Washington, J. (2021, August 18). Tiktok Star Larray to launch Virtual Mac & Cheese Restaurant. Seventeen. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.seventeen.com/celebrity/a37338342/tiktok-star-larray-virtual-restaurant/.
There’s a new business venture on the horizon for TikTok star Larray . The 23-year-old is launching a virtual restaurant called Larray’s Loaded Mac.
A far cry from the traditional mac and cheese you’re used to, Larray’s Loaded Mac will feature seven unconventional flavors. “That Girl,” a pizza-inspired option, and “Feelin’ Riskey,” a pulled pork, Fritos, onions, barbecue sauce, and cheese blend, are two examples of the heat Larray is bringing with his bold new branded menu.
He spilled the tea on the new restaurant during an interview with Insider. ” What inspired me to launch it was my grandmother [who] makes mac and cheese like crazy,” Larray explained. “It’s something that ran in the family.”
A unique menu isn’t the only unconventional thing Larray’s Loaded Mac boasts. Hungry patrons won’t be able to partake in in-person dining. The brand’s website lists several delivery apps, including DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates, which will carry the online menu in over 25 cities across the U.S.
With 24 million TikTok followers and 8.5 million on YouTube, Larray is in pretty good company. He now joins the likes of YouTube creator MrBeast, who launched a burger chain in December 2020, and TikToker Dylan Lemay, who revealed plans for a New York-based ice cream shop in August 2021.
YouTube star Larray Rolls Out Virtual Brand Larray’s loaded Mac. QSR magazine. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/youtube-star-larray-rolls-out-virtual-brand-larrays-loaded-mac.
Content creator, musician, and YouTube sensation Larray announced today the launch of his very-own virtual restaurant brand called Larray’s Loaded Mac. As one of the fastest-growing, multi-hyphenate creators worldwide, Larray’s music, style, and vibrant personality have captured audiences globally and resulted in a loyal following of fans and nearly 40M followers across YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Now, Larray adds restaurateur to his digital profile as he debuts Larray’s Loaded Mac in partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts.
“We are focused on working with digital-first talent by helping them create an ownable virtual dining brand,” says Robbie Earl, VDC co-founder. “By tapping into the creator economy, we’re not only playing a part in growing the influencers’ personal brands but also further helping the restaurant industry leverage the digitally native community. Having Larray join the virtual food space provides him with another way to engage his fans, this time with food deliveries in 30 minutes or less, and have them be a part of something that means so much to him.”
With a spin on his favorite food, Larray’s Loaded Mac takes the traditional mac and cheese dish to a whole new level and even has his grandmother’s stamp of approval, who also happened to help craft the menu and flavors. From Classique to Hottie, The Club, LBT, That Girl, Burgalicious and Feelin’ Risky, Larray’s perfectly crafted menu offers a mac and cheese selection that’s loaded with everything from a variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables, seasonings and sauces. Larray’s Loaded Mac online menu was brought to life by Virtual Dining Concepts’ Culinary Director and Chef, Eric Greenspan.
“Some of my fondest memories from growing up are making mac and cheese in the kitchen with my grandmother,” says Larray. “Her original recipe was always a family favorite and gave me the inspiration to create Larray’s Loaded Mac. I am so excited to share our favorite dish with fans and fellow mac and cheese lovers.”
“Larray is such a unique and talented creator, so we wanted to do something outside the box for his fans,” says Greg Falchetto and Zach Friedman, Larray’s managers at Homemade Projects. “We’ve been friends with Robbie for years, so when Larray initially brought the Loaded Mac idea to us, it was a no-brainer to partner with VDC. We’re excited for everyone to try this special dish from Larray’s childhood and all the unique flavors he personally created.”
Larray’s Loaded Mac is now available in most major markets across the country. Consumers based in Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Washington D.C., Austin, Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Sacramento, St. Paul, Kansas City, Scottsdale, Columbus, Minneapolis, San Diego, Baltimore, Orlando, Tampa, and Louisville are among the first wave of cities with additional locations added regularly.
Shey, B. (2021, August 24). Eggholic brings Indian street food to Irving Next month. Eater Dallas. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://dallas.eater.com/2021/8/24/22639544/eggholic-will-bring-indian-street-food-to-irving-next-month.
Larray, the TikTok Hype House member with more than 25 million subscribers, is launching a delivery-only restaurant in Dallas this week, according to Business Insider. Larray’s Loaded Mac will serve seven varieties of the pasta dish, including a pizza-inspired version called “That Girl”, and a mac loaded with pulled pork, Fritos and onions. Diners can order from delivery apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates, or directly from the Loaded Mac website.
Larray, who’s full name is Larri Merritt, told Insider that his grandmother, a home cook, inspired him to get into the virtual restaurant business. He also said he plans to release a Youtube reaction video of his grandmother trying Loaded Mac’s version of her signature dish.
We interviewed Larray because we think you’ll like his picks. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!.
You may know Larray for his hilarious diss tracks or viral videos on TikTok and YouTube, but did you know he’s quite the expert in the kitchen? So much so, the 23-year-old recently took his love for mac and cheese to a new level by launching his own virtual restaurant called Larray’s Loaded Mac. Together with his grandmother, Larray crafted seven wildly flavorful cheesy creations packed with savory ingredients that put boxed mac and cheese meals to shame.
Given Larray is officially a restaurateur, we asked him to dish on his favorite kitchen essentials for serving up a crowd-pleasing meal!
“The kitchen has always been one of my favorite places at home because I’ve been able to create so many great memories with family there over the years,” Larray explained to E!. “Growing up, my grandmother and I always cooked mac & cheese together, and the original recipe we made was actually the inspiration behind Larray’s Loaded Mac. My grandmother helped take our favorite dish to the next level by helping craft the final menu and mac & cheese flavors, which was a really fun experience.”
If you’re like us and are suddenly craving mac and cheese, Larray rounded up kitchen must-haves below. But if you want to take the easy route, you can get Larray’s Loaded Mac delivered to your doorstep!
Hitt, T. (2021, September 23). Barstool: Saturdays are for our new Food Delivery Service and branded pizza product 🙂. Gawker. Retrieved October 4, 2021, from https://www.gawker.com/media/barstool-saturdays-are-for-our-new-food-delivery-service-branded-pizza-product.
Barstool Sports, a website that distilled the essence of Greater Boston into a single slogan about which day is for the boys, has a new venture: food delivery. According to AdWeek, “The publisher…plans to enter the food-delivery industry, in a venture it calls Barstool Bites.”
The sports blog, which has never done anything gross to food so it’s weird if anyone said that, has partnered with “Virtual Dining Concepts,” a thoughtfully named company that produces delicious treats in ghost kitchens. Now, Stoolies don’t even need to go to bars. They can get their “gameday fare like chicken wings, sliders and fries” delivered straight to their dad’s girlfriend’s home, provided they live near Barstool Bites’ “300 market partners in cities nationwide.”
Barstool expands into food, with a frozen pizza and a home delivery business. Insideradio.com. (2021, September 23). Retrieved October 4, 2021, from http://www.insideradio.com/free/barstool-expands-into-food-with-a-frozen-pizza-and-a-home-delivery-business/article_ad67fbec-1cb1-11ec-80da-b3e9e28d0c62.html.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is already known for his One Bite Pizza Reviews series on YouTube, and now his sports and lifestyle media brand is branching out beyond podcasts, TV and sports forging deeper into the world of food. Barstool is teaming up with Happi Foodi to launch the One Bite Frozen Pizza. The pizza will be available in Wal-Mart stores across the U.S.
“I’m taking over the frozen game,” said Portnoy in a video about the product launch. His review of their product delivered a 10 out of 10 rating.
Barstool Sports is also teaming up with Virtual Dining Concepts to join the food delivery business. Barstool Bites will be a delivery-only restaurant, offering a lineup of items including chicken wings, sliders, 14-inch subs, buckets of popcorn and fries. In other words, food someone might consume while watching a game.
Barstool Bites will be available in 300 cities nationwide. Virtual Dining Concepts relies on so-called “ghost kitchens” that use local restaurants to pack and deliver food using third-party apps like DoorDash and Grubhub for various brands.
Barstool Bites may also be expanding into physical restaurants and Barstool food trucks. “We’re going to experiment with giving our fans the ability to order the types of food we eat when we’re sitting on our couch watching football on Saturdays and Sundays,” CEO Erika Nardini told Bloomberg.
The delivery-only restaurant model has taken off during the pandemic. NPD Group says from June 2020 to June 2021, delivery-only restaurant orders increased by two-thirds. That compares to a 39% decline for in-restaurant dining. Bloomberg notes the industry is already crowded since they allow entrepreneurs to launch a restaurant without the large investment a physical location requires.
Food ventures are the latest in brand extensions for Barstool. It has also signed a multiyear branding rights deal with the Arizona Bowl. The move means the Dec. 31 game will air on Barstool platforms, not broadcast television. Barstool is also expanding its Barstool Golf Classic brand.
On the content side, earlier this month Barstool said it would create a new channel on the streaming television service Sling TV. The Barstool Sports Channel will feature a mix of sports and pop culture content including video versions of several podcasts. Barstool is reportedly developing several reality television series.
One thing Barstool talks less about these days is podcasting, although it remains a force in the audio industry. Barstool has 65 active shows which Podtrac said had a reach of 6.2 million listeners during August with downloads and streams topping 28 million. But those numbers are down significantly after Call Her Daddy defected to Spotify with an exclusive distribution deal that began June 1. Portnoy said the loss of the show will hurt the company’s bottom line since it was by far the biggest podcast revenue generator for the company. He also said they are looking at trimming some expenses as a result of losing the series.
Since launching in 2003, Barstool Sports has expanded from a website to podcasts and videos. Since casino operator Penn National Gaming bought a 36% share in the company in January 2020, Barstool has also put an increased emphasis on sports betting across its platform.
Stenberg, M. (2021, September 23). Barstool Sports is expanding into food delivery. Adweek. Retrieved October 4, 2021, from https://www.adweek.com/media/barstool-sports-is-expanding-into-food-delivery-with-barstool-bites/.
Barstool Sports has made its entrée into the world of food.
The publisher is pushing into the CPG and food-delivery industries, as well as launching the “World Cup of women’s hockey,” the Barstool Hockey Cup, CEO Erika Nardini said in an upfront presentation Wednesday night.
Barstool will be unveiling a branded pizza product, called One Bite Frozen Pizza, in partnership with Happi Foodi beginning Sept. 28, a foray informed by founder Dave Portnoy’s low-fidelity YouTube series, One Bite Pizza Reviews. At launch, the product will have four different varieties and be available in 3,600 Walmarts nationwide.
The publisher also plans to enter the food-delivery industry, in a venture it calls Barstool Bites. To tackle the logistics, Barstool will partner with Virtual Dining Concepts, a restaurant empire of delivery-only brands produced in ghost kitchens. At launch, Barstool Bites will have 300 market partners in cities nationwide, and the menu, which was crafted in collaboration with prominent figures in the Stoolie extended universe, will cater to sports fans hungry for gameday fare like chicken wings, sliders and fries.
The Barstool Hockey Cup, the publisher’s second push into live sports behind its recently announced sponsorship of the Arizona Bowl, will pit women’s hockey teams from Canada, the U.S. and Europe against one another for a weeklong tournament. The venture will be exclusively run by women at Barstool Sports, Nardini said.
Since its inception in 2003, Barstool has proven eager to evolve beyond the scope of a traditional sports media company. Last January the publisher sold a 36% ownership stake to casino operator Penn National Gaming for $163 million in cash and stock, and its expansive podcast network, combined with revenue from merchandise and gambling deals, helped it generate between $90-$100 million in revenue in 2019.
“Barstool is bigger than ever, I would say it’s hotter than ever and there isn’t really a category that we haven’t disrupted, except for live,” Nardini told Adweek.
The announcement of these new ventures, as well as the expansion of its existing ones, comes amidst a rapidly shifting sports media landscape. The legalization of online sports-betting in 2018 has prompted publishers like Sports Illustrated to form lucrative partnerships with gambling operations, while others like The Athletic, Gannett and FOS have shown the viability of paywalling sports content.
Barstool, despite its checkered history of misogyny, homophobia and racism, has cultivated such a strong brand identity that its business eludes easy categorization, allowing the publisher to expand into industries unavailable to more traditional sports publications. For publishers with loyal brand followings, like BuzzFeed and soon Vox Media, licensing has become a growing source of revenue.
In addition to its new offerings, Barstool also announced a handful of expansions to its existing ventures.
Barstool signed a multiyear branding rights deal with the Arizona Bowl in July, and the publisher has been building out programming around the Dec. 31 game, which will feature teams from the Mountain West and Mid-American conferences. The game, in a steep departure from tradition, will air online on Barstool platforms rather than cable television. It has also attracted controversy, prompting the Pima County Board of Supervisors to vote to withdraw $40,000 of funding from the game.
“This will be our first foray into broadcast, and it will be on social, it will be physical, it will be experiential in Tucson and it will be viral,” Nardini said.
The publisher is also expanding its Barstool Golf Classic by adding new cities and several new sponsors, and it hopes to attract up to 3,000 golfers this year, according to a spokesperson for the company.
On the editorial front, Barstool will be developing a handful of reality television shows that more mirror the standard format of the genre. For years, Barstool personalities have interacted on social media and platforms like YouTube, in series like Barstool vs. America and Surviving Barstool. The company plans to formalize the series and expand them.
Barstool is also bringing in new female talent to anchor several series slated to premiere in 2022. The publisher has hired the TikTok-famous mother-daughter duo Kim and Alex Bennett, as well as two gambling personalities, Megan Nunez of Megan Making Money and Kelly Stewart of Kelly in Vegas.
In July, Barstool lost one of its most lucrative podcasts when the (now lone) host of Call Her Daddy, Alex Cooper, left the publisher for Spotify, in a $60 million, three-year deal. In June, on an episode of his podcast The Dave Portnoy Show With Eddie & Co., Portnoy said he was “pretty happy with how all this shook out.”