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World’s most popular YouTuber MrBeast accused of bullying by the delivery firm he’s suing over ‘inedible’ burgers



YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, has been accused of using “bullying tactics” after he sued the partner firm in his burger delivery business.

With 173 million subscribers to his flagship MrBeast channel, Donaldson is the most-followed creator on YouTube.

As well as finding success with videos of himself counting to 100,000 and tipping a delivery driver with a house, Donaldson has established himself as a philanthropist and entrepreneur in the food industry.

But the 25-year-old YouTube star has been accused of using underhanded strategies to get what he wants by the company he took legal action against earlier this week.

In 2020, the social media megastar launched MrBeast Burger as a ghost restaurant—a delivery-only service where menu items are prepared in the kitchens of partnered restaurants.

He joined forces with Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) to roll the brand out across the U.S., later expanding the business to additional markets in Europe and Asia, including the U.K., Australia and Sweden.

In July 2021, Donaldson announced on Twitter he had already made $100 million in revenue from the U.S. business. When the burger brand launched its first brick-and-mortar location in New Jersey last year, he claimed to have broken a world record after a reported crowd of 10,000 fans showed up for the opening.

It was later reported that the social media star was eyeing a $1.5 billion valuation for his business empire.

Despite the financial success of his foray into the food sector, Donaldson sued Florida-based (VDC) over alleged provision of poor quality food. He is asking a judge for permission to terminate the partnership.

VDC has hit back, however, labeling Donaldson’s lawsuit “meritless” and “riddled with false statements,” according to the BBC. The company insisted his claims would be discredited in court.

“We had hoped Mr. Donaldson would act honourably,” VDC said in a statement to the broadcaster. “Instead, having elevated greed over his word and the truth, he will face the consequences in court when VDC files its claims against him.”

The company also claimed it had been bullied by Donaldson.

“When VDC refused to accede to his bullying tactics to give up more of the company to him, he filed this ill-advised and meritless lawsuit seeking to undermine the MrBeast Burger brand and terminate his existing contractual obligations without cause,” it said.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this week, Donaldson accused VDC—which was co-founder by former Planet Hollywood executive Robert Earl—of compromising on quality as it sought rapid expansion.

Within three months of launching MrBeast Burger, the partners had sold 1 million burgers, according to the lawsuit, and by 2022 1,700 restaurants had signed up to join the ghost kitchen chain.

However, customers soon started complaining about the quality of the food, posting negative reviews where they labeled MrBeast Burger sandwiches “disgusting,” “revolting” and “inedible.”

Donaldson claimed in the suit that he had complained to VDC about quality control, but that this “fell on deaf ears.”

Spokespeople for Donaldson and VDC did not respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.

VDC is also partnered with brands from other big names including popstar Mariah Carey and Nascar.

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