It feels like virtual restaurants are raining here and there. You remember Virtual Dining concepts? It’s the company that helped MrBeast open his virtual restaurant MrBeast Burger (you can read all about that here). Well, the news of the hour is that TikTok Inc. has collaborated with Virtual Dining Concepts to open its chain of virtual restaurants, or as they call it, ghost kitchens.
TikTok announced its collaboration with Virtual Dining Concepts on 17th December 2021. The delivery-only restaurants are set to open in March 2022 in locations all over the USA. This decision comes after food videos have become a crucial niche for many creators of the app. As there is a time limit to the videos on the app, the content is crisp and fresh.
This restaurant will enable people to order their favorites amongst the viral food trends so they can eat them while watching their favorite TikToks. There are a lot of things that are yet to be decided but this news sure got us excited.
Their predecessor celebrity collaborator, MrBeast, had a major breakout after he opened MrBeast Burger in 2020. MrBeast Burger now delivers to 1500 locations across the USA alone. It has delivery locations in Canada and the U.K. as well. TikTok expects a similar response to their venture. Well, let’s shed more light on this piece of information.
Everything We Know About The Virtual TikTok Restaurants
The news of TikTok joining the restaurant business may come as a surprise but it was not a shock. The video-sharing app has about a billion users worldwide and many of them enjoy food and recipe videos. Some of the food recipes became so viral that even celebrities had to give them a try.
The viral food recipes gave way to many food trends and now have paved the way for TikTok restaurants. If you were to believe the co-founder of the video-sharing platform, Robert Earl, the restaurant will have about 300 delivery locations for its launch in March 2021. If everything goes as planned, there might be about 1000 TikTok restaurants delivering by the end of 2022.
As for the menu, it will include the most viral food recipes from 2021. There’s no official menu out yet. But some of the recipes are planned to make an appearance on the menu. One of them is the baked feta pasta, which was the viral-est of them all. According to Google’s search stats, the baked feta pasta was the most searched dish in 2021, and that too for a good reason. Some other insanely popular items are air-fried chips, smash burgers, and corn ribs. I have a feeling most of the viral food recipes will be included.
Also, the menu isn’t fixed but continuously evolving. We all know that trends have a peak and then they die down. So, TikTok will renew its menu quarterly. This means every three months, and you’ll get to order the hottest new food trend and gush about it. There is also a chance that fan-favorite dishes might not go anywhere.
If we talk about the prices, you don’t have to worry about that either. Robert Earl has said that the prices will be pretty close to the other restaurants backed by Virtual Dining Concepts. He used the word “comparable,” which insinuates that the TikTok restaurants won’t be expensive. If we have to draw a comparison, MrBeast burgers start from the base price of $6.99. If it is anywhere near that, I think we can relax.
The restaurants used for the TikTok ghost kitchens are actually owned by Earl himself. Two of the renowned national chains are Buca di Beppo and Bertucci’s. One thing that TikTok hasn’t made clear is who’ll be the recipes credited to as there are many creators on the app. That being said, TikTok has mentioned that the profits from the restaurants will be distributed to the recipe creators and the culinary talents of the app. This will help the food niche and its creators on the app to grow. This will also give them a nudge in the right direction, or will it be a push?
I know you are curious to figure out more details. Let’s see some of the best and most-viral food recipes of TikTok. This will help us to see what we’ll be getting once TikTok opens the restaurants. Are the recipes great or overrated? Let’s find out.
The Most Viral Food Recipes On TikTok In 2021
Now that we know that TikTok is going to have the most viral food trends on the menu. Let’s do a recap of this year’s most viral recipes. This will give us a good sense of what we can expect. The recipes that we are sure will be on the menu, we’ll also get to know some things about them. Let’s see the most viral food recipes on TikTok in 2021.
1. Baked Feta Pasta
Let’s start with the recipe that most probably started it all, the baked feta pasta. The beauty of this viral recipe is that it is not complicated at all. All you had to do was bake a block of feta with some cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil for about half an hour. Then, mix everything and throw in some seasonings and herbs. When the sauce is ready, add your favorite cooked pasta and mix to coat it. This simple pasta was so good that in March 2021, you could hardly find a block of feta at the grocery store. Who’d have thought a viral pasta would create a feta scarcity.
2. Air Fryer Pasta Chips
If you have a pack of uncooked pasta lying somewhere in your pantry, it is time to put it to use. These extremely popular snacks were so easy to make and were the perfect answer to “chips and dip”. All you had to do was cook the pasta and then air-fry it.
Then, dip it in whatever sauce or dip you want and just enjoy. It seems too good to be true. With the restaurant opening, you’ll be able to get your dose of pasta chips with a side of delicious dips, I hope.
3. Smash Burger
According to the burger experts on TikTok, smashing the patty will make your burger delicious-er. The smashed patty covers more area thus more scope for charring and cooking. The simple rule here in terms of the cooking surface area is “The more, the merrier”. The patty is topped with onions, pickles, and relish. For condiments, we have mustard and mayonnaise. You can stash as much as three smashed patties and then place them between crispy toasted buns. This is the burger I want!
4. Air Fried Corn Ribs
You might have eaten corn-on-the-cob but now it’s time for cob-without-the-corn. Yes, in a surprising turn of events, people started marinating and air-frying corn ribs to make a delicious and eccentric snack. The corn ribs were quartered and dosed heavily with seasoning of choice. Then, they were air-fried. That’s not all. They were then garnished with sauces, cheese, and herbs to make a uniquely delicious snack. If you haven’t tried it, you can order it from your nearest TikTok restaurant.
5. The Folded Quesadilla
The folded quesadilla was a viral food trend and witty life hack in one. All you need are different fillings and a giant tortilla. Just slit your tortilla and place it on a pan. The four quarters of the tortilla are the areas for your different fillings. Then, fold it and toast it and it’s ready. There are different versions of the folded quesadilla on TikTok, including the now-famous breakfast quesadilla.
6. The Vodka Sauce Pasta
The world might’ve known about Pasta Alla Vodka before but Gigi Hadid plunged it into overnight fame. The recipe she shared was pretty simple, to be honest. Just saute onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes in some oil. Then, add in some tomato paste, a little vodka, and lastly some heavy cream. It goes without saying that you need to season the sauce. To finish, add cooked pasta of your choice. There you have it! Delicious Gigi Hadid-approved and endorsed vodka sauce pasta.
7. Salmon and Rice Bowl
The salmon and rice bowl is Emily Mariko’s gift to the world. For those of you who don’t know, Emily Mariko is one of the biggest food TikTok influencers. Her creation, the salmon and rice bowl is another life hack in the guise of a viral food trend.
The salmon and rice bowl is so simple yet so delicious, you’ll regret not coming up with it. Just pull apart some leftover cooked salmon and add it to a bowl. Top it with some leftover rice and gently place an ice cube on top. The ice cube is essential to steam and liven up the food.
Once you have microwaved this, top it with some kewpie mayonnaise, sriracha, and soy sauce. Give it a good mix and top with some sliced avocados. If you want you can serve it with nori sheets and some kimchi. I can’t help but think of it as deconstructed sushi.
8. Nature’s Cereal
This Lizzo-approved trend was another big thing in 2021. It was simple as there’s not much to it. All you need are some berries and fruits of your choice. Add some ice cubes and pour some coconut water over them and it’s done. You have delicious nature’s cereal. This is a great way to increase your fruit intake and it looks good too.
So, this was all we knew about the TikTok restaurants and the most viral TikTok food trends of 2021. This might’ve given you an idea about what there is to come. Judging from the response these trends get, it is foreseeable that these restaurants will do great. For now, all we can do is wait. Also, tell me in the comments what were your favorite viral TikTok foods this year. I’ll see you next time with another fun article. Bye!