Delicious Deception: The Art of Fake Reviews

I don’t mind splurging on high quality, unforgettable restaurant cuisine. The kind of meals I would possibly (sorry, not sorry) even post a photo of on my social accounts. However, I cringe when I end up spending money on an unimpressive, disappointing dinner out.  To avoid the latter experience, I follow Yelp and TripAdvisor like scripture. But how credible are these sites, really?

A few friends in the restaurant industry have told me that business owners hire people to write fake positive reviews to attract gullible customers. Yes, I was one of those customers. Too many times, my money was wasted on the fraudulent five star promise. I now have a better understanding of why the mediocre restaurants I have visited had such high ratings.

A professional fake review writer, Oobah Butler, decided to put the credibility of TripAdvisor to the test. He started a fake restaurant, The Shed at Dulwich, and attempted to make it the #1 restaurant in London.

The Shed at Dulwich website reads:

We don’t have a traditional menu, per se. Instead of meals, our menu is comprised of moods. You choose which fits your day, and our Chef interprets that.

Watch how it all unfolds here: