The Restaurant

Review

posted 12/19/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
Everything has an upkeep cost. Don’t expect to purchase something for the restaurant and not have to pay for it any longer. As you add more items, more maintenance costs are added and that eats into the profits. Of course the better items cost more to maintain. You can’t run a restaurant with chairs that are broken or kitchen items out of order so you have no choice but to pay those maintenance costs. Combine that with the salary of the staff and you’ll see that there are a lot of costs in running a restaurant.

You are giving a few months to accomplish the goals that are presented to you. By working through one day, the rest of the month is calculated by how well you do in the first of the month. This means you can’t dilly dally and you must make sure you do well so that the calculation at the end of the month provides you with large revenue. I do like that you don’t play every day of every month. If that was the case the game would take really long to finish one goal. At normal speed, the day takes roughly an hour to work through but there are four different speed settings so that you can speed through the day if you feel you are doing well. The normal speed is set pretty well and doesn’t force you to rush around to accomplish things. Where I felt normal speed in The Sims was too fast, the speed in The Restaurant felt just right and not too long or short.

By reading any customer complaints, you can see how well you are doing and try to fix the ones that aren’t working. If you get numerous complaints about a wait staff being rude, you should probably get rid of that employee and hire a replacement. If you see customers complaining about the dirty dishes, you should probably hire a better porter, another porter to help with the task, or purchase a dishwasher. Other complaints include the price and quality of the food. Realistically, you can’t please everyone but to succeed in the game you do have to minimize as many complaints as possible.

The various employees have a skill level and different responsibilities. Porters wash dishes and serve up entrees in the dumbwaiter for delivery to the next floor. Captains take orders while servers provide delivery of food and topping off drinks. You’ll also need a hostess to seat people. You can even hire chefs to help cook in your restaurant. Each staff member also has salary requirements and morale. The better the morale, the better they work. While you can increase salary to increase morale, I would’ve liked a way to discipline a staff member who isn’t doing their job and to see if they turn their performance around. Increasing salaries to bad workers to get them to work better just doesn’t seem right. I also found it easier to just hire replacements rather than to spend money training the lackluster staff members. It shows you don’t have to be loyal to your staff and hiring and firing on a whim won’t affect the game.

AI does have some problems that can be rather annoying. I had one porter stand in the doorway to the kitchen preventing the servers to retrieve the orders thus producing angry customers storming out the door. There’s no way to direct the staff to move somewhere so you are stuck if they don’t decide to move for a while. Other annoyances include the lack of ability to direct a staff member to help someone or put some orders in priority if some customer has been waiting a very long time. Making sure the customer is happy is one of the top priorities in the restaurant business but the game doesn’t give you some options to direct to where help is needed.
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