Hey, you there! Yeah, you! This food isn't going to serve itself! We're going to need your help. You'll need to hire cooks and helpers to make meals for you to serve and keep our customers happy! Trust me, unhappy customers are a pain to deal with. On the other hand, you could always just take the complainers and ... cook them. (Look, we don't really care how you handle things, as long as you handle them, capeesh?)
Anywho, handle your tables, however you see fit, quickly because you'll only succeed if you get enough tips! Now hurry up, customers are waiting!
What Is It?
A simple card and dice take that game where players work to keep their kitchens safe for cooks and helpers, thwart their opponents' restaurants with negative effects, including stealing cooks, and, of course, do their best to serve plenty of customers.
Players can only play one positive card on themselves and one negative card on an opponent each turn, so they must make the most of every turn. Additionally, players will only get to roll the dice to earn meals if they have a cook in play, so they need to try and keep negative cards off of them to lower their chances of cooks being fired.
Who Is It For?
First and foremost, this is for fans of take that games and those who don't mind a harsher style game, because there's a lot of ways to lose turns and steal tables, supplies, and chefs from opponents.
I'd say it's for ages 13+ as well. It's not terribly difficult, but some of the art and the theme might be a bit weird for younger audiences.
Finally, I'd recommend this to groups who like silly and lightweight games because it's a standard "beer and pretzels" type of game that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's also better for groups of 3 or more. It works fine at 2, but I definitely found it more interesting with 4 or 5.
Contents + Quality
Cards - Average quality cards. The art is simple but fun; some of it is a little weird or gross (like someone getting stabbed or put in a meat grinder) but that's why it's for those gamers who like to be a little silly, haha. Instructions/text on cards is clear, everything is easy to know how to use.
Dice - Average plastic dice. Words are written clearly on them.
Meals - Basic, black wooden discs. I do wish they were more interesting, like random meal pictures printed on these or cardboard discs, just to immerse you in the theme more, but they work fine.
Rules - Well written and easy to learn from. But they do use a comic sans type font, which I am not a fan of for reading rules. Luckily, there is a rules video on their website, which is mentioned in the rulebook, to help with those who don't want to read them.
Box/Insert - Good size for what's in it. Everything fits in the insert nicely. No complaints.
So, unfortunately I did not get to try the one variant, because I didn't have more than 5 people to play with, but I do think it's worth mentioning. You can play in teams if you have 6-10 players, which allows you to play helpful cards on your partner. It's a neat option for a game night where there's a few more people than expected who still want to try the game out.
The first few times I played this I got chefs quickly, as did my opponents, and I enjoyed the game because it was just quick and silly fun. But in other plays I was more unlucky with not drawing cooks and then rolling fired on all my dice as soon as I got one, which just made it so I was doing very little on my turns. In one play, all 4 players went 3 rounds without anyone having a cook. It's unlikely that this would happen often to everyone, but it doesn't seem hard to happen to one or two players, which can just make for a frustrating experience for them, while others get to actually work toward finishing their tables. Eliminating the need to have a cook in order to use a helper would help with that a little, but would still slow players without a cook down.
I also wish the theme was more pertinent because I think it could have been really cool if it was integrated more (and probably something everyone who has ever worked in food service would want to do) but there are only a few customer cards in the deck, so you don't get to attempt to cook customers as often as I'd like.
Overall, I would recommend this to groups looking for a new, light take that game. It's probably not something I would request to get to the table super often, but if others I gamed with suggested or wanted to play it, I'd be down for a game every so often.
My Final Ratings:
Overall Game - 5/10
Aesthetics - 6/10
Replayability - 5/10
Difficulty - 3/10
Designer - David Schneider
Artists - Nathan Crandall, David Schneider
Publisher - Good Enough Games