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.
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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

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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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Comments (44)

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Regular
chrissays...
hi, I was just wondering can your own sim be the chef , if so how
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Sadly this feature is not in the Game Pack. Only unplayed NPC sims can be hired in these roles.
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New
closays...
I've just downloaded my game and it's just so glitchy, when I try and custom my menu the screen will dull down and then just not do anything, I can still move my mouse but I'm unable to click anything, I have to then restart my laptop. Also I can't customise the workers uniform,it lets me do it but when I come out of CAS it doesn't save
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Do you have any Mods or CC in your game? I know simmers with mods/cc were having similar issues. If you do have mods, take them out, delete the localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims 4 folder and try restarting your game. if it is working fine then you'll know it is a mod/cc conflict. Then you'll need to figure out which one caused it.
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New
Seginsays...
Is there a way to make my sim the chef of the restaurant?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Not if you are still controlling this sim. Only unplayed sims can be hired. You can place your own sims into restaurant jobs but they have to be marked as unplayed and can't be played again or they will lose their position.
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New
Seginsays...
Well pooh!
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New
Mous33says...
Is there any way to make more food critics come to your restaurant? I'm at five stars now and still have had NO food critics... And yes, I have been open around lunch-evening times where every post says they come then.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
No. I had this problem too. I had my restaurant at 5 stars for quite some time before eventually the critic arrived. I guess it is just a matter of waiting. Wouldn't hurt to delete the localthumbcache.package file though from your TheSims4 folder.
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New
Licorice179says...
So I can't find an option to pay for my meal once I've eaten... I get a notification saying the bill was paid but not to forget next time once my sims return home. Am I missing something?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
When you are ready for your sims to leave click on the table and the option to pay will be there. Smile You've been trying to dine and dash lol Wink
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Regular
Ryansays...
So I had a very successful restaurant that got to 5 stars, and I decided to buy a 2nd restaurant. But when I'm not at the first restaurant and I try to open it from the restaurant menu, it will stay open for hours but not get any customer count. Why is that? I keep losing money on employee wages, but when I'm not there, no customers show up.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Are you using any mods? Have you tried opening the first restaurant from home then traveling there? Then after a few minutes to allow the customers to sit etc travel to your 2nd restaurant and open it. This might be enough to get the system working. Also, even if you are not using mods delete the localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims4 folder.
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New
Quetura Barnettsays...
Can you make money when you leave the restaurant but you keep it open? When I leave my customer count and meal profits don't change.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
This function is available in the game. Whether or not your restaurant makes a profit when your active sim is not on the lot depends on a few factors; staff training levels, food quality and/or various perks you have bought for your restaurant. It is easier to make a profit when your sim is actively on the lot for sure.
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New
Yasminsays...
I've been kicked out of my own restaurant for being 'inappropriate' and cooking for myself after hours. Now I can't get back into the restaurant even when it's open. Help!
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Your sim needs to have the Reward Trait 'Always Welcome' for this not to happen. Buy your sim this trait and then quit out of your game. There is a cool down for being kicked out and after this has expired your sim should be able to go back into the restaurant. When you open your game back up do something else for about 3 sim hours and then try going back to the restaurant.
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New
Kaylasays...
So, I've got a husband/wife duo who bought a restaurant, and I did so with the intention of her being hired on as the chef. So far I haven't figured out how to do this. What do I do?? Is it even possible?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
This is not possible in this game pack. The only 'career' that EA have made for an actively controlled sim in a restaurant is the owner/manager.
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Regular
Lisasays...
I just had a question about the critic you mentioned. Is the critic easily identifiable? I don't think I've seen one in my restaurant yet, just wanted to know if he/she is easily recognizable. Do they look a certain way or have a special character on their name?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
The food critic has a banner with a star on it over their heads and when you mouse over them it will tell you that they are the food critic. They are easily recognized as long as you don't play in triple speed as you'll be bound to miss them if you are playing that fast!
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New
Katrinasays...
I've just brought dine out and I cant seem to manage my employees. the interaction tabs are replaced with tiny shop symbols Unsure I cant see what each tab mean or anything! however when I go onto my general shops that I own I can actually see the interaction menu (e.g. praise). anyone else have this problem and know how to fix it ???
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Admin
Playalotsays...
If you are using mods and cc take them all out and delete the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder. Try your game again. If everything is as it should be then you'll know it is your mods causing the issue.
If you don't use mods delete the package file and try your game again. Post back if you are still having issues.
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New
Ariasays...
I've finally got one of my chefs up to level 9 mixology and gourmet and the other maxed in both but they're sending out poor quality level 1-4 dishes consistently (nothing on the menu is above that level). They're both satisfied in their jobs so I'm not sure what's going on. Any one else having this issue?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
You probably need to buy the perk Ingredient Quality Options so you can choose to use the higher quality produce. Smile
If you already have that then perhaps what you are experiencing a bug. There is an open bug report here if you wish to check it out and/or and a 'Me Too'.

Perks List (In Case you Need it)

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New
sims 4 fanticsays...
Thanks, A lot, Carl! You have helped me so much! I always use this website every time I use the Sims! You are so helpful! I just wanted to say thank you so much! Smile Laugh Blush
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Hey! So glad you use and find Carl's guide helpful. It really makes his day getting feedback like this! Smile
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New
Ericasays...
My customers are complaining there is no drinks while they r waiting and they are getting angry
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New
Jackiesays...
I'm having issues with the "I dream of Sous" chef station where its at my home lot (so I can make the experimental food at home) but when my sim is making any food that has to go into the oven as soon as the food is in it the sim will stop making it and can't resume making it. I've moved the station all over my lot, have replaced it with a different one, have tried with different sims, and the top of the stove works fine and making food just on its counter is fine its just if they have to put something in the oven (rack of lamb or a casserole) *note cakes work fine?? I have other ovens and obviously different recipes so not a big deal just a bit annoying,
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Admin
Playalotsays...
If you have any mods or cc take them out and retest, it might be a mods conflict etc. Other than that perhaps it is because you have used the bb.moveobjects on cheat? This cheat can cause major issues with this item.
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New
LostLambsays...
Hi, I really need help. My customers will be seated, their food will arrive but they won't eat it and get mad because 'the waittime is too long'and leave. But it's only one plate, not for each member, and no drink.I spent a long time building my restaurant and I really do not want to start over. any tips?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Check that you have not placed items above the serving part of the chefs cooking area. Check that you do not have lights or other items hanging over the customer tables or too many decor items placed on the tables. Best to have no decor items on the tables actually. Goes without saying that if you are using mods or cc remove them all and delete the localthumbcache.package file from your TheSims 4 folder and test again preferably in a new game. Many cc items were broken in the last patch, especially cc items with a surface (so chairs, counters, tables etc).
Try doing a Game Repair from the Origin client. All a bit of guess work as it could be many things in reality. Start with looking at your cc/mods if you use any - if you don't then remove any decor from the tables and go from there.
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New
Megan Lampardsays...
Hi, I’m using the Sims 4 PS4 console version and when I play Dine Out if I open the restaurant when my Sim is not there my profit and customer count stay at 0. The only way I seem to earn any money is if I am there the whole time it is open... seems to defeat the object of being able to open it from where ever the sims are? Can you help please? Thanks
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Purchase the Perk 'Well Managed' as that will help but to get the very most out of your restaurant your sim will need to be there. It is still possible to make a good profit when not there depending on the level of staff and the other perks you have purchased.
Restaurant Perks Guide
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New
Arisays...

Just bought the PS$ bundle which includes Dine out but after building my restaurant I can only hire a chef but I need host and waiters for my guest. Any help here?

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Admin
Playalotsays...

Manage Employees

Press the manage employees button from the restaurant management menu (bottom right) at any time and you can access various commands, including hiring, firing, promoting and demoting.

Employees Guide

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New
Christinasays...

One of my waitresses keeps saying she would be happier if I promoted her to manager. How do I do that?

Admin:

Guide to managing staff here: Managing Staff



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