As the Sidemen rake in billions of views on their namesake YouTube channel, they’re opening brick-and-mortar establishments on the side. The U.K.-based creator supergroup is plotting a major expansion of its Sides brand. The plan includes ten new retail locations, which are all slated to open before the end of the year.
Sides got its start in 2021 as a virtual dining concept centered around fried chicken. To launch Sides, the Sidemen teamed up with the firm Virtual Hero, which also worked alongside them on their beverage brand XIX Vodka. The group’s seven members — KSI, Miniminter, Zerkaa, TBJZL, Behzinga, Vikkstar123, and Wroetoshaw — have since expanded their food empire by establishing three physical locations in the London area.
The third of those restaurants, which brought Sides to the borough of Harrow, is the first of the ten locations slated for 2023 openings. The Sidemen plan to bring their chicken to customers in North England and Scotland, creating more than 100 jobs along the way.
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The upcoming Sides locations will be a little different from your average chicken shop. The restaurants will also function as entertainment centers and meeting points for Sidemen fans across the U.K.
By expanding their virtual fast food concept into a brick-and-mortar franchise, the Sidemen are following in the footsteps of Jimmy Donaldson, who opened the first physical MrBeast Burger location in New Jersey’s American Dream Mall last September. As Sides continues its own push into malls and shopping centers, it is debuting a new menu item that will look familiar to a Carolina boy like Donaldson: Nashville-style hot chicken.
“The fans have been crying out for more Sides locations, so we are excited to meet the fever pitch demand with more restaurants across the UK,” Josh ‘Zerkaa‘ Bradley said in a statement. He touted Sides’ Nashville-inspired dish and its “unparalleled flavour and heat combination.”
Though the Sidemen have drawn inspiration from American creators like Donaldson, they still haven’t brought Sides to the United States. That could change during the next phase of the food brand’s development. Over the next ten years, the Sidemen plan to open 200 new Sides locations, including physical shops and virtual delivery points. To support their expansion and keep up with their busy production schedule, the group recently inked a “multi-million pound” deal with Viewture.