The Sims 4 Dine Out

Managing a Restaurant as Owner

The Sims 4 Dine Out Pack
The restaurant is open for business - now what?!

The Sims 4 Dine out lets you take the role as manager. You can perform this actively or passively, but star ratings will only improve well if you are there to oversee your restaurant until your staff are prepared to handle things themselves. This guide is a part of a larger piece about managing restaurants so other parts (like staff) should probably be read first. I am repeating some things here as there is quite a lot to this system (a good thing) but will also try to throw in some unique tips.

Managing Staff

The Sims 4 Dine Out Pack
Growing your star rating means managing your staff, and helping them to grow with you! Look to the customer experience section to see what you could improve upon. My guide to Star Rating should help you with what these mean.

Encouraging Staff
Praise your staff at the beginning of service, starting with the host and working back to the waiters and chefs. That is the order customers will encounter them, and you have a bit of time before the foodies walk through the door. By doing this, you will help to keep the workers satisfied (it's not good to criticize unless you're sure they're doing something wrong).

Check Their Satisfaction
Staff opinions range from very unsatisfied to neutral and very satisfied. This is primarily around pay. Bad enough boss, you won't mind if they're a jerk as you're getting paid but everyone has a breaking point! Ensuring your staff are satisfied will help their stress levels and keep them in a good mood. As employee skill levels rise, they deserve (and demand) greater wages. It's just natural. Your waiter dropping plates doesn't deserve as much as the guy who nails it every time. This has a huge impact, especially with the host whose mood can immediately put a black eye on your reputation.

Skills Rise Slowly
Training exists for a reason, and that is how slowly skills will rise. If you want them to max out in your Sim's lifetime, you should probably cough up some cash for training. If you want a five-star restaurant, this is important. It depends where that lies on your own list of priorities. Restaurants can be profitable without being 5-star, and it's not that big a deal - it just gives you more customers, who could be gained via advertising. But 5 star means free advertising over the long run.

Conduct your Chefs
You can tell chefs to cook carefully, which raises quality but reduces the speed. If you don't have many customers at first, that's not a big deal. Wait time is a huge factor in performance, though, so do not do this if you have a surge of customers. You can always switch it up. Also, some players might like to run diners with highly-skilled chefs that do not cook skill-level 5 food. Gordon Ramsay probably puts out some mean scrambled eggs, and he can do them fast and perfectly every time. This is a good time for 'quickly' to shine.

Work the Menu

The Sims 4 Dine Out Pack - Customize the menu of the restaurant
Start with easier menu items and gradually work your way up as the chef improves.

Start Low
Every bad review hits your star rating, and that affects your reputation with potential customers. When your chef cannot cook a dish at all, it's guaranteed to be poor quality. Try to keep skill levels equal with the dishes you offer. You can tweak the menu every day, in fact, as your chef rises in talent. Do not mark up too high until the chef can put out consistent food, or else customers will consider your value to be low. You'll get less guests, and make less money. A popular diner is better than a restaurant that tries to be 5-star but isn't anywhere near that quality.

You Do NOT Have to Fill out the Menu, and Yes, can Make a Bar
You can pick up to 30 of each type of item (appetizer, main course, dessert, drink) and serve 120 things if you want, or you can go the opposite direction. Appetizers, dessert, I don't think anything is required. In fact you could possibly make a bar as far as I can tell. I'm not sure if guests will be upset or happy to grab a glass of 'nectar'. Your chef would only gain experience in mixology, but that may not be a problem for you! Just don't expect Sims to imbibe multiple drinks. They're in and out.





Dealing with Guests and Critics

The Sims 4 Dine Out Restaurant Customer Satisfaction
Customers can have wildly different opinions about the experience at your restaurant. This evens out when you've got the basics down - a good host, decor, music, and some personal touch.

Sul Sul!
Say hi to every guest you see. It not only gets you restaurant points which purchase powerful perks, it also gives you points in the personal touch metric for your star rating. This one is not required, but adds with the rest to produce a better ranking for the restaurant. You can use check on table here and there to get even more points.

Star Ratings
Star Ratings are comprised of many factors, I've identified 90+% of them and written about them here. Two of the simplest things you can do are put items in your restaurant that add music and environment score (decoration). Remember that fancy statue won't work across a huge room, decorations have a range. If they can't see it in detail, it won't contribute. That's why the table in the corner might always have 4-stars while the rest are at a 5!

Cater to Critics
Their input is worth 10 regular reviews, no exaggeration. Comp their drinks, give them a hello and check on them at the very least. Prioritize their food to make sure they have a great wait time. They can easily be bribed and won't disclose that in their review, they're just foodies with a blog.

The Sims 4 Dine Out Pack - you can eat at your own restaurant
Eat at your own restaurant during peak hours to understand your customers' experience and why they get up set it takes 4 hours to get food!

More Tips to come!
I've not said all I can about Dine Out. It's got enough depth for me to create 8 guides about it, so there's more to this than meets the eye. I'll continue coverage and expand this page with more tips for managing your restaurant as I continue to play. This is just release day! Share your own tips below if you learn something valuable for other players.

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Comments (42)

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New
Superwholockisimsays...
Love the new game pack. I'm up to 3.5 stars. But it says I can't train my staff any further. "Had recently received training" is the reason why the bubble is grayed out. I dunno.
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Senior
Carlsays...
I think it's a 24 hour cooldown, sorry I forgot to mention it! There was a lot to take in, and a short time to do it. I will get it edited into the employee page.
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New
plumzy1says...
This new pack is fun and what i've missed about the sims 2 open for business. Too bad there's no robots though...my restaurant would run 24/7!. My only gripe about this pack and it seems like a glitch...i cannot close my restaurant. I have to exit/save the game and come back and the button works. I stopped excepting new customers and waited for the ones that were dining to leave and i click the "close" button and it doesn't work! meanwhile my staff are unhappy and i have to dish out raises! i hope this gets fixed
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Senior
Carlsays...
Hm does loading another lot fix it? As you do not have to be there to run the restaurant as you probably know. Seems worth a try if this happens to anyone.
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New
bmcbain36says...
my restaurant won't close either :(
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New
bmcbain36says...
I have tried that and no it doesn't work for me either.
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New
Helenasays...
Why Do you like Sims 2, Sims 4 is much better, plus my favourite computer game.
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Senior
Carlsays...
They just said they missed the management aspect of it. With this and the Get to Work EP, you basically have Open for Business or at least a large majority of its features. Don't think it was to specify a favorite game. Sims 3 just had the retail system, which wasn't as much like OFB.
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New
Coriesays...
My game is doing the same thing the open button never changes it just says open, when I click it the first time it works and patrons start coming but then it never changes to close it still says open and under the title on the restaurant is always says closed. If I leave the lot then it tells me in the corner that I don't own a restaurant then if I go back to the restaurant it says I own it on the world view but when I go in again there are no stats for me to check in the corner it still says I don't own anything?Mad
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New
NerdyHermitsays...
I had this very same issue, my restaurant never closed either. Try resetting your sims 4 folder and see if that helps, it did for me. To do that, move your sims 4 folder ( that is in Documents -Electronic Arts - then the sims 4 folder is there ) to the desktop. Then start the game, and a new sims 4 folder will be generated. Exit the game and then copy back the "options.ini" and "ReticulatedSplinesView" files and the "saves" , "screenshots" "tray" "custom music " and "mods" folders from the desktop sims 4 folder to the new sims 4 folder, replacing the new generated files/ folders with the old files/folders from the desktop sims 4 folder . If that fails to fix the issue try repairing the game through Origin (right click on the game and select 'repair') Hope this helps.
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New
Shana Msays...
I really wish my kids (teens and young adults) could be my staff, much more reliable, especially when my host or waiters decide not to come to work! or at least be able to help out.
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New
Helenasays...
it would be cool if the kids and teens could help out.
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New
Sidnisays...
How can I make my Sim hire a specific chef?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
There is no easy way to do this but it is possible. I used cheats to skill up some sims then placed them into my game but not in a house. I deleted all the other townies in the manage worlds menu then went into my played household and bought a restaurant. The only sims that appeared on the hiring menu were the skilled townies I had made so hiring them was easy. I then placed them all into houses but did not play them. That way I was able to have skilled NPC's in all the positions in my restaurant that wouldn't be culled.
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myrthesimmersays...
How did you skill them up without playing them?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
I did play them briefly and used the skill cheats to get them to the skill level I wanted. Then I marked them as unplayed in the manage household menu and evicted them from there. Smile Once I had hired them I then placed them back into a house to prevent them form ever being culled.
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New
msnavyvet12says...
NIIICE!
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New
msnavyvet12says...
NIIICE!
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New
msnavyvet12says...
NIIICE!
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New
Quinnsays...
So I have all of the requirements for the restaurant lot (sink, chef's station etc) and I've opened my restaurant. But for some reason, my chef won't make meals! There is no manage option for my chef, either (the waiter and host have the "Manage So-and-So option"). Am I crazy? What am I missing???
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New
Quinnsays...
Scratch that, it's an issue with a mod I have. I've taken out the mods folder and the chef works just fine. Sigh.
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bmcbain36says...
what mod?
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New
Kelliesays...
I'm having the same problem. Which mod did you have to take out?
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New
Haleysays...
My host won't seat anyone! :(
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Is this on a vanilla (mod and cc free) game ? Are you using an existing game or did you start over ? Is the host standing at his station at all ? If you have mods/cc, take them all out and delete the localthumbcache.package file. And try your game again. Take a look at the placement of your hosts station, is it too close to the entrance? it's difficult to know what exactly is going wrong but it is certainly worth reporting this as a bug if it is happening in a vanilla game. There is a bug report already started on this problem.
EA Bug Report

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New
bmcbain36says...
the same thing happens to me
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Sorry to hear you are having problems. Have a quick read of my reply to Haley and see if that helps.
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Regular
Sarahsays...
I spend a lot of money on my restaurants and keep training my employees, but as the game progress they just disappear leaving me with a 4 stars restaurant and under skilled new employees any solutions ??
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New
sarasays...
I have the same problem. Just as the staff are getting good, they disappear! Dont know if they quit or what. Last I checked they were "Neutral", never "Unsatisfied". What happened? My game is almost vanilla, think I have one or two mods installed. One to remove some intro screens to get the game starting up faster. But no cc.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Try placing your staff into houses through the household management menu. This way they will not be culled. Don't play them though as this will cause them to lose their jobs too.
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New
Helenasays...
I haven't got the Sims 4 dine out yet, but I'm going to right now, as I've heard from it. Hope' it's great. Also 1 Quick Question, Can you take your family to the restaurant for dinner or something;
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Absolutely. You can place the Maxis made restaurant lots down into your current game immediately and take your whole family out to breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love this element of game play!
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New
Valsays...
the sims in my restaurant never leave. i had a table sit at my restaurant from 7am to 9pm and after about 11am they didn't even order any food! the only way i made them leave was by closing the restaurant and they didn't even end up paying me. i have no mods or cc and i play on a mac.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Next time this happens get your controlled sim to give them a comp meal or free drink. This way they might get up and leave once they have finished eating/drinking.
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New
Csays...
I built 6 restaurants that I want my main Sim family of tech gurus to buy. However, now that they bought a second restaurant, the game says that they don't own the first one anymore. Why?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Are you able to sell any of the restaurants that you've bought? If you can I'd sell them through the map (not in build mode, directly from the map). You will be credited with the money and also keep your perk points. Then save and quit your game. Delete the localthumbcache.package file and restart your game. Purchase the restaurant lots again and see if it all works as it should.

If you can't sell them, it might be best to bulldoze the lots, change the lot type to residential after bulldozing and save, quit and delete the localthumbcache.package file before going back into your game to try again. Once back in your game replace the restaurant lots from your library and try buying them again.

If all else fails you can do a factory reset which should clear out and weird bugs that don't require a developers fix.
Factory Reset
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Regular
Cathleensays...
I’ll try it. Thanks so much.
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New
Csays...
I also hired a chef, a waiter and a host for the second restaurant that I just mentioned. However, the Sim I hired to be the host never showed up, and it's been over 4 hours Sim time. How do I fix that?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Unfortunately there is a "Host Bug" being reported on the EA Bug Report thread.
Host Bug Adding a post there will help the gurus come up with a fix.
I think the easiest way to solve it in the meantime is to either fire the sim or perhaps delete them using the Manage Households menu. I haven't tried either of these ideas so save your game first and if it doesn't work, or makes things worse, quit without saving.
I haven't been able to recreate this bug so I really can't be sure of the best work around just yet.
You could also try deleting your Hosts Station and replacing it with a new one.
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New
Csays...
That’s great advice. I will see what works. I just posted on the EA Bug Report.
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New
Madiesays...
I had to exit my game before I finished buildingthe restaurant and hadn't changed the name yet and now it won't let me. Is there a way to fix it? I really don't want my fancy restaurant named Dusty Turf...
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Admin
Playalotsays...
You should be able to edit the name of any restaurant, even ones you don't own, in build mode by clicking on the name.
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New
Helenasays...
Is it possible to be the cook for you own restaurant? I love playing with cooking-loving sims, but I have just created my first restaurant and it seems that I can only hire other cooks, that in fact have lower cooking skill levels than mine!
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Only unplayed NPC's can be hired for jobs in restaurants. Sad You can seed your townies/NPC's by placing sims you have made and skilled up into the Not In the World category. They will appear on the 'hire menu'. If they don't appear immediately you will need to delete other non-housed townies until they do appear.
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New
Helenasays...
Thank you for answering! It's a pity, I was planning to use the pack to play with my cooking sims, this way it is quite different! It is quite nice, anyway!
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New
pandasays...
I miss the fact that you can make it a family busniess..
Like have the whole family fill in the spots. of waiter, cooks etc.
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Regular
Simmersays...
I play on a pc and my game works fine until i try to change the menu or get my sims to order food. The screen goes dark and it seems like its loading but it never does. Help me please?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
I've seen this reported elsewhere but I don't know how to fix it so all I can do is offer some suggestions:
1. Delete your localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims 4 folder.
2. Repair your game.
Repair Game
3. If it is still happening try a Factory Set.
Factory Reset
I will post back if I can come up with a definitive fix.
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Something else that might help is:

Try switching back to 32 bit mode.

How-To: Switch Back to 32-bit:

Right click on The Sims 4 tile in Origin.
Select “Game Properties”
Change the “When launching this Game” setting to “The Sims 4 32-bit”

For more Information, see this link
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Regular
Cathleensays...
That’s great advice Cool. I will see what works. I just posted on the EA Bug Report.
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New
Jazzysays...
I have a restaurant but when the customers get they food they sometimes get up to eat or drink what do I do? Huh
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Admin
Playalotsays...
This is an ongoing issue that links back to the original 'musical chairs' bug. There really isn't anything you can do apart from removing any couches or garden benches you might have in your restaurant. Also cut down on the amount of bar stools at any bars you might have. If the sims end up not eating their meals or for some reason the waiter doesn't clear the table, drag the plates etc into the waiters station as cluttered tables will cause a flow-on-effect and stop chefs and waiters from being able to serve other sims. Not ideal but with a bit of juggling you can minimize the effect this bug has on your restaurant.
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New
cadencesays...
I got my restaurant and hired a staff, but every time after I close my restaurant, the employees reset and I have to choose all new employees! I keep putting money in for training but then the next day they aren't even my employees anymore! It's impossible to increase my restaurants rating because I can't increase my staffs skills!
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Try placing your employees into houses using the manage household menu. Don't play them though as this causes them to lose their job. Maybe your sims are being culled each day. Also try remove any mods and cc you might have in your game as many mods are incompatible with Dine Out.
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New
cadencesays...
I don't have any mods in my game, and how do I put them into houses without playing them?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Start your game as normal and click on 'Household Management>Unplayed Households>Not In World. From there scroll until you see a staff-sim. Click their picture and next click the moving van icon 'Move Household onto a Lot'. You may need to change worlds to find a starter home cheap enough but select a house/lot and then again click on the now large van icon (bottom right of screen) to move that staff-sim into the house you have chosen. Another menu will appear, choose the 'Furnished' option if you want this NPC to have furniture in their house! You can choose 'unfurnished' and then in build mode furnish it yourself if you want to, or choose 'bulldoze' and build the house yourself etc.
Now your staff-sim has been placed into a house without ever being played and so they will still have their job in your restaurant and won't be culled. You can place all your sims into the same house if you want, just as long as you don't play them.
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New
Nessiesays...
I've owned a restaurant for a while now and I have got i up to four stars. However, one of my waiters keep saying they are "Very Unsatisfied". I have promoted them as much as i can, constantly praising them and never criticizing them but they're still unsatisfied. Also my star rating is 4 but every time i close the restaurant it suddenly goes back to three and half. Also, I was wondering how to make my restaurant a chain
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Admin
Playalotsays...
There have been bug reports around this issue and with chefs too.
EA Bug Report
One of the causes may be having your restaurant open for too many hours. There doesn't seem to be a 'fix' just yet but test all/any mods you may use and try having shorter opening hours and see if this fixes the problem.
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New
Stephensays...
For some reason in the restaurant I built my hostess never seats anyone she stands out back behind he restaurant and that's it
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Admin
Playalotsays...
This is a reported bug on the EA Sims 4 Bug reports Moving the hosts podium in build mode so that it is not facing a wall and is clicked to grid often solves the issue. Do not use MOO or hold the alt key down when moving the hosts podium.
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New
Boomsays...
Can I be A chef in a restaurant??? Huh
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Senior
Carlsays...
Sadly we cannot take roles up in the kitchen, I wished for that as well. It is mainly managing the restaurant, and your Sim being able to visit them.
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New
Giannasays...
Ok so when I first got dine out it asked if I wanted to download a restruant. I said no but I was gonna eventually get it later but I don't know how to get it now :/ pls help
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Senior
Carlsays...
I knew people might ask this, so made this page to help: Placing a restaurant
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New
Jordan Vitalesays...
I bought a restaurant and got it up to 5 stars. Then I moved and now I no longer own the restaurant! I've tried like 4 different ways to try and move in my simple with her bf but it takes away my restaurant. Help!
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Sell your restaurant using the build menu first, this way you will keep all your perks points. Move your sim and then repurchase the restaurant. Save before doing this in-case this isn't the right solution. Hopefully this should work and retain the staff. Or have the bf move in with your sim using the friendly social 'ask to move in'.
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Regular
Amandasays...
Why does my chef keep leaving me I trained them all the way up they get paid the highest they went from very satisfied to neutral and then disappear now I'm back with only cheap food and I have four and a half Stars now what do I do ??? this is the second time. It is making me not to happy with the game just saying
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Sounds like culling. Using the Household management menu place all your staff into a household. Do not play them though as this causes them to lose their jobs.


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