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.

Other Dine Out Guides

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1 2 3 4 5 > Last
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.
8th June 2016 12:58pm
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.
8th June 2016 1:59pm
This new pack is fun and what i've missed about the sims 2 open for business. Too bad there's no robots 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
8th June 2016 2:31pm
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.
8th June 2016 2:35pm
my restaurant won't close either :(
9th June 2016 1:33pm
I have tried that and no it doesn't work for me either.
12th June 2016 5:36am
Why Do you like Sims 2, Sims 4 is much better, plus my favourite computer game.
10th June 2016 2:51am
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.
13th June 2016 2:59pm
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
17th June 2016 1:07am
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.
27th June 2016 5:50pm
Shana M
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.
8th June 2016 3:16pm
it would be cool if the kids and teens could help out.
10th June 2016 2:53am
How can I make my Sim hire a specific chef?
8th June 2016 3:47pm
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.
8th June 2016 6:16pm
How did you skill them up without playing them?
11th June 2016 2:40pm
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.
11th June 2016 7:22pm
14th June 2016 1:53am
15th June 2016 3:01am
16th June 2016 4:57pm
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???
8th June 2016 9:30pm
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.
8th June 2016 9:36pm
what mod?
9th June 2016 1:32pm
I'm having the same problem. Which mod did you have to take out?
17th June 2016 10:39pm
My host won't seat anyone! :(
8th June 2016 9:59pm
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

9th June 2016 5:11pm
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