Three screenshots of POV Fast-Food TikTok videos.

POV Fast-Food TikTok

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Updated Aug 23, 2021 at 02:27PM EDT by Zach.

Added Aug 20, 2021 at 12:24PM EDT by Owen.

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About

POV Fast-Food TikTok refers to a TikTok trend in which fast-food employees create POV-style voiceover videos of them making food and narrating over the footage. Workers at places like Cold Stone Creamery, Subway, McDonald's and Dairy Queen (among others) let their followers in on company secrets, customer drama and motivational tidbits, all being recited over POV footage of them making popular or outlandish dishes at their favorite fast-food restaurants. This style of TikTok content aligns itself with food porn content and oddly satisfying content in general. The trend started in mid-2020, most notably by TikToker @djlemay2.

Online History

Origin

In March 2020, TikToker[1] @djlemay2, also known as Dylan Lemay, posted his first Cold Stone Creamery content. It wouldn't be until May 8th, 2020, that Lemay would post his first POV-style video (shown below). On May 20th, 2020, Lemay started his series on "tiny food," making a POV-style TikTok of himself making a tiny Cold Stone ice cream in a tiny cup.[2] By May 21st, 2020, @djlemay had roughly 10,000 followers.[3]


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6824614131518262534

He reached 20,000 followers 10 days later,[4] following a POV-style TikTok he posted the day before, on May 30th, 2020, where he walks through and narrates over a mock "first day of working at Cold Stone" (shown below, left). The TikTok received roughly 14 million views and 3 million likes in one week. On May 31st, 2020, Lemay posted again after just having reached 20,000 followers with a TikTok outlining how he makes his POV-style videos. He revealed in this video (shown below, right) how he props his iPhone between his chin and chest to make the video. This "behind-the-scenes" TikTok received roughly 5 million views and 1 million likes in one week.


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6832674886461181189
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6833079655826803974

Spread

In March of 2020, around the same time @djlemay2 began posting his Cold Stone content, another TikToker started making fast-food employee videos from a Subway instead. TikToker[5] @miladmirg, whose real name is Milad Mirg, posted his first Subway-related content on March 14th, 2020, going semi-viral on the platform. Mirg posted infrequently from March-July 2020 until late August 2020 when he began posting POV-style Subway videos more consistently.

His first one in this style (shown below, left) was posted on August 24th, 2020. After this video, Mirg posted every day following the theme of responding to people's comments who outline what sandwich he should make and review next. His most-watched and most-liked TikTok from this early period was posted on September 9th, 2020, (shown below, right) where he makes and reviews an "Everything Sub" in honor of reaching 200,000 followers. This TikTok received roughly 7 million views and 1 million likes in one week.


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6864662117627235589
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6870688164739026181

Another TikToker also began posting fast-food POV-style content in March 2020, this time at a McDonald's. TikToker @patulafamilymcdonalds, whose real name is Stephen Patula, posted his first viral video on March 9th, 2020, (shown below) of himself making a Big Mac. The TikTok received roughly 650,000 views and 18,000 likes in one week. Objectively, this TikTok came before any of Lemay or Mirg's content. Patula's channel, however, has not seen the same sort of viral following as Lemay or Mirg's, having roughly 700,000 followers as of August 2021. This could be attributed to creative developments in the trend that Lemay and Mirg later founded.


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6802340672356535558

Creative Developments

Dylan Lemay, with his Cold Stone TikToks, began to develop a style of "forever looping" in which there's a seamless flow between the end of the video and the beginning of it. Lemay's first TikTok including a "forever loop" was posted on July 15th, 2020, (shown below) as part of his "#rewindWednesday" series, where he'd put his footage in reverse to make the ice cream or cake look like it's unmaking itself. He had been using this "reverse effect" in his videos already, but the "forever looping" was new. The TikTok received roughly 1 million views and 200,000 likes in one week.


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6849711602866965765

The TikTok is also a good example of how Lemay began to popularize narrating over his POV footage. His voice is calm and smooth. It's kind of nasally too and sounds like the Burger King Foot Lettuce voice. This style of narrating a customer story over footage of making satisfying food defined the trend going forward.

Mirg began posting similar narration-style content to his Subway channel starting on November 13th, 2020, when he shared a TikTok (shown below) of himself making a sub while talking over it, telling a story about an online order. Mirg continued to post these POV-style, story-time Subway TikToks every day. He later stopped posting his "responding to people's comments" TikToks.


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6894767104894061830

On November 18th, 2020, Dylan Lemay posted a TikTok (shown below, left) where he talks about all the other accounts mimicking his POV, voiceover-style of food content. The accounts he mentioned were @morgannbook, @jackearly and @miladmirg. Mirg posted another TikTok (shown below, right) on the same day acknowledging his inspiration from Lemay's content and appreciating the shout-out he received from Lemay, who at the time had roughly 6.9 million subscribers. Lemay at that point in his TikTok career achieved notoriety for his POV-style voiceover food content that he quit working at Cold Stone and started making POV TikToks for other chains and local restaurants, shouting them out and promoting their businesses on his channel. This was a career path that other creators of this style, like Mirg, would follow. As of August 2021, Lemay has roughly 10.5 million followers.[6]


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6896486647811116294
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6896586754258717957

Ironic Parodies

On April 26th, 2021, TikToker @fakesaltwaterlake posted a TikTok where he took footage from @djlemay2's page and added in his own voiceover, pretending to be the one making the ice cream. @fakesaltwaterlake used the video to respond to an ironic comment asking, "Do u poop ur pants at work?" The TikTok (shown below, left) received roughly 1 million views and 180,000 likes in one week. @fakesaltwaterlake went on to continue the parody series into August 2021, progressively adding more elements to the video to mimic @djlemay2, like putting in background music and trying to imitate his voice (shown below, right). @fakesaltwaterlake has roughly 86,500 followers as of August 2021.[7]


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6955539836962934022
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6959366126803438854

Various Examples


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6957793763242642694
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6956293423557020934
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6912595998854401286
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6905125825142787333

Search Interest

External References

[1] TikTok – @djlemay2

[2] TikTok – @djlemay2

[3] TikTok – @djlemay2

[4] TikTok – @djlemay2

[5] TikTok – @miladmirg

[6] TikTok – @djlemay2

[7] TikTok – @fakesaltwaterlake

Recent Videos 8 total

Recent Images 7 total



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