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Heston Blumenthal Plans to Google all his New Customers

Of all the ways to use the internet to enhance your business, this could either be one of the best, or sheer lunacy, I honestly cannot tell. Actually I can, it's the second one. Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck (no, really) is reopening next month after a large scale refurbishment and the TV chef is keen to maintain the quirkiness that has defined his long, (mostly) successful career, that and looking like Moby.

Blumenthal has stated his intentions to Google his customers before they arrive in an attempt to get a better idea of their tastes in food, so that he can surprise them with a personalised dish. Of course, now that he's said he's doing it, it probably won't be a surprise. Google is also not a consistently reliable source of any one thing and it will certainly be a bit of a crapshoot in terms of how much useful information can be found for each new customer.

Apparently, and I find this a bit difficult to believe even now, Heston didn't come up with this hair-brained scheme by himself. It comes on the heels of some advice from hypnotist and professional head-messer Derren Brown. Because when I think of high quality dining, I think of hypnotism. I do like the fact that having been asked by Blumenthal for some special technique to get information on them without them being too aware, 'Google them' was his response.

Blumenthal has said that he wants the culinary experience he's offering to feel like a story, and clearly a biographical one at that. Part of me just wants to see what would happen if someone turned up and his research had failed to account for their celiac disease. Supposedly other up-market restaurants do Google customers from time to time, but seemingly more to look for an excuse to refuse them service than to feed them their own childhood.

This entire scheme seems to be predicated on the notion that since social media became a thing, people's lives are just chronicled online for anyone to access. I can remember several meals that would indeed set my nostalgia gland off like a busted fire hydrant (don't think too hard about it), but I have never openly discussed any of them online, and I'm not going to now, just in case he's reading this. It doesn't matter anyway, I neither live anywhere near Bray, nor can I afford the insane prices that the Fat Duck boasts, so I'm in less danger of having a weird, terrible dining experience courtesy of someone who doesn't understand the internet.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Heston Blumenthal Plans to Google all his New Customers Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, August 28, 2015 Rating: 5

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