Restaurant devastated after cruel pranksters book out every Sunday table

22 November 2022, 12:00

Rafters at Riverside House in Derbyshire was tricked out of £5,500 [STOCK IMAGE]
Rafters at Riverside House in Derbyshire was tricked out of £5,500 [STOCK IMAGE]. Picture: Getty Images/Google Maps

Rafters at Riverside House in Derbyshire had its entire Sunday Service booked up as a cruel prank.

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A restaurant was left devastated after someone booked out their entire weekend service as a ‘malicious’ joke.

Rafters At Riverside House in Ashford-in-the-Water, near Bakewell, is usually fully booked on Sundays, with the owners often having to turn away customers.

However, after a no-show back in February, bosses decided to ring around the upcoming customers to double check they were coming the following day and ask about dietary requirements.

They started to suspect something was wrong after many of the numbers they had been given were wrong.

Rafters At Riverside House
Rafters At Riverside House. Picture: Google Maps

Trying out the emails as well, the messages started bouncing back and they were unable to get hold of anyone.

Turning into a detective, the owner Alistair Myers told Manchester Evening News that his team looked at the IP addresses used, and one person made all the bookings.

Over a two hour period, the mystery person made 23 false bookings, amounting to 109 covers in total.

If each customer spent on average £40, this means the restaurant would have lost out on over £4,000.

A restaurant could have lost out of over £4,000 [STOCK IMAGE]
A restaurant could have lost out of over £4,000 [STOCK IMAGE]. Picture: Getty Images

Alistair - who also runs the Rafters restaurant in Sheffield - has now decided to bring in a deposit system and could soon hand the evidence to the police to investigate.

“It’s quite malicious really,” he told Manchester Evening News.

“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.

Luckily, the restaurant managed to fill their restaurant by reaching out to locals.

Taking to Instagram at the time, they thanked their loyal customers for their support, writing: “We just want to say a massive THANK YOU!! 🥰

“Since having our upcoming weekend looking like a train wreck at the start of this week with all of your support we’ve managed to fill up a huge amount of tables for this Sunday lunch! 🍽

“We cannot thank everyone enough for the support that has been shown over the last few days and look forward to seeing each and every one of you this weekend ❤️.”

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