Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis.
If you need further proof that we’re hurdling towards a world where emojis completely replace the alphabet as our primary method of visual communication, look no further than the U.K. dining scene, where restaurants are embracing menus written entirely with emojis.
In London, a Notting Hill pop-up restaurant called The Little Yellow Door debuted an emoji menu for the summer. Patrons not well-versed in the world of emojis need not worry, as they’ve kept things pretty straightforward. One of the mains is depicted by a baguette, a chicken leg, a tomato, bacon, and an avocado, which leads us to believe that it’s a variation of a typical club sandwich. Another item is less straight forward, thanks to the inclusion of an acorn and a rocket ship, the latter of which probably means some kind of hot sauce.
The technology forward restaurant also lets guests place their orders via WhatsApp, something owner Kamran Dehdashti hopes will help engage customers. As for the menu itself, Dehdashti wants customers to enjoy themselves, and if a menu item takes little bit more effort to figure out, well that’s just part of the fun. “Buffalo chicken wings with crudités and blue cheese sauce, that takes a little bit of working out. But that’s the whole point — it’s fun,” he said. “Worst-case scenario, you can always ask the waiter.”
The Little Yellow Door isn’t the only U.K. haunt going the emoji route when it comes to their menus. Several Pizza Huts across the United Kingdom have decided to celebrate “World Emoji Day” by offering redesigned emoji menus until July 17. Once again, deciphering the menu will depend on how good of a gumshoe you are. So while a pineapple, a pig, and a surfer obviously represents a Hawaiian pizza, their rooster, crown, and drumstick option is a touch more cryptic.
With restaurants more popular among millennials than ever, and the abundance of food deliver platforms multiplying at a stunning rate, a little extra work for our meals may not be such a bad thing.
Immerse yourself in the world of emojis with a copy of The Emoji Book and let us know if you think emoji menus are here to stay.