Prankster makes his garden shed the top London restaurant on TripAdvisor after fake reviews
When it comes to fine dining, we're very much of the opinion that 'each to their own' is the best way to go. If you want to eat at Michelin star restaurants, that's your prerogative. If you fancy binging on McDonald's or your local takeaway, that's grand too.
What does grate a lot of foodies is the overly pretentious, snobby and elitist attitude to dining, which is why we love the fact that Oobah Butler, 26, made a website for The Shed in Dulwich, and managed to get it ranked as the top restaurant in London on TripAdvisor.
How did he do this? Well, the journalist chronicled his entire venture on Vice and he was clever enough to market his 'restaurant' as an exclusive appointment-only eatery.
The website proudly boasts: "An appointment-only restaurant located in South London, The Shed has been operating privately for years. In 2017, it decided to open its doors. As of November that year, it was TripAdvisor’s top-rated restaurant in London.”
After doing so, he and his mates submitted more than 80 five-star fake reviews to TripAdvisor.
As for the food on the menu, he said the entire menu was based on his 'mood' while enlisting the help of a photographer to take photos of the restaurant’s 'food.' In reality, these photos were close-ups shots of dishes that were made from shaving foam and bleach.
Despite the fact that The Shed in Dulwich has never had a single customer, Mr. Butler received hundreds of calls and emails from people that were looking for a reservation.
In fact, a food critic for The Guardian even stated: “At last: a restaurant that recognises food is all about mood. Of all the shed-based eating experiences out there this one sounds like the best. Or at least second best. (I have my own shed, hence). Personally, I’m eager to try ‘contemplation’.
Why did Mr. Butler undertake this experiment? In his own words: "So there we go: I invited people into a hastily-assembled collection of chairs outside my shed, and they left thinking it really could be the best restaurant in London, just on the basis of a TripAdvisor rating.
"You could look at this cynically—argue that theodourr of the internet is so strong nowadays that people can no longer use their senses properly. But I like to be positive. If I can transform my garden into London’s best restaurant, literally anything is possible."