TikTok Food Critic Keith Lee Saves Struggling Restaurant With His Food Review

By Zainab Pervez in Feel Good On 12th January 2023

A struggling pizzeria owner in Las Vegas had no idea his life was about to turn around after a TikTok food critic reviewed his food. TikTok food critic Keith Lee received an anonymous tip to review the Las Vegas pizzeria Frankensons, as they were struggling to pay rent and hoped the 8-5 fighter could help get them some much-needed publicity.

@keith_lee125 Frankensons Pizzeria Taste test πŸ’• would you try it ? πŸ’• #foodcritic ♬ original sound - Keith Lee

Another social media influencer tried to charge them $2,600 but Lee didn’t take a penny and even bought all the food out of his own pocket before eating several items from the menu on camera for his followers. 

But he didn't know that he'll go viral and save the struggling restaurant with his food review. Lee's Frankensons review garnered over 30 million views and 6 million likes and described his interactions with the business's friendly owner Frank. Within hours of the video's posting, Frankensons was struggling in a new way; to keep up with order demands.

@somethingblackmade The power of one influencer πŸ™ŒπŸΏ. @Keith Lee changing life’s for real. So happy for Frank and his business. #SBM #somethingblackmade #frankensonspizzeria ♬ original sound - SBM

Just 24 hours later Frankensons had a ‘line out the door’ that lasted all day and their TikTok following grew from 2,000 to 70,000 followers overnight – they now have 262,000 followers. The owner of Frankensons was overwhelmed by the sudden jolt of business and said it's been a blessing as this restaurant was his dream for 30 years.

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Following his viral moment, Keith Lee was contacted by YouTube megastar MrBeast, who asked him for a review of his chocolate brand, Feastables. Instead of jumping on board and giving the most subscribed YouTuber a 'free' review, Lee responded with a few terms and conditions of his own.

In fitting with the general theme of his channel, Lee's demands centered around the betterment of the community and his family. 

@keith_lee125 Replying to @mrbeast Mr.Beast Feastables Chocolate taste test ??? πŸ’• would you try it ? πŸ’• #foodcritic ♬ original sound - Keith Lee

Firstly, the internet celebrity MrBeast must travel to Las Vegas and help him make a struggling locally-owned business “un-struggling.”

Lee also requested that MrBeast, who has 126 million YouTube subscribers, puts his wife in one of his viral videos cuz she's a huge fan, and that their joint collaboration is shared across all of his platforms. 

@KEITH_LEE125 - INSTAGRAM
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Lee originally created his TikTok to help him gain experience speaking in front of a camera. "It was about me learning how to slow myself down, how to speak at a more monotone tone." Following his release from the MMA in 2021, it was his pregnant wife's odd meal cravings that led him to make his first food review. 

@KEITH_LEE125 - INSTAGRAM

Lee's chill approach to food reviews and honest discussions about struggling with social anxiety have helped him gain a huge following. "It would just be me panicking. Through that, I’ve learned how to relax, calm down and I think that’s what draws people.” 

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With his social media career taking off, you might think he's ready to leave MMA behind but that is not going to happen. 

“I plan to fight at least once or twice this year,” Lee told MMA Fighting."

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“I do have a lot of deals on the table and a lot of deals I just closed, so right now I’m going to focus on getting those settled. Figure out where I am in life before I promise myself to something like fighting.

“I’m a true fighter at heart. I think that’s one of the main things I was put on this Earth to do. When I do it, I do it right. When I do anything, I put all my effort into it. I don’t half-ass anything and fighting is something you can’t play with.

“I refuse to get into a fight or schedule a fight and be half-assing it or shooting content. When I’m in camp, I’m in camp. So, when I have time, that’s going to be my main focus point. But right now, I’m just enjoying life.”