Satire of the Rich and the Food Industry in The Menu (2022)

The Menu (2022) captures the snobbery of the upper class and the toxicity of the food industry. The Menu takes place in an exclusive restaurant on an isolated island, with all of the attendants during the film being assumed to be rich aside from the main character, Margo. Margo immediately feels out of place among the rich attendants, and soon finds out from the chef that everyone in the restaurant is going to die by the end of the night. 

The film uses exaggeration when portraying how the restaurant operates. The restaurant feels very cult-ish, with the staff living on a secluded island, and having no life outside of preparing food. Aside from the main chef, the staff all sleep in the same room, and spend all of their waking hours working, whether that be meticulously preparing food, or cultivating ingredients in a precise manner. Restaurants, specifically high-end, ones are filled with constant stress surrounding food. The cult-like portrayal of the restaurant in the film mocks the reality of high-end restaurants’ workplace experiences. 

Furthermore, the dishes being served throughout the film all have their own meaning, but one that really sticks out to me is the breadless bread plate scene. The head chef gives a speech about bread being the food of the common man, and since they aren’t common folk, they will get no bread. Instead, they receive a plate of sauces made for the bread. One table filled with important employees of a tech giant gets frustrated by this and demands bread, due to the restaurants notoriously for their good bread. They are refused bread. The breadless bread plate serves as a metaphor for the rich being unable to exist without the work of the poor. When there is the sauce and no bread, the sauce is useless. The scene serves as a role reversal, with the important rich people being refused something from the chefs and workers, lower than them in status. The role reversal’s purpose is to mock the rich and in a sense, take away their power with food mockery. 


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