Restaurant Empire: Strategy Guide and Walkthrough
Tips and Hints for Restaurant Empire
Restaurant Empire is a fantastic computer game where you take on the role of aspiring Master Chef Armand LeBeouf. Help him learn the ropes of managing multiple restaurants, impress judges and chefs, search out the best ingredients, woo his love, and defeat OmniFood corporation! You can find hints and tips for the various strategies I used to get through this game. Warning! Spoilers Alert!
Restaurant Empire Walkthrough - Steps to Win!
Are you a successful restauranteur?
Have you beaten Restaurant Empire yet?
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Which Scenario Is the Hardest?
Out of the 18 different scenarios, which one is the hardest to beat?
The adventure begins
Before I begin, let me just say that there is, to the best of my knowledge, one walkthrough out there on the web. It does have some very basic strategies and hints but I found it wasn't good enough for me to beat the game. It does, however, have all of the recipes and so on.
GOALS: Monthly revenue of $30,000 and 35 daily customers.
The opening scenario is part of the tutorial. It does help to pay attention to the tutorial but the voiceover is slow. Just click on through after you've finished what it wants you to do. Don't worry about the dialogue in "adventure mode." It doesn't matter what you pick; everything leads to the same conclusion. You only start with $50k in cash, so don't go overboard with the decorating. If you do, no worries, you can delete it later. Add all the recipes and beverages you have to the menu. Pay the money for the liquor license. You can afford it. Hire the most expensive staff because they tend to be the best trained.
At this point, I replaced all the tables with the highest comfort tables. I also repositioned the tables to put two of the right next to each other with a partition (decorations tab, floor mounted) between them. A general note about tables is to not pack them too tightly. You want to be sure there are 4 "spaces" between the tables so that 2 staff members can work back to back. This will greatly speed things up.
You'll get lots of complaints about your staff but you can't do anything about that right now. No training is available yet. If you get a lack of seating notification (or cold food gripes), increase the number of servers. Increasing servers and captains will decrease wait time allowing you to have greater customer turnover and more daily customers. This should help you beat the scenario very quickly.
The second floor expansion
GOALS: $40,000 monthly revenue, 50% of courses served on time
SIDE GOALS: 45% overall restaurant satisfaction
This is also a tutorial level. Follow the instructions to install a dumb waiter in your restaurant and set up your second floor. Again, make sure that you set up the tables so none of the blue areas overlap. I also like to leave enough space to walk behind all the chairs. After the tutorial is over, I like to put lights on all the tables and also add the partitions for noise.
The tutorial talks about demoting food quality. Frankly, I never did this. It's too much of a hassle to have so many duplicate recipes. As you progress through the game, better and better food is the goal so why bother demoting them ever? You'll just have to put them back! Now if only I can figure out how to delete the recipe I was forced to duplicate....
You'll also encounter special events in the first month. Typically, events only occur in the first or second month. You should always take advantage of them if you can. Pay for recipes, pay for improvements, buy ingredients, make business connections with suppliers.
The general complaints you'll see in this scenario (F12) are probably some staff member is rude and food takes forever to arrive. There's not much you can really do about this. You can't train your staff yet. If you see someone available that has higher skills, you could replace that staff member. As for food taking forever, if the food isn't cold on arrival, it really means you don't have chefs in the restaurant to actually cook the food, not that food is not delivered fast enough.
If you're keen on making the side goal, you could try to save some money while you're setting up the second floor and instead spend some money on upgrading the exterior of the restaurant. The button is in the lower right of the screen.
The first cooking competition
GOALS: $12,000 monthly profit, 1st place in the cooking competition
SIDE GOALS: $50,000 montly revenue
To get to the Cooking Arena, press "A" to get to the adventure mode. The tutorial will start at the arena. You can play the mini-games and once you know the instructions, check the box to hide them. This will save you some time later. In general, it's good to play the mini-games but it can be a negative. So, you may not win the very first time you try it. No big deal. Your cooking skill increases with every month so just speed up the game and let a few months go before trying again. Actually, I think you're supposed to lose. After you lose, head back to your Uncle's house and he'll give you a recipe upgrade.
Money carries over from one scenario to the next. This is a great scenario to "run up your profits" by purposefully not fulfilling the goal of the cooking contest. You have several months to reach your goal so let the game run, if you're feeling patient. Not only will it get you more money for later, your cooking skills and your staff's skills will increase. If you have lots of customers, hire another kitchen porter to just operate the dumb waiter. Add a few extra servers to work both floors.
The plate icons in the menu indicate the dish's popularity. I believe every half-plate represents 100 dishes sold last month. If you would like to increase the prices of the dishes, you can start by increasing the prices slightly of the most popular dishes.
If you happen to have bought some special ingredients from one of the events, you might be able to use it in the competition to boost your score a bit. You'll see the icon under the recipe icon if it's available.
Meet the Don
GOALS: Monthly profit of $25,000, Meet the Don
SIDE GOALS: Average profit per customer $45
If you've been doing really well in the previous scenario, chances are, you're all set for meeting the goals. Meeting the Don is part of the story, so you'll just have to wait. Talk to the Don, talk to your uncle, ta da!
I have to admit that I have never gotten the side goal in this scenario. It seems crazy to do! So, I have no idea how to do it. Sorry. One idea that I haven't actually tried is to shorten the hours of the restaurant so that you only serve dinner. The breakfast and afternoon tea people don't tend to spend very much money.
You also have options to train your staff and do some advertising. You don't really need to do advertising but it will be worth it to start putting some money down for training. I find that putting more money down at once in a month seems to increase training more than putting a small amount down over several months. I don't have proof for this though. When you're ready to pass the level, remove all the training funds. You might have to wait a few months after you experience a drop in profits but it should bounce back. Save money and although you can take out loans now, try your best to not get into debt!
A new restaurant
GOALS: Monthly revenue of $60,000 in your second restaurant, average satisfaction 50% for your second restaurant
SIDE GOALS: 80% of all meals served on time for all your restaurants
Follow the tutorial to build a set of bathrooms for your new restaurant. I prefer to build the restrooms on the second floor because your waitstaff is typically much more efficient on the first store. And I've never seen a complaint about the bathrooms being too far away. You should be able to afford the best bathroom stalls and the best sinks. In general, I always build the best because increasing the comfort and decoration levels are easy ways to boost your restaurant rating.
As the tutorial goes on about lighting, I always use table lighting. Then you don't have to put lights on the walls and I think it just looks nicer. As for assigning chefs to recipes and using their stocked ingredients, eh, it's too much micromanagement for me. Plus, I like to save the special ingredients for contests. On the other hand, when you get introduced to a supplier that offers you better ingredients, I always use the better ingredients.
You won't have so many customers so you don't have to set up the second floor of the restaurant. Be sure to stock the kitchen with all the proper tools. One trick is to delete the door and put in two doors in the kitchen corner that is right in the center of the restaurant. That will cut down on traffic and speed things up. Set up your menu (I always stick in everything), add beverages, hire the best staff. Go! After you finish the tutorial for this level, you can also upgrade the exterior. You should have quite a bit of cash left over so allocate money for training!
New star chefs
GOALS: Monthly profit $50,000 over all restaurants, meet up with Uncle Michel again, 1st place in French cooking contest
SIDE GOALS: 45% operating margin over all restaurants
Talk to your uncle right away, and he'll give you the location of 2 chefs, a supplier, and the ability to compete in the cooking contest. Talk to the chefs and recruit them for you restaurants. I got Thierry for $2400 and put him in the Italian restaurant. Pierre joins the French restaurant for $1800. At Red Apple, agree to pay for the expensive ingredients and the man will reserve some fish for you from the next shipment. You can also buy regular ingredients if you want. Try to get another stove for your new chef. The French Restaurant kitchen is a little crowded, though. The chefs come with a slew of new recipes so get those added to your menus.
I prefer to let the game run for at least a month so I can get all the "events" and buy recipe increases. This is so much faster than the "practice is perfect" method where your cooking skills increase a little each month.
The cooking contest is all about French soups so lower the prices for your soups to encourage people to order it. Also, it helps to assign Armand (or whichever chef you want to use for the contest but I picked Armand) to all the soups in the menu so he's the only one practicing them.
This scenario lasts 12 months. It's actually a great opportunity to run up your profits, purchase all the exterior upgrades, train your staff, and so on.
Not sure why this happens but you can play the cooking contest twice. Definitely do this. Get an extra recipe, increase your ranking, win more money, there's nothing to lose here. The second "must-do" recipe is the Eggplant Torte recipe.
Your first restaurant review
GOALS: Food rating of 3.0 over all restaurants, win the Italian cooking contest
SIDE GOALS: Service rating of 3.5 over all restaurants
Food rating is about cooking skills and ingredients. Be sure to catch all the events so that you can develop relationships with new suppliers. Then, update your recipes to use the best ingredients.
In this scenario, my Italian restaurant was quite popular and often ran out of seats so I built up the second floor of the restaurant and maxed out the number of captains and servers I could hire. I am still training the staff in both restaurants to try to max out service skills.
Once the Don arrives, he'll give you a new recipe for spaghetti to add to your menu. Also by this scenario, Armand's French cooking skills are pretty good so I swapped him with one of the Italian chefs to start giving him some experience in Italian food.
When Mr. Gordini arrives, tell him you want more recipes and he'll give you contact information for his brother. The option will pop up in adventure mode after Mr. Gordini finishes his meal and goes home. His brother Primo will give you the names of 2 chefs. Follow up on this lead, but you'll have to pay $25,000 to get them over to your own restaurant. Add another stove. Plus, these guys add a bunch of your recipes to your arsenal.
Mr. Gordini will show up again. When he likes your food, he'll open up the cooking contest for you. Armand should have no problem winning the cooking contest. He's got a fair bit of experience with recipes that are both Italian and French. Afterwards, just let the simulation run until you've met the goals. It may take a few months but it'll happen.
Lastly, a note. Sometimes chefs will show up looking for a job. They pretty much don't have any skills but I always hire them regardless. When you expand with new restaurants, you're almost always short on chefs.
Another cooking competition, another restaurant
GOALS: 3.50 overall restaurant rating, win the Italian cooking contest, $25,000 monthly profit for Le Palourde
SIDE GOALS: 50% overall average satisfaction
Head over to your new restaurant and immediately remove almost all those expensive items in there! I'm serious. Those items have lots of cost in terms of monthly maintenance. Set up the restaurant the way you've set up the previous ones. Move the door of the kitchen to the center of the room. This is a French restaurant so bring over Armand.
If you head over to see your uncle, you'll get an increase in your credit limit. By this point, however, I haven't really borrowed any money. But, I strongly recommend borrowing money during the first month of every scenario if necessary so you can pick up all the events.
Niccolo joins you as a chef. His skills are mostly Italian but it's up to you if you want to keep him at Le Palourde. Be sure to add his new recipe to La Cosa.
After a month, raise the prices of the popular dishes at Le Palourde. Also raise the prices of the popular beverages. Train the staff if you can afford it. As for the contest, it shouldn't be too bad. You can actually win it twice so use it as an opportunity to move up your chefs in the rankings.
Moving to America!
GOALS: Win International Food Fair competition, meet Delia, Gentille to have 120 daily customers, Gentille to have 3.5 rating
SIDE GOALS: Gentille monthly revenue of $30,000
Alright! Another restaurant! The setup should be old hat now. It's French food so I moved Armand over. Set up the tables, partitions, kitchen, bathroom, etc. Hire staff, set a training budget, set the menu, add the drinks, etc. For some reason, the game resets your money to $50,000 only so borrow money to get through the events.
Talk to your uncle and he'll tell you that the fish have arrived at Red Apple. Be sure to pick some up before you do the competition. When you go to Red Apple, you'll be offered the address of a new market. Don't ask for a better price because then you'll have to pay $7500 to get the address! Stick with the $5000 price.
Be sure to hire Stan and Bruce, two American chefs. They will give you access to a whole bunch of American recipes for later. For the competition, Armand should be able to win it on his own, but since you can bring 3 chefs, put in 2 chefs that you want to raise the rankings of. They have to be transferred to your new LA restaurant first. Stan and Bruce are high ranking already but you could boost them to prepare for your later restaurants if you'd like. The important thing is to have Armand in the contest.
If you're in a hurry, borrow money to upgrade the exterior to boost the stars. Otherwise, it's probably the food holding you back so just let the simulation run another month or so.
GOALS: Get Delia to work for you, $30,000 monthly profit at your new American steakhouse
SIDE GOALS: Varies depending on story choices
Set up your steakhouse. One floor is good enough for now. Move your best American chef over to Wagons Ho. Armand could also use some experience so once you get Delia, pull Armand over. The kitchen is super narrow so the first thing I do is widen it up so I can fit a stove across the narrow width. Then, I move the door to the other end so that it's in the middle of the restaurant. Set up the bathrooms upstairs. If you have debt from the previous scenario, it carries over. Don't worry about it. Pay it off when you can, though you probably need to borrow more money to set up this restaurant. Hire people, set up menu, open up!
Getting Delia is really easy. Talk to her first, then talk to your uncle, then talk to her again. You'll have a choice on what task to set Delia on. Whatever you choose becomes the side goal in the scenario.
Although you don't have to, you can do a couple of cooking competitions in this scenario. Only your chefs in America will be able to participate. I recommend taking Armand and Delia to the first one. You should be able to win just using Armand, but bringing Delia along for the ride helps get her some reputation. The second time, you can only choose one chef. It's really up to you but I'm sure you suspect that at some point, you have to reach number 1... so you can pick Armand to get a head start. For added challenge, you can pick recipes that haven't won any awards yet. This will help with sales of those dishes at your restaurants.
A seafood restaurant
GOALS: Meet Tyrone and get him to work for you, impress Gordini with your seafood restaurant, Wagons Ho! overall rating of 4.0, monthly revenue at Hope and Anchor $50,000
SIDE GOALS: Armand chef ranking at 20 or above, $30,000 monthly profit at Hope and Anchor
You know the drill. Set up another restaurant.
As this scenario begins, Delia has left your restaurant to go back to her store. You can go talk to her if you'd like. You are still training your employees right? If you can afford it, max out the training budget at your new restaurant. They need it.
To get Tyrone, your Wagons Ho! restaurant has to have a 3.5 rating, which should be there already by now. He comes with a couple of new recipes. I ended up moving him over to Hope and Anchor with Armand. Add the crab cakes to Hope and Anchor and start practicing! Gordini is going to order this.
If you have trouble with Wagon Ho!'s rating, buy some more exterior upgrades.
GOALS: Woo Delia, Win LA Locals cooking contest, Wagons Ho! and Hope & Anchor 5 100% satisfied customers each
SIDE GOALS: Chef rating above 15, $40,000 monthly profit at Wagons Ho!, $40,000 monthly profit at Hope & Anchor
First, let's work on the story. Go back to Treize and you'll see your investor friend there. After talking to him, he'll unlock the competition arena for you. He'll also get you another place to buy ingredients and tell you about the customer satisfaction thing. Go to the Hydro Shop, the guy will tell you that you need to name a dish after Delia to woo her. He also gets you a low-fat version. Buy ingredients here too. Delia's got new stuff at her shop so buy stuff there as well.
Now, the customer satisfaction thing is really annoying, in my opinion. The easiest way to do it is to go the restaurant, run it on speed 1 or 2, and scroll through the list of what each customer has ordered. You'll see a button if their favorite dish is offered. However, you can only convince them to order their favorite dish if they haven't ordered yet!! So, I just constantly scroll through the list during meal times and click the button. Not every click will result in perfect satisfaction but it will work. Put your best chef on the dish and use any stocked ingredients if you want. Luckily, the numbers do carry over from month to month. It's tedious but very doable.
If you have lots of profit, as you should now, build up some of the empty floors and throw some cash into the advertising budget.
For the cooking contest, don't mess around. Pick Armand and cook the Delia Wellington. Otherwise, you will fail this scenario. After you win, see your uncle and your credit will increase. See Delia and you kiss her.
GOALS: Win the French Nationals, introduce Delia to your uncle
SIDE GOALS: Chef ranking above 10, Treize has a star rating of 4.5
Transfer Armand to Treize and practice cooking. It shouldn't take long. Both chefs at Treize can participate and once you win, you can compete again. Maybe rotate in a few other French chefs to increase their ranking. After you win, head over to Treize again. You'll be recruited in the war against OmniFood! Go to your uncle. You'll bring Delia and then you'll announce that you have to leave. You're whisked away to train against OmniFood!
This scenario should be very straightforward.
Finally, set meals!
GOALS: Wagons Ho! $20 per person spending, meet Sergio
SIDE GOALS: Wagons Ho! satisfaction above 50%
Armand is out of town so you're really playing as Delia in this episode. Finally, we can do set dinner and lunch menus, which helps revenue go way up. Each set menu can take 2 appetizers, 1 soup, 1 entrée, and 1 dessert. Generally, I would say add your most expensive (retail cost) items to the menu, then reduce the price by about $10 or so. I supposed ideally you would pick the items with the highest profit margin. But your choice. It's easy.
So, pretty simple, set up the set meals for Wagons Ho. First, go to your menu and open it up to the set meal page. Then, click on the add recipe button. This is the only way to add recipes to set meals. It's more important than ever to have good traffic and enough chefs. You may be able to get people to order the big meal but if you can't serve it up in time, they won't pay.
Sergio will come in the first month and disappear the second month. You guessed it, he's an OmniFood spy.
Music themed restaurant
GOALS: Funky Elvis rating of 4.0, win the American cooking contest
SIDE GOALS: Armand chef ranking of 5 or higher
Set up the restaurant like you usually do. You can beat this episode in one month if you have the money. Buy exterior upgrades to boost the star rating of your new restaurant. You can also do the competition twice to boost your chefs. Simple scenario to beat.
Become a Master Chef
GOALS: Win the Masters cooking competition, average restaurant satisfaction of 60%
SIDE GOALS: Total monthly revenue of all restaurants $500,000, La Palourdes 40% operating profit margin
Winning the cooking competition shouldn't be too difficult. Before you can compete in the masters competition, you need to win all the regional ones again. Start with the Italian competition in Rome. You'll also get introduced to a new competition "mini-game." The second competition is in Los Angeles.
For restaurant satisfaction, check the complaints in your restaurants. Be sure your staff is well trained, traffic is good, prices are good, etc.
Use the set meals feature to get your operating margins up really high. Just put the lowest cost dishes with high prices on your menu. I know that was really obvious.
Choose your new restaurant location
GOALS: Overall restaurant rating of 4.30, win the cooking showdown, operate 8 restaurants
SIDE GOALS: Total monthly profit of over $150,000
To open a brand new restaurant, you'll notice a new button available in the adventure mode setting. The button is located where the add items button usually is when you're inside a restaurant. Click this button and you will get to choose the location of your next restaurant. Make things easier for yourself by picking a place with lots of traffic. If you want to go with a big space, pick a bigger space. Once you buy the restaurant space and pick the theme, set up the restaurant as usual. Transfer a few good chefs, hire the best staff, load up the training budget, add the most comfortable tables, etc, and it shouldn't bring down your restaurant rating.
You can easily boost the restaurant ratings by maxing out the exterior upgrades.
Visit the Don first and he will give you $300,000 towards your new restaurant. Visit Treize and you'll see your best friends lined up to offer you their best recipes for the fight against OmniFood. You will have to wait for Gordini to show up before you can compete. Go to Treize, then go to the Hydro Shop and you'll get access to a lot more suppliers.
The Final Confrontation
GOALS: Win the competition over OmniFood!
SIDE GOALS: Have a ranking of #1
This last scenario is pretty much a run around of the story. Keep going to your adventure mode to go around the city. At each of the shops, if you've bought every ingredient, you can ask for them for "special" ingredient. Collect the three special ingredients and take them to Joe Stone. Well, first you have to got Dmitri, who happens to have Joe's wallet. Don't be too enthusiastic about returning the wallet or Dmitri will charge you for the privilege.
A bunch of cooking arenas open up and you can use this opportunity to practice, if you'd like.
The winning recipe is Stuffed Lamb in Potato Crust with Truffles. Practice this recipe and get the suppliers for every ingredient in this recipe. Then, also be sure to visit the three shops and buy all the ingredients. You'll need to use all the stock ingredients you can in the final challenge. To get extra practice, put the recipe in the set menus for the restaurant Armand is in. You'll win when the recipe is 100%! You don't even need to play the mini-games to win.
Should anything else be added to this walkthrough? Got questions?