This Restaurant Never Existed

Posted on May 16, 2018 by Joey

Ranked #1 In London

Two weeks ago I wrote about the problem of fake online reviews. I began with a link to a site that provides fake testimonials. Then I shared a few ditties about some actual fake reviews, and companies who are dedicated to wiping them out.

This week I'm going to tell you about someone has gone one step further. The seemingly impossible, yet true, story of a London restaurant, with 100 fake 5 star reviews; a restaurant that does not actually exist. “You couldn't get a table. Booked solid for months,” according to this article.

A man by the name of Butler, who was already employed writing fake reviews, decided to take faking one step further, and he did. He created a fake restaurant named, “The Shed,” and managed to get it's Trip Advisor rating from way back in the pack in May to number 1 by November.

“In one weekend: 116 voicemails,” it says later in that same article. All people trying to get a reservation.

Butler took phony pictures of people eating gourmet meals. One in particular was a close up of an egg covered with dirt. It was resting on his foot. And, according to that same article, says “looks better than it sounds.”

At that link there is actual video of Butler taking calls from people wanting to book a table.

In magic, the first objective is create a believable scenario. Creating a fake restaurant falls into the same category for me. A belief that something this not real, is real.

For me, that could be a prop that I use, or a story a tell.

Butler is also featured in, “How to Become TripAdvisor’s #1 Fake Restaurant,” video which you can watch on YouTube. My favorite quote from that video is him saying that “Trip Advisor is like a false reality”. False reality. I love that.

Some interviewing him can not quite believe that it happened. I do ;-)