Saturday 24 February 2018

Something fishy about floating restaurant

Victoria Ward London

Its "mind-blowing" food was said to rival the best in the world, while its romantic setting in the hull of a boat apparently left diners raving about the experience.

With staff dressed in diving gear ready to catch whatever fish the customer ordered, and the restaurant changing location depending on the tides, it sounded too good to be true.

And it was. Oscar's floating restaurant was as fictional as its poached bream and herb-stuffed red mullet. A disgruntled businessman created the bogus listing on TripAdvisor, and a string of glowing reviews, in an attempt to expose perceived failings of the website.

His ploy was so successful that would-be diners contacted him in their droves.

The man behind the prank, who has not been identified, said he came up with the idea after a friend's hotel got a barrage of criticism on TripAdvisor that he suspected was from a rival.

"There are many businesses that have had grudge reviews listed on TripAdvisor, mostly from a rival," he said.

The restaurant was billed as one of the best places to eat in Britain. In a series of reviews, "customers" raved about the wine menus, the romantic lighting and the beautiful harbour.

TripAdvisor said it had a team of more than 100 fraud specialists who worked on maintaining the site's integrity.

A spokesman said: "Occ- asionally a review or business that does not meet TripAdvisor's guidelines may slip through the cracks, and in these rare cases, our members can report the material to us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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