Would you Like Fries With That? | Teen Ink

Would you Like Fries With That?

March 7, 2019
By Anonymous

What is a menu? According to Google, a menu is “the food available or to be served in a restaurant or at a meal”. In order for a menu to be considered a menu, it needs to pass the certain “requirements” that would make it fit into the menu genre. To understand the genre of the menu, first, it needs to be analyzed. This includes the setting, subject, participants, motive and rhetorical patterns found in a menu.

The setting of a menu is always at some sort of a restaurant. Menus are always given out at restaurants, diners, and cafes. Wherever food can be purchased there’s always some sort of menu. With the different places to eat you can expect a difference in the menu’s appearance and format. A menu’s subject is to get customers to buy a certain restaurant’s food. I know this because at a restaurant after being seated, a waiter hands out the menus that show the contents and choices that are offered as well as helping others decide what they might be interested in eating. The participants of the menu would be the customers, the creators of the menu, the waiters and chefs along with other employees of the restaurant. A motive for the menu is a marketing plan that advertises the restaurant as well as getting the customers to buy the food that is made available to them.

     Patterns that can be noticed when looking at a menu is the overall organization or page appearance and imagery. Menus are usually easy to use and easy to navigate through. The menu’s imagery generally matches with the restaurant’s theme. The choice in words used in a menu can also be linked to pathos due to the food’s descriptions. Another pattern that can be noticed in a menu would be the sentence lengths. Most menus are brief but are pretty detailed.

A menu’s appearance plays a major role in the organization and the idea of a menu. Most menus offer pictures along with easy to read detailed sentences that usually use adjectives to attract the customers about the food that is offered at a specific restaurant as well as making the menu go with the restaurant’s overall theme. Imagery is used in menus and provides the customers with an idea of what food they might want as well as what kind of restaurant they are at. If you go to a high-end restaurant you can expect the menus to have a sophisticated look. The font might be fancy, for example, a cursive font can be used, as well as the overall design of the menu itself will give off an elegant feel to the restaurant. If you go to a more informal restaurant the menus may be a little more “fun” or colorful and can use fonts such as comic sans to provide that fun feel of the restaurant. The restaurant’s experience and overall feel will be more laid back. Since there are so many different kinds of restaurants that offer different foods you can expect the menu to be different each time because it depends on the feel of the restaurant. Another example of a menus appearance is the kind of restaurant that you are at. If you are at a pizza shop you can expect the menu to be short and directly to the point. The menu will be really easy to read because at pizza shops the service is usually quick. At a restaurant, you'll have more of a description when it comes to the dishes being served. The kind of place that you are at determines how your menu will look!

     A menu’s brief sentences provide good service to those quickly looking for something to eat. If a menu is long and not interactive most customers would have a hard time going through and picking something out to eat. When going to a restaurant or any place that offers food you can expect a quick menu to be presented. Whether it’s in a paper form or if it’s hanging up on the wall, the titles of the foods are always straight to the point and if or when there’s a brief summary, the summary of the dish is usually quick and offers quick details into what you think you’ll want.

For menus, there are so many different types of menus in the world but they all fall under the same genre. Although menus may appear to look different, depending on where you are and what restaurant you are in, but in the end, it's clear that all menus follow the same criteria. All menus are easy to understand and can easily be read through. You open the menu and automatically see headings that direct the customers to the different items offered, like entrees, appetizers, beverages, and desserts. This helps others know exactly where the items are and provide good service to those wanting a specific dish type.

In Kerry Dirk’s “Navigating Genre” her main point is to give awareness of the functions on a genre (Dirk 250). Throughout her writing, we get a sense of how the definition and forms of genre changed over time as well as getting a better idea of what genre is and how its apart of our everyday lives. She goes on to explain how genres are everywhere and although at first, it may go unnoticed, once you get the idea of what genre is you start to realize that genre is everywhere! Kerry goes on to talk about how genre used to have strict guidelines and if you didn’t follow those guidelines you were simply not going in the right direction (Dirk 251). Genre comes in all forms. For example, menus, parking tickets, report cards, texting, and Facebook posts, these are all versions of genre.

Doing a quick genre analysis, as done earlier, will provide you with more information towards the genre. For menus I had to learn about where they are used, why they are used and what different ways can they be made? This can include its imagery or appearance as well as the overall format of the menu itself. In Amy Langlois’ “In Memoriam”, she talks about how she was able to come up with her obituaries. She talks about having to do research about obituaries and where they come up as well as what is usually said in one. She was able to adopt the language used to make hers more realistic. Genres can be a little difficult to understand only because the “rules” can be so complex. In order to really understand genres, you’ll have to do a lot of research surrounding a specific genre.

The author's comments:

This piece talks about what genre is and how it applies to menus. 

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