After bringing in publicity and increased sales to East 81st Deli, Tanisha Godfrey is cashing in her own checks.
Last month, a video of the Cleveland, OH, native eating at Wael Herbawi’s restaurant went viral on TikTok. Her sound byte of “Y’all better come up here and get one of these..It’s a chicken salad…81st Deli … superior” took over the internet.
According to the owner, Godfrey was given the salad for free and from there was recorded for the video.
“I had got off work. Because it was hot, I was like, I don’t want anything heavy. So I stopped at the store like I normally do,” Godfrey explained to TODAY. “And I was like, ‘Hey, you guys make salad now, right? And (Herbawi) was like, ‘Yes.’ So I was like, ‘Can I get a chicken salad?’ and I gave him the extra things to put in. And once he was done, it was a beautiful salad. So he said, ‘Hey, let’s make a TikTok.’ And that’s where it started.”
“Like, it’s me. Wow, it’s me. So I’m still in a moment of surreal,” she added about becoming a viral sensation. “It’s weird. I can’t really explain it. It’s just the whole world knows my name now.”
Nearly a month later, eating the free chicken salad on camera has turned into a big-name partnership. On Weight Watchers’ Instagram page, the company announced it had teamed up with Godfrey. Now, “The Nisha Chicken Salad” is featured in its list of over 12,000 recipes.
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“Y’all better come up and get (or make) this #chickensalad,” Weight Watchers wrote. “TikTok star Nisha Godfrey came to visit us at the WeightWatchers test kitchen and made us her dream chicken salad. The key ingredients? Raw mushrooms and banana peppers. Loaded with other ZeroPoint faves like pickles, grilled chicken, and tomatoes, this salad only needs a sprinkle of Parm and a bit of vinaigrette, plus a dash of lemon pepper for superior flavor.”
When confirming the partnership on her personal Instagram page, Godfrey noted that she was able to make quite a profit.
“…that bag made it gorgeous,” she said in response to someone commenting on the salad’s appearance.