Man’s fake restaurant becomes so popular he was forced to feed diners
Butler set up a phoney address, took photos of fake meals and asked friends and family to write fake reviews on TripAdvisor, and six months later he had London’s best restaurant in his backyard.
In his article on news and entertainment website VICE.com, Butler said he had a revelation: “within the current climate of misinformation, and society’s willingness to believe absolute bullshit, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it’s exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?”
Soon he was inundated with booking requests from eager diners and PR companies were starting to get in touch.
“First, companies start using the estimated location of The Shed on Google Maps to get their free samples to me. Then people who want to work at The Shed get in touch, in significant numbers. Then I get an email from the council, which wants to relocate us to a site in Bromley they’re developing. Then an Australian production company gets in touch, saying they want to exhibit us across the world in an aircraft company’s inflight videos,” he wrote.
The Shed at Dulwich became so popular that Butler had eager diners to feed, so he bought ready-made meals from his local convenience store. He served Minestrone di Verdure as entrée, a choice of Truffle Mac n Cheese or Vegetable Lasagne for mains and Chocolate Sundae for dessert.
Much to Butler’s surprise, the guests loved it and wanted to come back again.
“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,” he wrote. “If I can transform my garden into London’s best restaurant, literally anything is possible.”