A man who managed to get his garden shed listed as London's number one restaurant on TripAdvisor has opened up about the experience on Good Morning Britain. Oobah Butler created a fake restaurant based on his shed in order to write a feature for Vice magazine, but was taken by surprise when the supposed exclusivity of the venue and fake reviews posted by his family members and friends launched the restaurant to the number one spot of places to eat in the capital.
The writer didn't realise how popular the fake restaurant would become
Speaking about his prank to Suzanna Reid and Ben Shephard on the breakfast show, Oobah said: "I'm kind of obsessed with TripAdvisor… I just knew [the restaurant] needed that air of mysticism… it was just like, I set up all of these sort of rules and sent it to my families and friends asking them to review it and it just climbed up the rankings." A disapproving Suzanna chided the writer for misleading people hoping to visit his restaurant, but the unperturbed Oobah joked: "Ultimately it was because I found it really funny… I just loved that idea!"
Oobah opened his 'restaurant' for one night only
Speaking about when he realised things had gone too far, he added: "When people started applying for jobs at your non-existent restaurant, things get out of hand… When people are turning up outside your house saying, 'Do you know where this restaurant is?!'" He then revealed that he actually took reservations for one night only, and hosted three tables of people, some of whom enjoyed their evening at his garden shed so much that they asked to return for a second time.
Viewers were quick to discuss the prank on Twitter, with one writing: "Quality prank and fooled TripAdvisor, love it," while another added: "Just goes to show that you can't believe everything that we see, read or hear but more worrying our gullibility knows no boundaries... To be honest you have to applaud the fact that he had the mind set & cojones to pull this off."