How to get ahead in Restaurant City
Posted at 15:40 on 23rd April 2009 - permalink

I’ve noticed there currently a lot of interest in Restaurant City (a Facebook game which I discussed earlier) so I’ve compiled my top five tips to successful restaurant management. All of this information (and much more) can be found by digging around the FAQ and the game’s forum, but these are the basics which will help you avoid frustration early on.

1. Make sure you have some friends playing.

Your progress will be drastically slower if you don’t have at least a couple of Facebook friends registered and actively playing the game. Yes, it’s contrived to make you market the game for them, but hey, at least the game’s free.

2. Only spend money on necessities.

Decorations can come later. Your primary objective is to earn cash and XP quickly. Most of the things that the game offers to sell you drain cash without giving any benefit to your earning ability.

You need to unlearn the habits of other management games. Restaurant City isn’t as sophisticated as Theme Park, The Sims or Animal Crossing in this regard. There’s no “Feng Shui”. Most of the stuff you can buy doesn’t have any impact on how well your restaurant works or your customers’ wellbeing. The only things that you should worry about early on are the placement of tables, chairs and stoves and the stamina of your staff.

Avatar clothes, pot plants, fancy furniture, wallpaper, etc. etc. have no gameplay effect, they’re just there to let you express your creativity and show off your wealth. The more expensive stoves do not cook more quickly. (And all the stoves can cook all the menu items.) Litter bins do not (as of this writing) reduce the occurrence of litter. The only ‘luxury’ item that has a gameplay effect is the Retro Arcade Machine, which restaurant patrons can use while waiting to be seated, resulting in fewer customers leaving unsatisfied and your approval rating remaining high. (Edit: And now there are also working toilets and sinks. There are also a few other items – typically expensive and locked to higher levels – with very minimal gameplay effects.)

3. Learn how recipes and trading work – level up one dish first.

The key to progressing quickly is to level up the dishes that you serve. There is no gameplay difference between any of the dishes. By all means, you can “catch ‘em all” if you must, but you don’t “gotta” do that. (Ahem.) You will always receive $2 and 1 XP (a.k.a. ‘gourmet point’) for a level zero dish, regardless of the rarity of the ingredients. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not shrewd to unlock a few dishes if you can. If you have three or four main course dishes unlocked that all require different ingredients, it becomes much more likely that you will be able to obtain the ingredients to level up at least one of these.

To maximise your trading effectiveness, you need to check in on the game every day, as a free ingredient is given out every 24 hours, as well as a food quiz which allows you to win an additional ingredient. You should also visit all of your friends’ restaurants and perform trades when advantageous. (Note: as of May 2009, it’s also possible to buy ingredients from a street vendor, but the prices are prohibitively high unless you’ve already levelled up.) (Further note: As of October 2009, it’s also possible to spend real money on ingredients, but the prices are obscenely high – over £0.75 per unit at the cheapest rate if paying by PayPal or credit card.)

Each time you level up a dish, you will gain an additional 0.2 XP each time that dish is served. For instance I currently have a Level 4 Spaghetti Carbonara, which nets 1.6 XP per serving. As you always have to serve one dish from each category (Starter, Main, Dessert, Drink), there’s no gameplay benefit in levelling up multiple dishes in the same category. It’s better to keep those ingredients in reserve for trading.

4. You only gain Experience (Gourmet Points) while viewing your restaurant.

(No longer applicable as of October 2009 update.)

Once you’ve got your restaurant set up the way you like it, your staff are fed/rested and you’ve done the rounds of your friends’ restaurants to trade, you need to then keep the game open, in gameplay mode, for served meals to be converted into XP. If the game is left in decorating mode, or street view, or in another player’s restaurant, you won’t gain XP. (Although you will still gain money.)

5. Develop an efficient floorplan.

There are lots of guides on the official forums covering the most efficient ways in which you can arrange your restaurant, so I won’t go into detail here. The penalties for an inefficient layout are quite lax, and you don’t need to worry about this much until the higher levels.

The basic strategy is to minimise the distance that your waiters have to travel, and to ensure that you don’t have more tables than your staff can service (while at the same time having enough tables to ensure that people aren’t constantly being turned away). You should also be careful to ensure that customers have a clear path between the entrance and the seats, and waiters likewise have a clear path between the stove(s) and the chair/table units. Take a look at other players’ restaurants for ideas.


Perform the following steps: Get friends to get ingredients to level up dishes. Furnish restaurant (frugally) to maximise rate of serving. Leave the game running in the background. Feed or rest all staff to 100% and save the game, and come back at least daily. Result: Profit! The only question remaining is why you’d want to expend so much time and effort on making a number get bigger, but I’m afraid I can’t help you with that one.

Note: Playfish are continuing to add new features to the game, so some of the information above may go out of date in the coming weeks and months. Currently accurate – with the omission of micropayment features which are (as yet) not required to play the game effectively – as of December 2009.

December 2009 update: The December 1st 2009 update to the game raises the level cap to at least 65(!), and for the first time (that I’ve noticed) adds items (such as the Deep Sea Arcade machine) with limited gameplay effects which can only be purchased with Playfish Cash (i.e. real money). It is now also possible to buy outdoor expansions adjacent to your restaurant.

May 2013 update: Restaurant City has now been shelved by Electronic Arts. Go and play Sims Social or Plants Vs. Zombies Adventures instead.

Comments (34) »
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my ppl have froze no one servin or cook and there all fully feed also have lots of bother gettin on the game

You could try asking about this problem on the official forum:

I’ve also had trouble getting into the game occasionally. It’s still in Beta, so I assume it’s down for maintenance more than usual.

I have a question for you.Do more people come if you have more doors?

I’m not actually sure. If it does have an effect it’s not a very significant one.

OK thanks anyways : )

Hey bobby
when theres more doors it’s dus not have more people

how do i put one waiter inside one cubicle? i have 4 cooks and 2 waiters ,. and i made 2 cubicles, but my one waiter doesnt want to get inside the cubicle

Daisy, the way to fix it to swap two of your stoves (i.e. move one stove to a spare space, then move and rotate another stove to the first stove’s old place, then finally put the first stove in the second stove’s place), then hit the OK button. You might have to try a few times. Once you have the waiters in the right places they will stay fixed (unless you totally change the layout, staff jobs, etc. later).

I got this answer from the game’s forum and it worked for me. Good luck.

My mailbox is gone.. I was arranging my resto. I was putting my mailbox on the right corner, and it got outside, my mouse freaked. So then I thought it was on my things. When I looked for it. It was gone! Where the hell it did do?

* go i mean.

Lea: It should be under the ‘Awards’ section in the ‘Redecorate’ mode.

Remember folks, most queries about the game are already addressed on the official forum:

Here are more tips, tricks, guides on Restaurant City

it wont even let me play the game on face book

very nice guide!
pls also try checking out my blog

Hey is it really true that more expensive stoves don’t cook faster?(I’m just wondering since it’s been updated more nowadays.)

Bobby: Yep, that’s still the case.

so is that a yes?

will more expensive toilet seat benefit over the cracked cheap toilet seat?

which level do u get 6 empolyees? i got 5 and im on level 9 so far …. and do u need a sink for the teloits??? just asking

[…] There’s now quite a lot of it. The historically most popular articles have been the Restaurant City guide, Resident Evil 4, Writing for games, Games for Windows 2000 and Some recent books about games. The […] are some other tips for you:

1.when your employees are resting put an item like yoour mail box infront of the door to stop people from getting in and because there is no one there you would get you rating down. so stop them from coming in and block your door.

2. a good tip to make money is to put all your employees as chefs and have 1 waitor. this will help by getting all of your food quickly and served nicely.

3. do not use cheat engine to get money on restaurant city it will:

– lag your computer alot.
– make your restaraunt city account lose items.

4. when you are level 9-10, you will need atleast 2 toilets, a sink and chairs that are comfy (not plane wood).
this will get your rate up alot.

retro arcade machine will get money?

how can i change my restaurant`s name?

how’s my money grow up??

I always put my workers to work and save and quit. When I come back I always notice that my gourmet points have increased.

… Just sharing something :)

This is a nice guide. x3

Also two waiters is a good option because if there is one waiter, they might have to clean a table before they get to a dish. This will cause more customers going.

my waitors have just ddispaered for no reason and i dont earn cash? Whats going on!!!!!!!

Why are there no restaurants on Gourmet Street anymore?

[…] EA and Playfish (makers of popular Facebook timesinks such as Restaurant City) put an end to weeks of rumour and gossip and formally announced they were “combining […]

how ca i change my restaurant’s name?? pls heelp. :)

I am level 37 close to 38, I dont’t get upgrades for my restaurant any more what happened?

I’m on level 12 but I can’t seem to level up my dishes. I have traded the ingredients I need, in this case it’s beef. But anyway I can’t use it to Level up, why?

whenever i give people a job to be a waitor, they always go to the street and just stay there. so i keep losing customers!

i used to have a few arcade games but now i cant find where to buy them can some one tell me where i can get more?


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