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Game Tips for Novice & Seasoned Players

Novice Player

If you're new to Diner Dash, you might at first be overwhelmed by demanding customers - managing a busy restaurant is hard work! The key to success is to first understand the basics of handling customers, and then add in more advanced strategies to boost your score.

Starting Out

Your first task is to master the basic customer flow. The steps are:

  1. Seating - Left-click on a customer group in line and drag them to an empty table to seat the group. If you move the mouse around to different seats before releasing the button, you can rotate the group around the table. This is useful when trying to match a customer's color to the seat color, which will give you bonus points
  2. Taking an Order - After sitting down, customers will read the menu. When they put down the menu and raise their hands, you can click on the table to take their order. Flo will hold the order in her hand. Notice that when she's holding an order, the ticket station on the left side of the counter will glow. Click on this to give the order to the cook.
  3. Delivering Food - After the meal is prepared, it will appear on the counter with a number. Click on the meal to pick it up. When you do so, the corresponding number on the waiting table will glow so you know where to drop it off. Click on the table to drop off the meal.
  4. Giving the Check - When customers are finished eating, they'll raise their hands. Click on the table to have Flo give the check to the customers. They'll tip you and then leave the restaurant.
  5. Cleaning the Table - Click on the table again to pick up the dirty dishes. The bus station, at the right end of the counter, will glow. Click on it to drop off the dishes. The table is now clear and ready for more customers.

Improving Your Game

So you've successfully mastered the basics. Customers may be satisfied, but you aren't. Instead, you want to boost your score and make sure customers rave about your restaurant. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Mood - See the hearts above the customers' heads? Those represent their mood level. Happier customers leave bigger tips. Mood drops when you ignore a customer waiting on you for too long. This can happen when a customer is in line, ready to order, waiting for food, or ready for the check. If mood drops to zero, the customers will leave, and you'll lose points. Here are the ways you can improve mood:
    1. Quick Service - Customers appreciate quick, attentive service. If a seated customer is waiting for something, and you respond quickly, you'll boost their mood.
    2. Serving Coffee - You can use the coffee machine to improve customer mood. The machine will glow when you can use it. Click on it to grab coffee, then on any table to give it to the customer. You can't give coffee to customers waiting for the check: they're ready to leave, not have a drink. Note that serving coffee doesn't directly give you any points, although happier customers will leave a bigger tip and are more likely to order dessert.
    3. Podium and Radio - These two Power-Ups can be used to improve mood. The podium affects everyone standing in line, while the radio affects seated customers. Check the Game Rules for the details.
  2. Dessert - Mood is important in another way: if a customer is happy enough, they'll order dessert after finishing their meal. Different customer types order dessert at different mood levels, although the Jogger never orders dessert (consult the Customer Type Chart in the Game Rules for details). If a customer requests dessert, a piece of pie will appear in a thought bubble above his or her head, and the dessert case to the left of the counter will glow. Click on this case to grab a piece of pie, and then click on the table to drop it off and score extra points. Note that you are not forced to give a customer dessert. Instead, you can just ignore their request by clicking on the table to give the check.
  3. Seating Multiplier - Each customer is one of five possible colors: blue, green, purple, red, or yellow. When you seat customers, the chair changes color to match the customer's color. However, if you seat a customer in a chair of the same color, you'll get a 100-point bonus. This bonus goes up on each consecutive match, and is visually indicated by a flag placed on the seat for multipliers of 2x or higher. Try to place customer groups at tables that will maximize these color matches, and remember that when seating groups, you can rotate them to different chairs by moving the mouse around the table before releasing the button.
  4. Chaining - Chaining actions is perhaps the most important thing you can do to maximize your points. To chain an action, perform the same action repeatedly. Each time this is done, you'll receive a multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, etc. Here are some important things to understand about chains.
    1. You can chain the following actions:
      1. taking orders
      2. delivering food
      3. settling checks
      4. cleaning dirty dishes
      5. delivering dessert
    2. You cannot chain these actions:
      1. seating customers
      2. serving coffee
    3. The following actions do not break an existing chain:
      1. seating customers
      2. using the podium
    4. It's important to understand that you can only have one chain going at a time. For example, if you pick up an order, you start a chain. If you pick up an order from another table, you'll receive a 2x multiplier for this. You can continue to drop order tickets off at the ticket station and then take more orders, increasing your multiplier. If, however, you then pick up food from the counter, the order-taking chain would end, and a new food-delivering chain would begin.
    5. Trying to build chains will affect your strategy. For example, serving coffee is a great way to boost customer mood, which will lead to a bigger tip and possibly a dessert order. However, grabbing coffee will break any existing chain. If you've just taken a table's order, and another table is about to order, it can be advantageous to hold off grabbing any coffee to keep the order-taking chain going. Another example: you just finish giving the check to a group of customers when another table finishes eating and requests dessert. Normally, you'd want to serve dessert and get those points. However, in this case, it is better to ignore the dessert request and just give these customers their check. The 2x multiplier you'll receive is worth more than if you broke the chain by grabbing dessert and then gave them their check.
    6. If towards the end of the game you're waiting around for some customers to finish, and there are other tables with dirty dishes on them, leave them there. Those dirty dishes aren't going anywhere, and unless you need those tables cleared for waiting groups, it's best to wait until everyone has paid the bill and left. Then you can clear all the tables at once and score big points.
With these tips you are well on your way to becoming a Diner Dash expert! Please consult the full Game Rules for additional details.

Seasoned Player

Not your first time helping Flo manage a busy restaurant? If you're a Diner Dash veteran, than you should feel right at home playing this version of the game, and almost all of your well-honed skills and strategies will work here. However, there are some changes you should be aware of.

  1. No Noise - In the retail version of the game, loud customers can annoy other patrons seated near them. This is not part of this version of the game. Feel free to seat the chatty Cellphone Addict right next to other customers: he won't be bothering anyone.
  2. Game Timer - A game time of five minutes has been added to the game. While you should have plenty of time to serve all your customers, you still need to keep an eye on the clock. Using the podium to keep customers in line happy and content can be an effective strategy, but make sure you leave time to serve all your customers so you don't miss out on any points
  3. Customer Types - There are a total of six customer types in this version of the game. While they mostly behave as they do in the retail game, they have been diversified to each have unique attributes. Whereas before the Cellphone Addict was as equally impatient as the Business Woman, now he's even more in a hurry. You can get a ranking of each customer's stats by looking at the Customer Type Chart found in the Game Rules.
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