A restaurateur has duped the public with an extraordinary stunt.
Gary Newborough, owner of La Pizzeria Ristorante in Manchester, England, held a VIP opening of his new restaurant, inviting foodies to taste his "pizza with a real difference" which he was offering for free.
The response was reportedly positive – that is, until Newborough revealed his secret: he was serving up frozen pizzas bought at a local supermarket.
Dr. Oetker's Ristorante pizzas were what was really getting the buzz, supposedly proving people really can't taste the difference between fresh and frozen (pizza, at least).
While some people took to social media to announce their displeasure at the ruse, Newborough justified it, saying his restaurant is called Ristorante, and there are ads for Dr. Oetker on the walls.
"It was just a bit of fun and it didn't cost anybody anything to try it," the Daily Mail quotes Newborough as saying. "I just liked the idea of doing something that nobody has ever done before."
Not everyone was amused though. A blogger from the website Bacon on the Beach said the event was bad publicity all around, despite the free wine. Though they said it was a somewhat entertaining event (they were told to wait for a "big suprise!" and were then told the pizzas were frozen), the blogger wrote, "I can confirm to you now that Dr Oetker pizzas do indeed taste like...supermarket pizzas...dry and processed."
A Twitter user called it the "weirdest thing in the history of the Manchester food scene."
But instead of stopping the ruse, Newborough is going to start charging people for the pizzas that he pays £2.78 ($4.43) for at a supermarket down the street. He said from now until Sept. 7, chefs at the restaurant will make breadboards and fresh salad and serve those with pizza for £4 ($6.38).
The floor manager at the restaurant said, believe it or not, serving frozen pizzas is not as easy as may appear.
Do you think it's worth paying for store-bought pizza, when it's cheaper to buy your own and cook it at home? Sure, you won't have professionals aspiring to attain the perfect level of crispiness and making sure the cheese is adequately melted on top, but you could spend the money you've saved on something nice to go along with it – wine, perhaps?
Or, you could take your money and go to a restaurant that makes its own pizza. Now there's a concept.