Last chapter was on the Custom Shop, as Chapter 15 was about business management and how the alternative characters can take control of them. This one is on the next business – the restaurant. There is a Café that sells coffee, but not one that sells food.
Starting a new restaurant
The first thing the mayor has to do is to build a restaurant anywhere that isn’t claimed. Unlike most PWPs, this one can be placed over water, but it depends on where you place it. A wharf can be built over the sea, but not from a high sea cliff. If you choose to build a wharf, you’ll have to pay extra. But if you don’t, there will be less land to do your landscaping.
When the plot for a new restaurant is placed and when a new character is created (recently or awhile ago), the secondary character can claim the restaurant as his/hers. If someone else took the restaurant (it has to be a human), then it cannot be claimed.
After claiming, you will be given an 800,000 Bell debt from Tom Nook, who is in charge of both house renovations and business renovations. Like the Custom Shop, he will ask in advance. When you get 800,000 Bells paid, he will then ask what layout you want your restaurant to be. All layouts have a 12×8 dining room and a 6×6 kitchen aside. The five different layouts determine where your kitchen is placed, whether if it’s on one of the sides, in the back, but closer to a side, or in the back, towards the middle. Once you decide on the layout, your restaurant will be built, and you can get ready to work on it.
Designing your restaurant
When you step into your restaurant for the first time, you would realize that the restaurant is empty. Unlike the Custom Shop, you have two rooms to decorate. The dining hall is where the customers eat and where the waiters serve, as the kitchen is where the chefs cook. At the beginning, you won’t have any funds, so the first step is to make more Bells and import them to your restaurant’s funds.
When you work on interior design, there are a limited amount of items, in both the kitchen and the dining hall. You won’t want a restaurant with beds and dolls. In fact, you wouldn’t even want a stove in the dining hall or a booth bench in the kitchen.
Items available for your restaurant:
- 1×1 tables (dining hall)
- 2×1 tables (dining hall)
- 2×2 tables (dining hall)
- Chairs (dining hall)
- Armchairs (dining hall)
- Plain benches (dining hall)
- Upholstered benches (dining hall)
- Kitchen items (such as counters, ovens, and refrigerators)
- Soda Fountain (kitchen)
- Busing Station
- House plants
- Reservation counter (dining hall)
- Cash registers (dining hall)
- Menu furniture pieces (include ceiling item)
- Decorative ornaments (such as LED Display, World Map etc)
And no, you cannot lay food on the tables like you can in Happy Home Designer or at home. Food will appear on the tables eventually as customers eat them.
When you work on decorating the outdoors, you have many different options for the rooftops, doors, windows, walls, and outdoor scenery, which are the same as the other two. As for models, all of them look like proper restaurant models. Some look basic, but others look fancy.
Managing your restaurant
The design part is fun just to make your restaurant look beautiful or cool, but the management part is more important. Just like every attraction, you need to look at the profits, staff, and hours of operation. However, the uniqueness of the restaurant is that you can decide what food is served there and eating there (if you’re playing another character besides the owner).
Writing the Menu:
Writing the menu would be very fun. You get to choose what items are going to be sold in your restaurant, what are the three courses, what drinks are served, and the prices of each.
Depending on region, some cultures have more food available in restaurants than others. For instance, you’ll see a couple of European foods in the EU/AUS/NZ version of Animal Crossing while you’ll only see eight Italian dishes in the other releases. Another example is that in Japan, you’ll only see eight or less American dishes while in one of the NA countries (even in South America), you’ll see five actual Californian foods, plus a couple more foods from the US. Regardless, all foods can be bought in all regions, except that you’ll have to do online and international play if you want to get the items you can’t serve in your restaurant.
The first step is to decide on appetizers. You can only choose five from the 15 available appetizers in your region. But you’ll also need at least three. Too few items on the menu means less of a choice, but too many items on the menu is not a good idea.
The next step is to decide on the main courses. This time, you’ll have 15 to choose out of the many items available. One required item is the salad. Since some animals are the same species as foods we eat, they would be vegetarians. The few vegetarian species of animals are chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, octopi, frogs, and horses. That means, they will not eat anything that contains animal products. The reason behind it will not be said, but you can figure it out easily. The minimum amount of items to pick is five. Since the salad is always required, you have a choice between 4 to 14 items.
The third step is choosing the sides to go with each meal. You’ll have 20 available to choose from, but you have to choose between 6 to 10 of them. It’s also best to choose what matches. You do not want to serve french fries in a Mexican restaurant or Spanish rice in an Italian restaurant.
When you’re done with the sides, you have to choose which seven of the 15 available drinks at the restaurant. Water is a required item, so you’ll have six more. The other drinks are soda, diet soda, tea, coffee, milk, milkshakes, and fruit juices (including lemonade). The minimum amount of drinks needed is four.
The final step is choosing the desserts. Once again, there are 15 available per region, but you can only take 5 of them. There are no required items, so not all of the restaurants would need cakes or ice cream. The minimum is three.
Pricing the food:
As you choose what’s going to be sold, you can price the food at the restaurant. You can also put a price on reservations. The default price for reservations is 500 Bells per customer. The food has different prices, ranging from 300 Bells to 1,500 Bells. Animals are more likely going to buy lower priced foods, but if all foods are priced way above the worth, they will leave with no bill to pay. Make sure the foods meet their ideal prices.
General Management Principles:
Like every attraction, you have to decide on the names, the staff, and the hours of operation. Just to repeat what I said in Chapter 15, your restaurant has to be open from 6 to 12 hours, villagers you hire for staff will never move out of town until fired, and once a staff member is fired, you can re-hire them unlike in reality.
In terms of staff management, you’ll have to hire six members rather than a few. You’ll need a cashier, a waiter/waitress, and four chefs. All six of them will work every day, and they don’t mind working over 9 hours. Since their maximum work time is 12 hours, you can’t keep your restaurant open for more than 12 hours. Don’t forget that the restaurant hours of operation shouldn’t conflict with the workers’ sleep schedule as set by the mayor.
The wage set for both the cashier and server is 150 Bells per hour, while the chefs are 200 Bells per hour. So if you kept your store open for 12 hours, you will be charged 92,400 Bells per week. The current funds will stay the same, but once a new month begins, you will begin losing money for the wages.
And please remember this: your restaurant is closed during an active holiday, just like the Town Hall, and not like the other two attractions.
- (+) Bells made when food is sold
- (+) Bells made for reservations
- (-) Bells spent to restock food
- (-) Bells spent on worker wages
- (-) General costs
Other than the owner, any human can visit the restaurant and pick up food. They will spend the price for food, but they will get no reservations. Instead, they will ask the cashier what food they want, and they can receive it as an item to place in their houses or eat.