Keith Lee, the gourmet of TikTok garnered national attention after documenting his frustrating dining experiences in Atlanta, creating discussions about the city’s food scene on social media.
Lee’s comments about customer service sparked more interest and support from fans, as well as backlash from restaurants. Should the beloved critic give any of Florida’s cities a chance?
Here’s what you need to know about Lee, his time in Atlanta and where he should stop in Florida.
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Who is Keith Lee of TikTok fame? How did he become famous?
Keith Lee is 27 years old popular food critic on TikTok who has gathered more than 14 million followers. The former MMA fighter began creating TikTok videos in 2020, gaining attention a year later when document her quests to satisfy his wife’s hyper-specific pregnancy desires.
According to Slate MagazineLee had 1 million followers on TikTok at the time of the pregnancy craving videos, but after turning his attention to reviewing Las Vegas restaurants, he gained more than 7 million followers in three months.
Lee gained popularity for his direct, down-to-earth style of food review, with his reviews often helping struggling small businesses thrive. Fans will remember how a sudden overhaul of Las Vegas pizzeria Frankensons last year completely revived their business.
How does Keith Lee find restaurants to review?
According to Lee, several restaurants contacted him via email or social media messages, asking him to be “Keith Lee-d.” On rare occasions, he will completely stumble upon a new business and try it.
Unlike some food influencers who are paid for their reviews and opinions, Lee emphasizes that he pays for his own meals. To ensure the review is unbiased, he places delivery orders without using his real name while sending family members or friends to the establishment to collect his orders so that he is not recognized and does not benefit from special treatment.
“I’m not a celebrity,” Lee said in a video. “I’m an ordinary person, like everyone else. When I walk into a restaurant, I want the same treatment that the employees will give to someone they say is an ordinary person.”
Once he has the food, he rates each item on a 10-point scale and generally describes his experience ordering the food.
What cities did Keith Lee visit on his unofficial food tour?
Documenting his adventures in other cities’ food scenes, Lee has so far taken his followers to Chicago and Atlanta.
What happened when Keith Lee went to Atlanta?
Lee’s visit to Georgia sparked national debate and reflections on Atlanta’s culinary scene.
During his visit to Atlanta, he tried nine places: The Atlanta Breakfast Club, The Seafood Menu, Juci Jerk, The Real Milk and Honey, The Dining Experience Atlanta, The Bodega, Jamaican Jerk Biz, Old Lady Gang and Toast On Lenox .
Although he said he had great experiences at most of the businesses he visited, three locations stood out to viewers. And not for its food, its customer service.
“I want the same treatment”:TikToker’s Atlanta restaurant reviews strike a chord nationwide
USA TODAY recounted his experience:
- At Atlanta Breakfast Club, Lee said the waitress was nice, just their rules were interesting. Lee’s family was told they could only order once as a group and couldn’t add anything later. She also told him that she would only serve it when everyone was seated at the table.
- At Real milk and real honey, Lee asked his family to order while he waited in the car, but they were informed that the restaurant was closed for deep cleaning. When they noticed people coming into the restaurant and ordering food, Lee decided to go in and investigate. The staff recognized him and offered to serve him; However, he refused.
- At Real Housewives of Atlanta Star, Masked Singer Winner Kandi Burruss Gang of old ladies, they told Lee’s family members that the wait time was one hour. When Lee decided to inquire about the wait time himself, the waiter informed him that he would be able to be seated in just five minutes. He refused.
Overall, Lee said in a video that his experience in Atlanta was very unique, with restaurants determined to cater to him when he made his presence known, but not to friends and family when the staff thought they were ordinary people. USA TODAY also noted that Lee claimed that 95 percent of the restaurants he visited did not take orders over the phone and some did not offer takeout on weekends.
How have restaurants responded to Lee’s criticism?
Two of the three restaurants responded to Lee’s criticism. The Atlanta Breakfast Club had not responded to Lee’s experience as of November 6.
The Real Milk and Honey saw Lee’s video and posted a video claiming they didn’t know him. The company later issued a press release apologizing for the now-deleted video.
“We were in no way trying to discredit anyone. If the comments seem that way to you, please accept our apologies,” he added. the establishment said. “Always taking feedback into account and making improvements is crucial to the success of our business and our community. We took the time to reflect on the incident and initiated internal corrective actions with our team regarding communication styles.
Burruss, of the Old Lady Gang restaurant, also spoke out on her criticism, choosing a more positive first answer. She thanked Lee and his family for their visit and explained the house rules of their house. She ended the video by inviting Lee to try their restaurant again.
“I’m about to talk about it. No just kidding. I’m not about to talk about it,” the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star said. “I really wanted to say that I appreciate Keith Lee for stopping by our restaurant and trying to help us. show love. It is very unfortunate that we were unable to serve him and his family.
Which Florida cities should Keith Lee visit on an unofficial food tour?
Maybe Florida will welcome Lee more warmly – literally. Here are some cities the social media star might consider trying:
There’s no way Miami isn’t an option. This South Florida staple attracts foodies looking for unique and diverse dishes. The city also offers many world cuisines, particularly Latin American and Caribbean influenced dishes.
There’s a reason it’s simply called “Best foodie city” in the country. Orlando is a melting pot of many different cultures and restaurants, from world-famous restaurants opened by Michelin chefs to unusual places you can’t find anywhere else.
Beyond the countless restaurants and unique local joints, Lee can tackle a whole new type of cuisine: theme park food. Who doesn’t want to see Keith Lee eating Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles or revisiting the beloved Butterbeer?
Although Lee is allergic to shellfish (so it’s a huge no to Gulf shrimp), his family can easily pack one so the team can try Tampa’s seafood restaurants. Tampa’s culinary scene has grown over the past decade, with renewed interest in various Cuban, Spanish, Greek and Southern small businesses thanks to social media users.
If Keith Lee comes to Florida, what restaurants should he visit?
Hypothetically speaking, if Keith Lee showed up in a city in Florida, where should he go? And which restaurants should he check out?
Listen to your suggestions. Email email@example.com for Florida spots that should be “Keith Lee-d.”
Contributory reporting: Doc LouallenUSA Today Network