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Restaurant Has Entire Sunday Service Booked Up By Malicious Prankster

Restaurant Has Entire Sunday Service Booked Up By Malicious Prankster

Rafters at Riverside House in the Peak District could have lost more than £4,000 as a result of the fake bookings

A restaurant has been left devastated after a prankster booked out nearly every seat in the place for a Sunday afternoon.

Rafters at Riverside House sits in the lovely Peak District village of Ashford-in-the-Water, near to Bakewell, and has two AA rosettes on top of a listing in the Michelin Guide.

However, that doesn’t mean that they can afford to have their entire Sunday ruined by one person fraudulently booking out the whole place.

In total, they reckon that it could see them out of more than £4,000.

Owner Alistair Myers certainly believes that the bookings are malicious.

It's a lovely looking gaff, to be fair.
Francis Milburn Photography

He told the Manchester Evening News: “We had a no show last Saturday, who we’d tried to call, but it kept ringing out, so we thought that was a bit suspicious.

“And we confirm all our future bookings during the week, a courtesy call about dietary requirements, allergies, so we can be prepared.

“So as we’re doing it for this coming Sunday, there are loads of wrong numbers. Customers might give us a wrong number occasionally, it happens.

“So we start using the email addresses instead, to confirm the bookings, and now they keep bouncing back.

“We start looking into it, thinking ‘this can’t be right’. So we look at the IP addresses used, and one person on January 3 in a two hour period, has made all these bookings.

“They filled our entire Sunday lunch up for us.”

In total, there were 23 fake bookings lodged, which makes up 109 covers.

If they work out a conservative estimate of around £40 per head, that’s more than four grand out of pocket for the restaurant.

Myers continued: “Had we not noticed, it would have been catastrophic for us,

“It’s an absolute nightmare. We turn people away on Sundays because we are full, and we have turned others away already for this weekend.”

Food looks decent, too.
Frances Milburn Photography

Now, they’re hoping that they can put together a case for the police, as well as working to fill up the restaurant again this weekend.

He added: “Rather than focus on the negative energy that someone has brought to our door, our first task is to work out how we can get a full restaurant again, get it out there that we have tables available.

“It’s quite malicious really. It’s either a prank, or someone being horrible to us. We’d have bought all the food in, and we serve quite expensive beef. It would have been a disaster.

“So our next port of call is to have someone investigate these IP addresses, and then report it. It falls under the computer misuse act.”

They’ve also brought in a deposit system – like at the other Rafters in Sheffield - so that anyone wishing to make a booking won’t be able to do this again.

Myers said: “We’ve always had a deposit system in Sheffield, because the restaurant is so small,

“But we’d always been reluctant to do it at the Derbyshire restaurant because people can be put off by it.

“It’ll just make sure people can’t attack us like this again. Sadly, the minority has ruined that for the majority.”

Still, if you want to make a booking, now is your chance.

Featured Image Credit: Frances Milburn Photography

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink, Money, Weird