The Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma—which is regularly called the “world’s best restaurant"—announced it would be closing its doors in 2024 and Twitter users have been quick to credit the satirical film The Menu for the restaurant's closure.
The Menu is a satirical black comedy horror film about a young couple who travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu only to discover the offerings are not what they seem.
The film, which has been praised for its razor-sharp satire of the fine-dining industry and for skewering the relationship between an artist and their critics, grossed over $76 million worldwide on a budget of $30 million. It has already received significant recognition in the lead-up to this year's Academy Award nominations, which will honor the best films of 2022.
It is also fresh on viewers' minds because it was released on HBO Max a mere two weeks ago, so there's a certain resonance to Noma's pending closure, which The New York Timesreported comes as it "and many other elite restaurants are facing scrutiny of their treatment of the workers, many of them paid poorly or not at all, who produce and serve these exquisite dishes."
Noma chef and founder René Redzepi said he will turn the restaurant into a “full-time food laboratory" and acknowledged to The Times he and others in the fine dining milieu will have "to completely rethink the industry" as it undergoes a "sustainability crisis."
The Menu jokes came rolling in of course.
The news of Noma's scheduled closure comes as a new generation of workers has begun "pushing back" against the mercurial and backbreaking nature of restaurant work.
Noma and Redzepi have previously made headlines for the restaurant's poor treatment of foreign workers and reliance on unpaid interns. Interns only started to receive pay in October, a move that added $50,000 to the restaurant's monthly labor costs.
Dozens of workers have shared stories about 16-hour work days in a toxic work environment.
Redzepi—who once admitted to abusing his employees—denied any of these factors contributed to the decision to close Noma, instead lamenting high operating costs have made fine dining "untenable."