YouTuber MrBeast's burgers hit New Paltz – Times Union

Burgers and a fried-chicken sandwich from MrBeast Burger, from a Capital Region ghost kitchen. (Susie Davidson Powell/For the Times Union.)
What’s for dinner can be a triggering question for some (ok, most) parents. But this week Gayle Bowe won the jackpot. Her children, Henry, 11 and Gracie, 9, could not be more thrilled with the awesome surprise their mom ordered for Sunday dinner.
She recently discovered that MrBeast Burger arrived in New Paltz. Savvy parents of kids obsessed with the YouTuber rejoiced, including Bowe.
For the uninitiated, MrBeast is a huge deal. The YouTuber known for prank videos and also his philanthropy — he once bought a homeless man a home — earned him $54 million in 2021, the most of any YouTuber ever. And the man behind the account with over 91 million subscribers, Jimmy Donaldson, is only 23.
He also knows how to monetize. What’s the point of all of that social media clout if not to make more money? One of his more ingenious endeavors is MrBeast Burger, which contracts with existing burger joints to act as “ghost kitchens” — places where food is prepped but not necessarily served. In MrBeast’s case, these commercial kitchens make and sell his branded meals, part of a growing trend of virtual franchises that grew in the pandemic. Typically a restaurant earns a percentage of the franchise sales, but pays no delivery app fees. MrBeast collects the remaining profit.
MrBeast Burger operations grew from 300 U.S. locations in 2021 to an estimated 1,600 currently. (And in true MrBeast fashion, he both gave away the burgers and paid people to eat there to start.) In New Paltz, the joint serving as MrBeast’s ghost kitchen is Smash Shack, a fairly new addition to the town’s restaurant scene, having opened in February.
Orders are placed through the MrBeast Burger app or a third-party service like DoorDash, where you can request delivery or pick up. When you order via DoorDash from the New Paltz location, it appears as though MrBeast Burger is a standalone restaurant, but look closer: it has the same address as Smash Shack — 255 Main Street.
“We are two restaurants in one,” says Smash Shack head cook Skyler Youngs.
For a while now, local MrBeast fans have heard about MrBeast Burger on YouTube, but had no way to order. “There was a huge need for it in the area and a huge demand,” says Youngs.
As of March 3rd, Smash Shack is one of a few burger restaurants in the Hudson Valley making MrBeast’s menu in addition to its own. There are two ghost kitchens nearby in Poughkeepsie: one operating out of Spins Bowl Poughkeepsie, another from a Red Robin.
The New Paltz location popped up because the owner of Smash Shack, Nick Woerner, has a 14-year-old MrBeast fan. “It went from there,” explains Youngs.
Bowe’s children don’t watch a lot of television, but they do like watching YouTube. There are only a handful of YouTubers she approves of. “MrBeast as far as I know is a young guy in his 20s — one of the richest guys in the world at this point. He does big time stunts and is a philanthropist — he gives a lot of money to charity.”
Don’t ask Bowe what kinds of stunts; she doesn’t know, exactly. She has a vague sense that they are large scale, expensive, and her kids crack up together when they watch the videos, which is priceless. “I know he is clean. There is no swearing or inappropriate stuff.”
(For the curious, some of the stunts involve MrBeast spending a fair amount of time buried alive. Also, he offers money to people willing to do icky things like play hide and go seek in garbage and the like. Videos of these endeavors are uploaded frequently and have gotten over 10 billion views.)
When New Paltz mom Gayle Boye asked her kids if they had heard of MrBeast Burger, the answer was an enthsusatic “Yeah!” They were thrilled to learn they could now order from one in town.
For Smash Shack, the process to become a MrBeast Burger ghost kitchen was straightforward. “You reach out to the company and get everything we need to make the ghost kitchen — the extra ingredients,” says Youngs. MrBeast has a different menu and packaging than Smash Shack.
“I’m surprised about the success of it in a very short period of time,” says Woerner. “I believe we have processed about 130 MrBeast orders in about a week’s time.”
Woerner, who also owns Mexican Kitchen in the village, specifically opened Smash Shack with the MrBeast concept in mind. “Virtual dining is a way for small businesses to generate additional revenue without the expense of marketing,” he says. Soon Woerner will introduce another virtual dining concept at Smash Shack, Buddy V’s Cake Slice — “He’s the world renowned Cake Boss.”
The price point between the two restaurants with a shared kitchen is similar. A MrBeast patty melt served “Karl’s Style” (Karl is a character on MrBeast) with a beef patty, caramelized onions and cheese on a toasted bun is $8.49. A Smash Shack single hamburger is only $7, with sauteed onions a free add-on, and extra cheese is a buck more.
You don’t need to be a MrBeast fan to order. In fact, for some, it’s just a burger. Bowe’s husband works in Westchester where he once ordered MrBeast for lunch. He recognized the packaging when it arrived at their home in New Paltz and said, “Oh we got that one day.”
For the Bowe children who know and love MrBeast, getting the social media stuntman’s burgers was a real thrill.
“They loved the boxes it came in, they loved the logo, and the food itself was actually good. The sandwiches were named after MrBeast’s crew,” Bowe reports. As a family, they sampled the burger, chicken sandwich, and the chocolate chip cookies — the only sweet option, which were “tasty but just average.”
The Bowes will be ordering MrBeast Burger again; their kids have already asked for it. “They were talking about it with some buddies yesterday. One of the other families had had it, too. There’s a little buzz about it in the 8- to 12-year-old arena.”
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A born-and-bred New Yorker who spent childhood weekends and summers all over the Hudson Valley, Alexandra Zissu transplanted fully to New Paltz in 2013 with her family to be close to the farms that feed them-the best move ever. Waking daily to a view of the Gunks sustains her. She’s obsessive about family meal, loves trying to grow vegetables with her two girls, talks to trees as she walks in the woods, fosters kittens, and has written six books, all about the environment and health.

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