTok. Going forward, the menu at the locations will be amended quarterly with new dishes that have started to go viral. It’s unknown whether TikTok will choose to make some popular dishes, like the baked feta pasta, permanent offerings on the menu.“
Now the big question you’re probably having is “Why?” It’s actually a great branding exercise for the company and the business model isn’t that much of a risk. Delivery-only means much lower overhead than a traditional brick and mortar restaurant and the labor costs are much lower as well.
Since the company is partnering with GrubHub on the venture, it has delivery covered, which is a big component that makes it viable. It’s also getting help from a company called Virtual Dining Concepts which helped the popular MrBeast Burger get going as well.
The other thought is that TikTok is trying to rev up ecommerce on the platform and this is an ideal way to scale it fast. No word if food ordering is only through the platform but it would make sense for that to happen.
Finally, since Instagram seems to copy everything that TikTok does, TikTok Kitchen may be the ultimate challenge. Insta-Kitchen anyone?