We've all ordered from a restaurant menu. But have you ever wondered
to what extent the menu is ordering you?
In this fascinating new book, art historian and food lover Alison
Pearlman takes an inquiring look at the design of physical restaurant
menus--their content, size, scope, material, and more--to explore how
they influence our dining experiences and choices (if they do at all).
After years of collecting menus and studying their cultural significance
through the lens of art history, Pearlman realized they were also
profoundly important sales tools, affecting everything from a
restaurant's operations and profits to a diner's expectations and
There was just one problem: she wasn't exactly convinced that any menu
had ever swayed her own choices. So she set off on a mission to
understand if, how, and when menus work in appealing to us diners,
visiting and meticulously documenting more than 60 restaurants of all
stripes in the greater Los Angeles area.
In May We Suggest, Pearlman combines her own dining experiences with
research from a broad range of disciplines, from experience design to
behavioral economics. What emerges is a captivating, thought-provoking
study of one of the most often read but rarely analyzed narrative works
around: the humble menu.