With divine timing, your luck can change overnight. Recently, one food truck owner was able to save his business with the help of a TikTok sensation.
Gary Shanks, Las Vegas resident and owner of Southern Taste Seafood Truck was moved to a new location after someone sold the property where he had been stationed for months. The business was struggling. Shanks would serve five to ten customers daily if he was lucky, making roughly $50 to $200 a day.
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On his second day after relocating to a lonely street in Vegas, Shanks was on his last leg. It was then that he encountered Keith Lee, popular food reviewer and athlete in the Las Vegas area. Lee, who has over 10 million followers on TikTok, had just finished a 10-mile bike ride when he caught a glimpse of Shanks’ truck.
“The foodie in me got interested immediately,” Lee said, “Let me go see what they’re talking about. I thank God that I did.” Upon approaching the truck, Shanks asked Lee what he would like to order. Lee noticed that the menu was mostly seafood, so he made sure to mention his shellfish allergy.
Unable to cook him anything at the moment, Shanks asked Lee to come back the following day so that he could accommodate his allergies. He offered to make him a burger and fries upon his return to the truck. Lee agreed to come back. “He told me he’s just trying to survive right now,” Lee mentioned.
When Lee arrived at the truck the next day, Shanks made him a burger and fries with fresh oil and utensils to make sure that there were no allergic reactions. Surprised that he even came back, he offered Lee the food for free. The TikTok star wasn’t going to let that happen.
Lee had recently spent the afternoon on TikTok Live where he had raised $450 dollars. He sent all of that money directly to Shanks in return for the burger and fries.
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Shanks, shocked and confused, tried returning the money to Lee, but he insisted it wasn’t a mistake. “I love moments like that ‘cause I’m so thankful from the bottom of my heart to be a vessel, and to help people like that,” Lee said.
After a lengthy conversation between the two, Lee took his meal home to try it in front of his millions of followers. “Yeah, Gary,” he said after his first bite, “Gary, you about to make me cry.”
In the video, he scored the fries an 8.5 out of 10 and the burger a 9.5 out of 10. “Delicious. It was juicy, it was cheesy… immaculate,” Lee said after finishing his meal. “Especially to be a place that don’t specialize in burgers. He makes seafood!”
The TikTok went viral. Lee’s fans wasted no time in getting to the truck and showing support to Shanks business online. Within 24 hours, Shanks received roughly $30,000 in donations from Lee’s followers. “I’m overwhelmed with it, but not overwhelmed in a bad way,” Shanks said, “You know, I get so many phone calls. People just want to say hi.”
Since the video was posted, the truck has seen a 900% increase in sales on a daily basis. What a lucky coincidence for these two to cross paths. “It’s God-sent,” Shanks says. “That’s what I’ll say.”