Photo: demarre (iStock)

Is there something fishy afoot with third party restaurant delivery services? Josh Pieters, a YouTube prankster with close to 1 million subscribers, concocted an highly elaborate—and rather impressive—scheme to find out.

With the assistance of two friends, Pieters created a fake restaurant, and picked the UK-based delivery app Deliveroo as his mark. He supplied the service with an address (his apartment), an Instagram handle (with purchased followers), and a website that featured bogus recipes, haphazard food photography, and a picture of a British television personality Gemma Collins, who he listed as the chef.

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Pieters says Deliveroo quickly onboarded his “restaurant,” The Italian Stallion, sending him a tablet to take orders and listing the restaurant as a legitimate one on its app. The menu was comprised of microwave dinners purchased from the grocery store on the ground floor of Pieters’ building, and brought up to his apartment for “cooking” via a bucket-pulley system. He tells Business Insider
he didn’t hide much: “Everything we said to Deliveroo was pretty much true. We didn’t lie about anything or make anything up.”

No customers were harmed in the production of this prank—included with their delivery orders was an envelope filled with a full refund, as well as a note explaining the social experiment. Judging from the public reaction to the stunt, most people seem to be aghast over the fact that the food served was prepackaged and microwavable. Boy, are they going to be disappointed when they learn where much of the food at affordably priced restaurants comes from.