Influencer Helps Revive Struggling Food Truck by Raising $30K in 24 Hours

Gary Shanks’ food truck business became a smashing success in large part because of Keith Lee. After all, it was Lee who used his popular TikTok account (@keith_lee125) to help make people extra aware of Shanks’ seafood.

Lee discovered the Shanks’ truck by riding his bike around Las Vegas, where he lives, just for some exercise. He came across Shanks almost by accident.

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

“The foodie in me got interested immediately,” Lee said, via TODAY. “So I said, ‘Let me go see what they’re talking about.’ I thank God that I did.”

Interestingly, Shanks specializes in seafood, and Lee just happens to have a seafood allergy. Still, Lee had an interest, anyway.

That was especially true when Shanks told Lee that he could offer more than just seafood. He also had burgers and fries, and that he’d be happy to prepare those in separate bowls if he were to come back the next day. Lee agreed.

Keith Lee on Tiktok

@keith_lee125 He isn’t on yelp so I tagged him on my IG 💕 Southern Taste Seafood taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic ♬ original sound – Keith Lee

Along the way, Shanks revealed that the food truck was struggling.

“He told me he’s just trying to survive right now,” Lee said. “It’s very slow. He’s lucky if he gets five to 10 people in.”

When Lee returned, Shanks offered his food for free. But Lee wouldn’t allow it. Quite the opposite actually.

“I went live the other day with Miss Shirley, passing out food to the less fortunate,” said Lee, referring to fellow TikToker @beauty2thestreetz. “During that live, you sent $450 worth of gifts. I took all that money and I sent it directly to (Shanks’) Cash App.”

@keith_lee125 #stitch with @keith_lee125 Mr Gary Update Video 💕 Please be patient YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO SEND ANYTHING 💕 #foodcritic ♬ original sound – Keith Lee

Within hours, after people saw the clip, Shanks began to receive all sorts of donations from people who had watched Lee’s video praising the burger and fries.

Within 24 hours, Shanks received a whopping $30,000.

“I’m overwhelmed with it, but not overwhelmed in a bad way,” Shanks told TODAY, saying it took less than an hour after Lee posted the video for the calls and donations to begin. “You know, I get so many phone calls. People just want to say hi.”

@keith_lee125 #stitch with @keith_lee125 Southern Taste Seafood story update 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic ♬ original sound – Keith Lee

Since the video, Shanks’ business has generated a 900 percent increase.

So when people say Lee is an “influencer,” … well, clearly, he is using that influence in a good way.

“It’s God-sent,” Shanks told TODAY. “That’s what I’ll say.”

Read More: TikTok Influencer Says She ‘Gained Double the Weight Back’ After Stopping Ozempic

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