When TikTok food critic Keith Lee received an anonymous tip to review the struggling Las Vegas pizzeria Frankensons, he had no idea he was about to save the business and make headlines in the process.
@keith_lee125 Frankensons Pizzeria Taste test would you try it ? #foodcritic ? original sound - Keith Lee
Keith Lee, a former MMA fighter turned TikToker with over 7 million followers, says he 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.
Lee's chill approach to food reviews and honest discussions about struggling with social anxiety have helped him amass a 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.”
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 . @Keith Lee changing life’s for real. So happy for Frank and his business. #SBM #somethingblackmade #frankensonspizzeria ? original sound - SBM
Following his viral moment, Keith Lee was contacted by YouTube megastar Mr. Beast, who asked him for a review of his chocolate brand, Feastables. Instead of jumping on board and giving the most subscribed YouTube channel ever a 'free' review, Lee responded with a few 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 ??? would you try it ? #foodcritic ? original sound - Keith Lee
In an age where many influencers use their reach to gain likes and followers, it is refreshing to find someone using their platform to uplift their community. Keith Lee is unapologetically himself, and that is exactly what influencers around the world should aspire to emulate.