The Sims 4 Dine Out
Star Rating Factors and Making a Five-Star Restaurant
It's easy to get to 4.5 stars, if you have all the below. That last 1/2 star sticking may require you to buy some restaurant perks
One of the major factors that determines how many customers your restaurant will receive - and in turn the amount of money you can earn - is star rating. Star ratings operate on a scale from 1-5, and half-points in between (like 3.5 star restaurant). Getting to 5 stars is quite challenging given the need to do it all and do it all well, but we can accomplish this with a good restaurant, trained staff, and taking the following factors into account.
Star Rating to Customer Count
As star rating increases, so too does your customer attention. Here's a relative look at the amount of customers you'll receive based on this rating. Keep in mind that other things like advertising and time of day play a role:
- One Star - 5 Customers
- Two Star - 7 Customers
- Three Star - 10 Customers
- Four Star - 14 Customers
- Five Star - 20 Customers
Every time your rating goes back up, you'll be notified. It can fluctuate a lot before you finally hit 5.
Star Ratings Fluctuate
One bad review can bring you down. Star ratings seem based on a recent average of customer reviews, so early 1-2 star reviews won't drag you down forever. This makes sense as word would get out that you've improved (or declined).
Factors for Star Rating and Weights
These are relative weights for the star rating, and the maximum GOOD weight is also the maximum BAD weight, with various levels of points in between. They are actually decimal numbers in the game code, however I've multiplied them by 10 to make it a bit less confusing. This should show you what areas are most important for you to improve first. Here are the areas you can work on to make your restaurant's star rating go up:
15 for beautifully decorated, 6.7 for live music of high quality, 2.5 for stereo music.
Getting your decorations to where your Sim gets a +3 Happy moodlet from the decorations alone is required to get the +15. Of course there are points in between. Having bad decorations is as bad a penalty, as is rotten food and garbage if you don't have the nice decor to make up for it. Placing the wall-mounted venue stereos in different areas and playing music is a good way to get an additional boost to Ambiance.
Offers a maximum weight of 6.7 for the service your waiters provide. Is it friendly?
Building up your waiters' skills via training/experience and keeping the waiters themselves happy by praising them will help them to do a better job in the service department.
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Personal touch goes a long way. Meeting the owner makes customers feel at home.
Much lower weight of 1 for greeting them and 1 for checking on a table.
Weight of 5 for comping food, weight of 2.5 each for free drinks/dessert
You may not need these factors for 5-star if all your other areas of service are high quality. Unlike the other star rating factors in dine out, there's no penalty for NOT giving free dessert or drinks, it's just a way to smooth things over with an upset customer or to please a food blogger who will review the restaurant. Recommend Dish (curious customers) also has an impact on personal touch and can make a great difference in combination with these other two options.
The host is oh-so important, because you can't change the customer's first impression on your restaurant.
Maximum weight of +/- 7.
Having the host in a good mood is a very good idea, she or he can immediately influence how a customer feels about your restaurant and this can turn sour. It's something you can't fix later so ensure your host is praised and not disgruntled to be working for you (ie, pay too low.)
Note wait time below. You are probably better off welcoming Sims and checking on tables in one interaction right after they've been seated, that way you don't interrupt the host doing their job.
Maximum weight of +/- 10.
No one likes to just stand/sit there waiting on dinner. Customers will wait for up to 4 hours before they leave. The sweet spot for wait time is somewhere under 2 hours but anything over will start to wear at the customer's opinion of your restaurant. This is separate from service etc. and you may want to try to watch for any customers who are waiting too long and prioritize their food to prevent them leaving and giving you a 1-star review.
A large portion of wait time is taken up by your layout. Imagine how long it takes Sims to go upstairs. It may be multiple trips up and down them. A good layout is important, and some of the default restaurant designs are awful for this. At most you may have 30 Sims in a restaurant at once, if you're advertising. If the host has to take the Sim very far, you are not going to have a 'good' wait time when a surge of guests arrive, though you may avoid the negative one through exceptional service.
Cater to critics. Their reviews are worth 10x more than the average Sim's.
Food and Drink Value
Weight of +/- 6 for food, 4 for drinks
The way food and drink value is calculated is based upon your chefs' skills and your markup combined. It is something you'll need to fine-tune. If they can avoid poor-quality dishes and your markup isn't too high, the patrons will consider the food value to be good. You may need to lower your markup. Also offer some lower-priced dishes (not 1 difficulty) so that Sims who are not rich have something to order.
Weight of +/- 6 for food, 4 for drinks
Quality is based upon how well the food turns out, of course! Higher-difficulty foods come with a natural bump in quality, but only if your chef can put out well-prepared meals. Not going above what your chef can do is important, though Sims may not completely trash your restaurant if every other factor is good. You can smooth this over with free drinks/dessert or comping the meal if you see a Sim receive a poor dish. This will make their star rating go up. This is noted on the menu page, but skill level 1 dishes come with a natural penalty to quality that is made up for if the chef can make it really good. The sweet spot is difficulty 2, which carries no penalty. Difficulty 3 is 1.5, 4 is 1.8, and 5 is 2.5 - so a huge leap in quality if you can serve a level 5 dish at even normal rank. There's a huge penalty to quality if the chef botches a dish the higher the skill level of the dish.
The Five Star Restaurant
Five Stars is Challenging (But not impossible...)
It is not too hard to sit at 4 or 4.5 stars and not go down from there if the majority of these things is taken into account. This is primarily if you're present as manager and there to fix things if they go poorly. You may have to lower your markup while simultaneously making sure your employees are satisfied. Praising them each day gives them a hidden moodlet to improve their mood.
Lowering markup may make some Sims think the value is great. You can salvage some opinion by not charging as much, and you'll get about 1/4 more visitors. Financially it's a tough decision, it depends if you can handle the extra guests. Avoiding dishes your chef cannot cook are also important. The two most important Sims to keep satisfied are your chef and host. Host gives that immediate bump to perception of the restaurant, and also can't be slacking or they will add to wait time. You're then reliant on your chef to make a good meal, with wait staff taking orders and grabbing food in a timely manner. The Sims Studio did a wonderful job of not making this too easy and adding plenty of depth to the systems. If you have tips to help others get their restaurant to 5-stars, share them below! I'm sure people will appreciate it.
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