'I tricked TripAdvisor to make my shed its top restaurant'

Lloyd Doyle
December 8, 2017

TripAdvisor has been tricked into making a garden shed the top rated restaurant in London.

Writing for Vice, Butler explains how after buying a burner phone and building a website for his fake restaurant, The Shed At Dulwich, he staged some mouth-watering food photos - except the plates were actually concocted with shaving cream, discs of bleach, hot chocolate tablets, and paint. "One day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society's willingness to believe absolute bullshit, maybe a fake restaurant is possible", Butler writes in Vice for a hilarious look at how he turned his shed into London's top-rated restaurant in just six months.

The menu also caused interest - with each dish being based on a mood such as lust, comfort or contemplation. In 2017, it chose to open its doors. He then skirted TripAdvisor's fact-checkers by listing only the road as the address and marking the restaurant as appointment-only. Of all the shed-based eating experiences out there this one sounds like the best.

"This convinced me that TripAdvisor was a false reality - that the meals never took place; that the reviews were all written by other people like me", he wrote. But The Shed's success came with an unforeseen side effect: actual reservation requests, hundreds of them.

Butler's pretend restaurant reached the number one ranking in London on the site at the beginning of November, according to his article.

A spokesman for TripAdvisor, which has since deleted the listing, said: "Generally, the only people who create fake restaurant listings are journalists in misguided attempts to test us".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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