Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast to his 172 million subscribers on YouTube, is being sued by his food delivery service partner, Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC), over their MrBeast Burger agreement.
Donaldson filed a lawsuit against VDC last week, alleging the Florida-based “virtual dining” brand damaged Donaldson’s reputation by serving customers “low quality” and, occasionally, “inedible” food.
In their lawsuit, VDC and its subsidiary, Celebrity Virtual Dining, LLC, assert that Donaldson and his company, Beast Investments, failed to keep contractual obligations and are suing over intentional tortious interference.
“This case is about a social media celebrity who believes his fame means that his word does not matter, that the facts do not matter, and that he can renege and breach his contractual obligations without consequence,” the lawsuit, which was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York on Monday, states. “He is mistaken.”
The company says in the lawsuit that damages caused by Donaldson are in the “nine-figure range.”
An attorney for Donaldson declined to comment on Monday. An attorney for VDC said they had no additional comment.
Variety first reported news of the lawsuit.
Donaldson, famous for his expensive stunts and viral charity projects, and VDC first teamed up in December 2020 when they began selling branded burger-and-fries combos through restaurants and commercial kitchens across the nation.
Customers order through major food delivery service apps or via the MrBeastBurger website, which states menu items are available “for restaurants to prepare out of their existing kitchens as a way to generate a new revenue stream.”
Donaldson’s original suit cited social media posts in which customers called the burgers, “‘disgusting,’ ‘revolting,’ and ‘inedible.’”
VDC’s lawsuit also says that Donaldson leveraged his massive social media presence to make “disparaging comments” about VDC.
“In an effort to pressure Plaintiffs into transferring to him part of their interests in MrBeast Burger, Donaldson bullied Plaintiffs on social media and threatened to terminate the parties’ agreements if Plaintiffs did not accede to his demands,” the lawsuit states. “In so doing, he fabricated a number of purported “breaches” of the parties’ agreements, each of which was demonstrably false.”
Attorneys for VDC cited various social media posts from Donaldson, in which he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he signed a “bad deal.”
In one post shown in the lawsuit, Donaldson wrote that “the company I partnered with won’t let me stop even though it’s terrible for my brand. Young beast signed a bad deal.” In another post shown in the lawsuit, which remains on Donaldson’s social media account, Donaldson wrote, “Yeah, the problem with Beast Burger is i can’t guarantee the quality of the order. When working with other restaurants it’s impossible to control it sadly.”
The lawsuit states that “Donaldson’s baseless and unlawful disparagement had the intended effect: MrBeast Burger’s reputation was materially damaged if not destroyed.’
VDC, which was co-founded by Robert Earl, the founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood, lists Mariah Carey’s “Mariah’s Cookies,” Bravo’s “The Real HouseBowls,” and baker Buddy V’s “Cake Slice” as some of its other ventures.
VDC’s “hard-won relationships with vendors, partners, and suppliers were shattered,” the lawsuit states.
Lawyers for VDC argue in the suit that “every restaurant gets periodic bad reviews and every company that sells product to the public has unsatisfied customers.”
“The reality is that the overwhelming majority of customers were highly satisfied, and the product was excellent,” according to the lawsuit.
In his original complaint, Donaldson said he is seeking to end his agreement with VDC, citing a lack of quality control and noting that his complaints “fell on deaf ears.” His suit states that MrBeast Burger generated “millions of dollars,” but adds that “MrBeast has not received a dime.”
The VDC lawsuit states that Donaldson is attempting to get out of his contract with VDC because he is seeking a “‘better,’ more lucrative deal” after the success of MrBeast Burger.
“Like any party to a contract, Donaldson must be held to his word,” the VDC lawsuit states, “and held accountable for his contractual breaches and other misconduct.”