TikTok star Larray is launching an online mac and cheese restaurant as the influencer ghost kitchen trend heats up

By CreatorStack · 2 months ago

For the internet's biggest stars, creating your own restaurant is the newest status symbol. 

YouTube creator MrBeast launched a burger chain in December, selling more than a million burgers from hundreds of "ghost kitchen" locations across the US and Canada. Influencer David Dobrik is teasing a brick-and-mortar pizza restaurant called "Doughbriks" in Los Angeles, while TikToker Dylan Lemay recently announced plans to create his own ice cream shop in New York. 

Now, social-media star Larri "Larray" Merritt, who has nearly 25 million followers on TikTok and nearly 8.5 million on YouTube, is joining the trend with Larray's Loaded Mac — a branded menu that is launching around the country this week.

Merritt will offer seven varieties of mac and cheese, including a pizza-inspired version called "That Girl," and a pulled pork, fritos, onions, barbeque sauce, and cheese blend dubbed "Feelin' Risky."

Like MrBeast Burger, Larray's Loaded Mac isn't available for in-person dining. Fans can purchase items from his menu online via delivery apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates, or from a dedicated Loaded Mac website. The food will then be made in 300 "ghost kitchens" in over 25 cities across the US.

The 23-year-old creator teamed up with a company called Virtual Dining Concepts to launch the new venture. Virtual Dining Concepts, which also colaunched MrBeast's burger brand, partners with restaurants — which serve as ghost kitchens — across the US and other regions to sell menu items developed by celebrities and influencers. Virtual Dining Concepts handles logistics like menu development and connecting with third-party delivery services. It makes money by collecting a fee on food items sold via its network. 

To promote Larray's Loaded Mac, Merritt and his team set up pop-up food trucks in Florida and California for fans to to test the menu ahead of launch. Merritt is also releasing promotional videos for the brand on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, and he delivered PR packages with mac-and-cheese samples to fellow TikTok stars like Charli D'Amelio, Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy), and Noah Beck, who Merritt says he may collaborate with on a menu item down the road.