Let's Play: Restaurant Simulator
Can Tom become a top chef in Pathway Studios map?
Sometimes, when I'm eating my usual dinner of whatever scraps I can find on the Mojang kitchen floor, I wish I knew how to cook. I can't even use a microwave without causing an explosion, and I can't even make a bowl of cereal without causing at least six fires. Hot ones, too.
Alas, my dreams of becoming a gourmet chef were gour-ing nowhere. Every time I entered a kitchen, I'd hear things like “oh no, not you again” “why do you need so much gasoline to make a salad?” and “help! Fire!” Bah! Everyone's a critic.
But then I learnt about a new game available on the Minecraft Marketplace – Restaurant Simulator: Head Chef by Pathway Studios and Mr Squishy.
This could be my big chance to become a brilliant chef! One who's famous for his delicious meals, being a master of flavours and not because he's currently being investigated for food poisoning. (“But officer, if that customer didn't want gasoline in his salad, then why didn't he warn me he was a fussy eater?”)
Since all the other restaurants where I’d practiced my cooking skills were currently busy burning down, I decided to jump into Restaurant Simulator: Head Chef and get my cook on!
STARTER - RABBIT FOOD
The game starts with the option to choose the colour of your restaurant. Obviously, I choose hot pink.
I arrive at my fabulous looking restaurant, eager to get to work! Well, maybe after a few quick naps.
I shove a pillow in the oven and am about to squeeze in myself when I notice I'm not alone in the restaurant. A villager is standing by the counter, asking for something to eat.
Oh no! A customer!
Based on the little carrot hovering over his head, I brilliantly deduce that he wants to eat a carrot.
How do you make a carrot? Squeeze an orange into an ice cream cone? Hang on, do we even serve carrots here?
I decide to check the menu.
I search around in the back and find a glorious garden full of fresh vegetables! Even an unhealthy monster like me – a man who somehow has more gravy in his veins than blood – knows vegetables are awesome!
I immediately celebrate this new find by mining some carrots and tucking in. Yum yum yummy – most delicious!
Then I remember I'm not supposed to be eating the food - It's for the customers. And restaurants where you pay the staff to eat the food for you don't tend to do very well. No idea why.
With my carrot in hand, I walk back to the counter to serve one soon-to-be-satisfied customer!
But he's gone.
Why did the customer leave? It only took me three hours to find his carrot and come back to the counter.
I guess these impatient brats are going to ruin my culinary career unless I speed up the service. I practise sprinting around the kitchen, so I'll soon have the fastest, best service in the business!
Several more villagers come in wanting carrots, but obviously I'm too busy practising my sprinting to serve them, so they eventually leave too.
As usual for me and my horrible life, things are going terribly. If I don't improve this restaurant's reputation soon, I'll never get nominated for anything at the Annual Minecraft Chef Awards (where the best Minecraft cooks compete for awards like 'Tastiest Dish' 'Best Cake' and 'Least Amount of Rotten Flesh on the Menu').
So I stand with my carrot at the counter, ready and waiting for a customer to walk in. A villager walks in. I hand him the carrot. He walks off.
Success! It was tough, back-breaking work, but I did it! I'm now clearly the greatest chef of all time.
When word gets out that I’m actually serving food now, my restaurant starts to get much more popular. A little too popular, if you ask me (did you ask me? I hope you did, because I'm about to tell you why!)
I have to keep rushing out back to get carrots for a seemingly never-ending series of downright greedy customers. I suggest to a few of them that they fetch me a carrot while I sit down for a while instead, but they're not interested in paying me money for that. Cheapskates.
Plus, if I'm not quick enough getting a villager his precious carrot, I risk losing a paying customer:
The pressure is starting to get to me. Every time I blink, I open my eyes to see another new customer, waiting impatiently for a carrot. Now I'm a pretty slow blinker. Takes about an hour for me to finish a blink, on a good day. But this is still too much for poor, lazy, little ol' me to handle.
Soon I start seeing carrots in my dreams. I'll be enjoying the usual dream I have every night (the one where Jens forgets his Minecraft password and has no choice but to let me take over the Java team) when suddenly my vision is replaced with a never-ending mountain of carrots. I scream and wake up from this orangey nightmare.
I ask a doctor what this means and he says “nothing to worry about, just stop sleeping in the carrot patch, dummy. Also, can I have my carrot now? I've been standing in line for six hours.” Bah! Doctors! What do they know?
No, the real problem is obvious – carrots are no longer exciting enough for a chef as amazing as me – I need to start serving different foods!
Using the money from my carrot sales, I unlock potatoes and pumpkins! Word spreads pretty fast about my new advanced menu, because I soon have villagers demanding I serve them potatoes, stat!
“Enjoy, my friend! Now hand over your money,” I say politely as I hand the villager his raw potato. But he won't take it. What gives?!
Then I remember an old legend - a mysterious recipe called 'The Baked Potato' that I'd read about in an ancient tome of wonder called 'COOKING FOR MORONS'.
So I put my potatoes in the furnace. To my stunned eyes, terrified ears and intrigued nose, the potatoes start to cook.
I hand the now-baked potato to the hungry villager, who gives me FIVE DOLLARS for it! They're only paying me THREE DOLLARS for the carrots!
Now I'm not a fancy big-city mathematician, but according to 'BASIC MATHS FOR BASIC PEOPLE' the number five is a bigger number than the number three. Wow!
Would unlocking more foods mean I could charge even more extortionate... er, I mean, extremely fair prices? I have to find out! After all, if there's one thing I love, it's money! And if there's two things I love... nope, just money. That's it.
So I waste no time blowing all my profits on unlocking melons, cows, beetroots (served both raw and as a soup!) pumpkins, sugar canes, chickens, rabbits and oh I'm out of money.
Oh well! I'll soon be super rich with my new menu – as delicious and varied as it is expensive! Well, almost.
MAIN COURSE - CHAOS
I can't remember who coined the phrase “Mo money mo problems” (Henry the Eighth?) but boy, Henry sure had a point. Well, if you replace the word 'money' with 'items on your menu that you're not fast enough to provide'.
Villagers can't wait to sink their teeth into my new menu. Now they make orders of multiple items, like a carrot, jacket potato and bowl of beetroot soup on the side. By the time I put it all together, my customers are tired of waiting and have left, including the one who made the order in the first place. Drat!
Soon I'm more stressed than ever. Sometimes when I haven't finished the recipe in time, I lie to the villager that this isn't a restaurant, it's, er... a library?
Then I throw cookbooks at them until they leave. Weirdly, this results in very few positive reviews.
Sometimes I just don't have the ingredients to give the customers what they want (and 'give the customers what they want' is the second most important rule of customer service, right after 'try not to spit on them') because I'm still waiting for the ingredients to finish growing. To solve this, I can pay to upgrade my food so it grows back faster.
The rewards are instant - Not only do I get my ingredients faster, I also earn my first star! Ha! Take that, villager who wrote a one-star review of my restaurant, because now this restaurant is officially a one-star establi... oh.
Seems the objective of this game is to run a five star kitchen.
I'm nervous about this challenge. I've never run a five-star anything. Even that telescope store I used to run only sold rubbish telescopes that couldn't show you any stars (I forgot the glass for the lenses was meant to be transparent).
There are big risks too. If I only fulfil part of a customer’s order (like, for example, giving them the carrot they want), but I take too long to get them the other parts of their order (gah! Pumpkin pies, why can't you be quicker to make!) then they just leave without paying for anything.
Outrageous! Surely this is illegal? I hope not – I do it all the time – but I don't want it happening to me :(
I have to step up my game. Reduce my mid-work naps from 50 to 49. Start baking real cakes instead of just dipping the stale bread into white paint.
Soon cooking, farming, upgrading, customer-serving – it all becomes a hectic blur. I'd eat something to keep my energy up, but I'm too busy stirring it into a pie and shoving it into a villager's inpatient gob.
But as blurs go, it's a strangely fulfilling one. Keeping customers happy is a real challenge for anyone who likes crafting under pressure. Plus it's a great way to try out some recipes you may not have known about before. For example, did you know you need beetroots to make beetroot stew? I know! I had no idea either!
Search Restaurant Simulator: Head Chef in the Minecraft Marketplace if you want to try this Pathway Studios game yourself - or just click this lovely line of green text to be taken directly to it in the in-game store.
But do you really think you can do better than me and my...
Well, yeah. Of course you can. Almost anyone could. I'm an overpaid dimwit who shouldn't be allowed within fifty miles of a kitchen.