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Recap: TikTok in a surprise move late last year said it would soon be entering the restaurant business. The strategy would see the social media giant open 300 ghost kitchens and use them to deliver trending food items made famous by its content creators to paying customers. As it turns out, TikTok Kitchens was just as much of a surprise to the company’s top management as it was to the public.
The project was reportedly spearheaded by marketing chief Nick Tran. According to the New York Post, the former Hulu executive had been with TikTok for less than two years and this wasn’t the first time he went “rogue” with an idea before getting it cleared by superiors.
Tran also reportedly spearheaded a campaign for a creator-led NFT collection in collaboration with celebrities like Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch. He was additionally behind the push for TikTok Resumes, a service to help users find jobs.
Sources familiar with the matter told The Post that TikTok Kitchens was the straw that broke the camel’s back, adding that Tran was let go shortly after.
“We’re not in the restaurant business and we shouldn’t pretend to be,” one TikTok executive said on a call this month with around 200 people from the marketing team, a source said.
What’s odd here is that Tran's ideas weren’t all that terrible given today’s social landscape. Furthermore, all of them were officially announced by TikTok complete with press releases. How did these supposedly rogue ideas all make it out without anyone in senior leadership positions knowing about it? Did TikTok let the wrong employee go?
"We can confirm that Nick Tran is no longer with TikTok and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” a TikTok spokesperson told The Post.