'I Want to Be Treated Like Everybody Else': Influencer 'Frustrated' After Reality Star's Restaurant Gives Him Special Treatment Keith Lee is a TikTok food critic who boasts over 14.5 million followers.
Keith Lee, the popular TikTok food critic based out of Las Vegas, has made a career out of putting lesser-known restaurants and hidden gems on the map by showcasing his reviews to his 14.5 million followers.
But on a recent road trip to Atlanta, the influencer gave a less-than-glowing review to a restaurant owned by "Real Housewives of Atlanta Star" Kandi Burruss.
Lee told viewers that a man from Burruss' team at her restaurant Old Lady Gang had been "constantly emailing" and DM'ing him to try the food when he was in Atlanta.
Lee prefers to do his reviews by ordering takeout and sending members of his family inside the restaurant to pick up the food so he isn't recognized — that way he can ensure that he's getting a non-biased, authentic experience.
Lee said that he tried to call ahead and order takeout, but he wasn't able to get through to the restaurant. Instead, Lee's family walked in but were told there was no takeout and it was dine-in only — and there was an hour-plus wait, and they were no longer taking reservations.
But then the TikTok star then walked in. He met fans, took photos, and to his family's surprise, was told their table was ready.
"As always, I don't want any special treatment. I want to be treated like everybody else. I pay for my food like everybody else," he told viewers. "I'm a normal person. I'm a normal customer. Things like this is exactly why I do reviews the way I do. Just because I have a certain amount of followers on social media don't make me different from nobody."
Lee asked the hostess how he was able to sit down so quickly, only for the hostess to tell him that it was first come first serve and there was no wait — even though his family had just been told otherwise.
Lee took this as him receiving special preference because he had been recognized, which prompted him to leave the restaurant.
"I then told her I changed my mind, we're gonna go eat somewhere else and I said 'God bless you' and I walked out," Lee explained of his decision to not dine at the restaurant. "Thank you for inviting me, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart, genuinely, but I'm a normal person, and I want to be treated like everybody else."
Lee's experience with Burruss' restaurant is one that all restauranteurs and owners can learn from in the age of social media — treat every customer the same, or you might end up in a tougher public position than you anticipated.
Burruss responded via TikTok, explaining that the restaurant doesn't offer to-go orders on weekends because they are so busy and don't want to "overwhelm" the kitchen, though she still thanked Lee for stopping by.
"I really just wanted to say I do appreciate it Keith Lee for stopping by our restaurant and trying to show us love," she said. "It is very unfortunate that we couldn't start with him and his family we have, we would have loved to."