The latest The Sims 4 game pack – The Sims 4 Dine Out pack – was released on June 7th.
As the name suggests, it all revolves around food. You can run a restaurant, go out to a restaurant, cook and try new foods, and experiment with food, among many more new things.
The Sims 4 Dine Out adds restaurants to the businesses your Sim can run. There are a few pre-built restaurants that are added to your library after installing the game pack which you can place to get started, if you’d rather not build your own.
To get started, at the right bottom of your screen is a cash register icon. If you click that, there is the option to ‘buy a restaurant’ (and retail store if you own The Sims 4 Get to Work as well).
Once you’ve purchased your restaurant, it needs a few things. A waiter, a chef, a host, and of course, seating and a kitchen. Get that all set up, than you can open up your restaurant.
Sadly you can’t be the chef, waiter of host yourself, you’ll have to hire someone to do those jobs.
Running your own is actually more difficult than I had thought. Customers will show up as soon as you open the restaurant, and the stars above their head will indicate how well your restaurant is doing. By doing things right, you earn perks, and these can be used to make your restaurant even better! They seem to have taken what worked well in The Sims 2 Open for Business and given it a The Sims 4 twist.
There are a few things that influence the star rating. The service – if the waiter is friendly, fast and doesn’t drop your food – the quality of the food the chef is making, and the extra touches, like personal attention from the managers. The decor does a lot as well – if your service is poor, but your restaurant looks top notch, you’ll be able to get the rating up a little. It won’t be a 5-star restaurant, but it’ll be on its way!
You can set your own menu for the restaurant. This actually what I would recommend if you are just starting out. How well the food will turn out depends on the level of your chef. The preset menus have a variety of 1 to 5 level dishes on the menu, and your new chef might not be able to make the more difficult dishes.
Another thing that is customisable is your price markup, from 100% to 300%
You can also customise the uniforms, the restaurant dress code, and the quality of your ingredients – although this has to be unlocked by perks.
If you don’t want to run a restaurant, you could always visit one instead. Be it a hot and heavy date, a casual lunch with friends or a family breakfast, the choice is yours.
And with this come new interactions and new buffs.
Sims can now post food pictures to ‘Simstagram’ and if your Sims cooking skill is high enough, they can learn new experimental dishes.
What I did find disappointing is that experimental dishes can only be made on the new chef station (See build mode), and only 1 dish at a time. So no family or party sizes to serve up at home.
Another new interaction, which also hearkens back to Sims 2, is “feed a bite’. Again this can only be done on certain objects, this time,the new sectional seating. And your Sims have to be sitting next to each other.
You can find it under romantic interactions.
Create a Sim
With the June patch where The Sims unlocked all clothing for all genders, the CAS items are more versatile. There are some feminine hairs, 1 masculine hair, and 1 for each in the child age.
Children did not get many new outfits. And the adults are mostly themed. See for yourself what they look like in the slideshow.
As with each new pack, there are some cool new themed items.
Two key items are the chef stations where Sims can cook and experiment. There’s also a lot of new clutter and wall decoration items.
FInally, we now have bar tables, where you can sit on a bar stool. These are higher than normal dining tables. You can do a lot of cool things with them, for example, make a breakfast table at your Sims’ home.
I think this pack is very versatile.
The Sims 4 Dine Out expands the possibilities around running your own business, although not quite in the way I had hoped – I would have loved if my Sim could be the chef or waiter – after playing with this pack for a while, I can understand why it is not possible. Managing a restaurant is quite tricky as it is. Generally, they run well and smoothly.
One plus is that you can have your restaurant open, without being there. So unlike the retail stores, your Sim doesn’t have to physically be there.
The down side is that if you have your restaurant open all day, your employees will start to complain they are tired. To fix this, your only option is to close the restaurant, there is no option to give the employee a break, or let them work in shifts.
You don’t have to run a restaurant to have the benefits from it either. You can just visit one and eat there. And sometimes that is even more fun!
Build mode got quite the expansion. I love that there is so much clutter to decorate with this time. It can really make a restaurant and it actually influences the experience your customers have in your restaurant as well! I’m really happy about this part.
Overall, I think this is a great game pack. If you are a builder or a legacy player, this game pack has plenty to offer.
For CAS there are a few cute items, but mostly themed. I feel like they focused more on the experience and the environment than on the clothing this pack.