The Power of Influence: How TikToker Keith Lee Resuscitated a Struggling Las Vegas Restaurant

Keith posted an honest review about Frankensons on TikTok while he tried several dishes, including lemon pepper wings, pizzas and burgers. While describing the items, his facial expressions visibly showed his enjoyment for the food. 

Keith Lee, a TikTok food critic, proved just how powerful his influence can be when his review of a family-owned Nevada restaurant dramatically turned things around for the struggling eatery. 

The 26-year-old tells Inside Edition Digital that he received an email from Summer, an employee at Frankensons in Las Vegas

“The email basically stated, ‘Hey, we have a restaurant. It's family-owned. It's doing really bad as far as foot traffic. We're not really getting a lot of people in," Lee tells Inside Edition Digital. "We're behind our rent, or we will be behind our rent pretty soon, and I would love for you to just come try the food.’”

Lee jumped into action, calling in an order that he then picked up in person. Instantly, he felt a connection with the owner Frank. 

“He was so nice on the phone. He was so patient. He was kind,” Lee says. “And I personally love customer service because I've worked in customer service for most of my adult life, so I really value customer service.”

While picking up his food, Lee chatted with Frank. 

“He had no idea who I was,” Lee says. “He asked me where I was from, what I do. I like to be anonymous [so] I froze up a little bit.”

Lee eventually shared with Frank that he was a food critic and Summer revealed he was there because of her email. 

“And he looked like he saw a ghost,” Lee says.

Keith left and posted an honest review about Frankesons on TikTok as he tried several dishes, including lemon pepper wings, pizza and a burger. He talked his followers through every dish. While describing them, his facial expressions visibly showed his enjoyment of the food. 

 Lee ended the clip directly addressing Frank. 

“Frank, from me to you,” Lee says in the TikTok. “There’s no way you should be behind on rent. Or struggling to pay rent. That’s 100% what I feel like. That food is delicious. Service is amazing.”

That heartfelt message changed everything for the restaurant in just 24 hours. 

“Yesterday, I did a review. Today — chaos,” Lee told his followers.

Frankensons had around 2,000 TikTok followers before they landed on Lee's radar. After his review, they were at over 70,000. To date, they have well over 300,000 followers. 

Lee's review, which has been viewed over 32 million times, also saw a significant response in person. Customers lined up for a chance to try the food at Frankensons, phones rang nonstop and staff worked around the clock to keep up with the demand. 

“I went the next day, and it was insane,” Lee says. “He was telling me he went from making four orders a day to making 400 in less than 12 hours.”

The attention from the media and customers has been overwhelming for both restauranteur and reviewer, with Lee noting that the moment was especially significant to him because he got to help someone was working to make his own dreams come true for decades.

“He literally was like, 'I've been dreaming about this restaurant for 30 years, and my dream came true,' and that hit home to me,” Lee says. “I'm not even 30 years old, so I can only imagine how long and how much time and effort goes into a dream like that.

“I've helped restaurants in Vegas before," he says. "But I feel like this one was probably the craziest as far as the response we've had.”

Lee's been a food reviewer for years. While he’s modestly focused on helping others, his social media popularity is rising. He recently celebrated reaching over eight million TikTok followers, has signed several brand deals and is on the path to being a full-time food critic.

“To go from that, and to make a business out of me, It's definitely something that I want to do for the rest of my life, and be able to get paid from it, and be able to take care of my kids, and their kids' kids,” he says. 

“I'm going to just keep working hard on being authentic, and trying just being me.”

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