If they'd ordered delivery from a new restaurant called "The Italian Stallion," Londoners in search of their late night pasta fix might recently have been surprised to receive their plastic container of food, plus a weird note and a bunch of cash. Two years after Oobah Butler gamed TripAdvisor and sent people in search of the site's highest-rated restaurant to his shed instead, Brits have been had yet again: The Italian Stallion was fake, the meal microwaved, and all of it a big grift, done for YouTube.
London-based YouTuber Josh Pieters has played the food delivery platform Deliveroo, having registered his apartment as a restaurant and sold microwaveable meals, per a report from INSIDER. He exposed the scam, which he did with friend and magician Archie Manners, in a YouTube video uploaded on Saturday. Prank videos like this are pretty standard for Pieters, whose popular uploads include "I Tricked Influencers Into Promoting Gravel."
After Pieters and Manners registered "The Italian Stallion" as a website and official company ("Italian Stallion Ltd.") and made some social media accounts, they tried to get on Deliveroo, listing Pieters's apartment building as the restaurant's address. Despite a missing hygiene rating, the "restaurant" was given the go-ahead. "So despite having a picture of [TV personality] Gemma Collins [as the chef on its website] and an AirPod as feta cheese, and no food-hygiene inspection of any kind, Deliveroo were happy for us to get going," Pieters told INSIDER.
Soon enough, orders start coming in, likely due to a 40 percent off promotion on all of the Italian Stallion's food. In the video, Pieters and Manners scramble as they read package labels, run the microwave, and assemble meals in plastic containers. So as to not scam anyone too badly, Pieters and Manners provided the microwaved meals along with a note explaining the joke, as well as enough cash to cover the entire order.
The Italian Stallion is now "dormant," Pieters told INSIDER, and its page appears to have been removed from Deliveroo's website, but the prank suggests an unsettling reality of food delivery: If we can't trust delivery sites to do the strict vetting, where could our meals really be coming from?