Can celebrity burgers save a mall?

People waited hours for MrBeast’s burgers and fries at a New Jersey megamall.

YouTuber and philanthropist MrBeast opened the first in-person MrBeast Burger at the American Dream megamall in New Jersey on Sunday.

Can celebrity burgers save a mall?

It began as a delivery-only concept in 2020. Other celebs — Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Steve Aoki — opened ghost kitchens, too.

But MrBeast’s, of course, came with spectacle:

  • At a pop-up in North Carolina, he gave away food, cash, iPads, and a car. It was so popular, cops had to intervene due to traffic.
  • The chain opened with a whopping 300 virtual locations, and now has 1k+ across North America and Europe.

Its new restaurant was no exception. Thousands of fans flocked to the mall, some of whom drove or waited hours for burgers, fries, and a photo op with MrBeast.

It could be a boon for the mall

A Deloitte analysis found malls must expand food and experiential offerings to bring shoppers back in an increasingly digital world.

Despite its unique attractions — including theme parks, an aquarium, and an ice skating rink — American Dream isn’t doing so hot.

It faced years of financial, legal, and construction issues before opening in 2019, just in time for covid. In 2021, it reported $60m in losses and suffered a fire at its indoor ski slope.

Perhaps some viral smash burgers is just the boost it needs.

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