THE STORY

How do you become London’s #1 restaurant in just 5 months?

Just ask Oobah Butler, owner of The Shed at Dulwich. A trendy appointment-only restaurant with a mystery location and a menu based on moods.

The restaurant started from the (bottom 😉) 18,149th place on TripAdvisor. Following glowing reviews, it rapidly rose to #1,456! The phone rang non-stop. PR people offered their services. Suppliers offered free samples. Executives used their connections to nail a reservation. Butler’s answer: “sorry, we’re fully booked for weeks.”

Except there was one small detail they didn’t know. Not a single meal at The Shed had ever been served!

Once paid to write fake reviews on TripAdvisor, Butler came up with the idea of an entirely fake restaurant. “Brilliant,” he thought. “I’ll reimagine my London shed and name it something hipster.”

He verified his “restaurant” using a burner phone, and created a sleek website with dishes fashioned from shaving foam, bleach and, um, his foot. Foodies and critics ate up every word. Including fake reviews posted by friends.

Five months in, they became London’s top-rated restaurant. So, it was time to make it real… for one night only.

Guests were blindfolded and led up the garden path to dine on… £1 microwave meals and instant soups. Butler brought a bunch of live chickens, adding a ‘farm-to-table’ vibe.

Guess what? People asked to re-book! 🤦‍♂️

An online platform was tricked and the human brain was hacked. A *WTF* story that travelled the globe.

Butler at The Shed at Dulwich.

 

SEEING IS BELIEVING…

… but in today’s connected world, filters can dramatically alter the reality. Critical thinking is more critical than ever.

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© Story by Tarek Issa.

Sources:

  • Facts as told by Oobah Butler on Vice.
  • Picture: Vice.

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