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Idle Restaurant Tycoon Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Manage a 5-Star Restaurant and Maximize Your Profits

Restaurants, while they were popular then in a time that didn’t require so much social distancing and masks, we’ve been in them at least once in our lives, right?

They’re abuzz with people—be it those who serve you, or you with your company looking for a good meal. The simplicity of going to a place where you can eat away from home when you want something other than your home cooking was among everyone’s favorite past times. It allowed us to connect, socialize, and naturally, enjoy great food… but that depends on the restaurant’s service as a whole.

Enter Kolibri’s entry into the idle gaming genre: Idle Restaurant Tycoon.

Overall, Idle Restaurant Tycoon plays similarly like popular idle games such as Idle Supermarket Tycoon and TV Empire Tycoon. However, after a few hours of playtime, this game could easily be a bit more difficult than the games mentioned above, and here are the reasons why: earnings are slow, the days go by much quicker, getting through some mission goals can be quite the crawl, and upgrade prices climb faster than Spider-Man on Monster Energy. But with these little hurdles in your way, these can be simply overcome through mostly your raw patience.

idle restaurant tycoon tips

Starting out in Idle Restaurant Tycoon might feel a little bit slow as your tiny restaurant will turn customers away, have little-to-no parking, and upset people, but we assure you that with enough time, your restaurant will be flooded with so much cash that what’s left to spend on are wages and ad campaigns. Get ready to spend money to make money, because only you can prevent your restaurant from becoming a new Kitchen Nightmares episode.

A few smart investments here and there and you should be getting that fifth star in no time and if you’re interested in making such investments, then be sure to read our comprehensive Idle Restaurant Tycoon guide below for some useful tips, tricks and strategies!

1. Ads Are Your Friends

Let’s start off this Idle Restaurant Tycoon guide with a bitter pill to swallow: the fact that you’ll mostly be watching ads. While it seems unfortunate for many of us who’d just like to play a simple Tycoon-type game at our fingertips, ads are an essential way for you, the restaurant owner, to gain advances in cash and you’ll never know when you’ll need that extra cash.
Watching ads are a way you can activate the following:

Food Influencers – Much like real life, there will be one time or another when that one celebrity or social media influencer creator visits a restaurant and shares their story about it on social media. If you tap on this popup to watch an ad, you’ll end up gaining a sum of cash that might come in handy if you’re in a bind.

Fast Forward to Morning – Once your restaurant is closed, there will naturally be a great lull between earnings. If you aren’t doing something else already and you’d want to just get to the next day, you may want to tap on this. If a Food Influencer comes alongside this offer, we’d recommend that you pick this one instead as your next morning should be able to earn you what the Influencer offers you. You’re bound to find another Influencer in the morning anyway.

no more ads in idle restaurant tycoon

Ad Boost – This one is one of the more tedious, yet more rewarding reasons why you might want to consider watching ads. For a maximum duration of one hour, your earnings will be doubled BUT each ad you watch will only up this bar by twelve minutes. This boost doubles everything, and we mean everything, even the money that Food Influencers give you.

Get More Guests – This is self-explanatory. Just make sure you have enough space for them!

Double Profits – You will often see this offer after you had come back from a break from this game. The game will prompt you and ask you if you’d like to double your profits and there should be no reason why you’d want to turn this down.

With ads out of the way, let’s get on with how you should be spending your money in Idle Restaurant Tycoon.

2. Prioritize The Culinary, But Don’t Lose Focus

It’s a restaurant, so you’re going to want to focus on the culinary aspect of the establishment. But with great food at your disposal, does service matter in the long run? Yes, yes it does. Once you’ve got enough cooks in your kitchen or the most advance, state-of-the-art cooking tools, improve other things.

idle restaurant tycoon culinary 

If you look around your restaurant, you might notice that the lobby might take too much time taking the orders of the customers, or that you might not be earning enough to keep up with your employee’s wages, or that you might have enough money to make your toilets look shinier. Use your money to fix these and your customers will be spending more because of your service as a whole. Most of your earnings come from the food itself and how hard your cooks work, but do know that the little things matter, too.

If watching ads isn’t quite your thing, then there’s nothing wrong with sending some love to the devs, if you know what we mean.

3. Understand Each Personnel’s Role

Your employees are the sole reason why your restaurant is kept afloat. If you treat them well and pay them what they’re due, they’ll stay. Be careful because if you don’t, they’ll quit without warning! To prevent that from happening, here’s what each person does and how they can be interlinked with each other:

Hosts – Hosts are the ones who man the lobby and they make sure that your customers have a seat at your restaurant. They also have the almighty Tip Jar (more on this later).

Cooks – The cooks are the stars of your restaurant. If you improve the quality of the food that they dish out, pun intended, you will earn more. You’ll also be able to pay them better if you do. Hiring more cooks doesn’t improve food quality but the speed at which you make food, so only hire more if you think your customers are waiting too long.

Waiters – Waiters bring the food to the customers. A single waiter will be able to attend to two tables at a time. Once you’ve successfully constructed all 8 tables in the first restaurant, the 4 waiters will suffice in bringing the customers their food. There’s no way you can improve their quality of service as they mostly work hand-in-hand with the cooks.

idle restaurant tycoon cleaners

Cleaners – The cleaners are in charge of keeping your tables free. When the customers have left a table, the cleaners will be the ones to make sure that it’s ready for the next wave of customers. If you look at the door of your restaurant, there is a nifty little counter that tells you (and your customers) how many tables are vacant. It doesn’t tell them which tables are vacant, however, so if a table still has things on it, it will be counted as “occupied”. If you can’t afford an extra cleaner, upgrading their tools will be a cheap alternative.

Special Staff – Special staff come with special prices (yes, we mean they’re more expensive). If you’ve created an extra feature of your restaurant such as the milk bar in the first one or the show cooking one in the other, you will need special staff. These employees are in their own little world and require little maintenance when it comes to cleaning and meal serving. With how they’re more expensive, the food they serve will be more expensive, too, thus, they are a good long-term investment if you can afford to pay them.

Do not keep hiring staff if you think you cannot pay their wages. There’s nothing sadder than watching your own cooks or waiters leaving if they’re underpaid and overworked.

4. Accomplish Goals To Supplement Your Progress

Similarly to some other tycoon games out there, you are provided with a list of goals in Idle Restaurant Tycoon. These goals, while they require money to accomplish, give a small percentage of your money spent back to you. They certainly don’t just help improve your restaurant, but they will also increase the quality of the rewards you get with every mission done.

goal list in idle restaurant tycoon

In the beginning, you’ll be rewarded with $75 goals but later on, you’ll earn more than just that; and we’re not even talking about the gems! When the gems start rolling in, do not be hasty in spending them. We’ll tell you why very soon.

5. Try Out The Event Restaurants

If you’re looking for an even bigger challenge where you can earn permanent rewards for any of the restaurants you own; look no further than the Event Restaurants.

event milestones in idle restaurant tycoon

Once in a while, the game will offer you the chance to try out an Event Restaurant where you start from scratch. For the duration of a couple of days, you are tasked to earn as much as you can by running this restaurant. While it’s disappointing that you don’t get to keep your earnings, you will, instead, keep bonuses you have earned in the cards you have unlocked. The true challenge of this is that you have no Goal List to guide you.

With every milestone you reach through your time spent earning for the Event Restaurant, you might unlock a chest; an item so precious that you might want to invest in it. Speaking of which…

6. Spend Your Gems On Chests, Not Add-Ons

While you upgrade certain parts of your restaurant, be careful not to tap on some of the add-on items. These items look different from their regular counterparts: instead of having a black silhouette of the upgrade, it has a gold silhouette. If you tap on these, there is no way you can get your gems back and it isn’t as efficient as upgrading what you have.

add on in idle restaurant tycoon

While it’s a long way to earn your way to 125 gems or 320 or 750, it’s always a good way to try saving up for chests. These chests unlock permanent bonuses, or cards in this case, that you will always carry over with you no matter which restaurant is active. There are a total of 15 cards as of now, and each of them level up or gain points when you get duplicates and these cards have four different qualities: Common (Green), Rare (Blue), Epic (Violet), and Legendary (Gold).

There is no such thing as a bad card as all of these further improve the quality of your restaurant and how you serve your customers. Through playing an Event Restaurant, you can get powerful cards early on for free, but once the event’s over, we’d recommend saving your gems up for any of the chests that you can nab from the shop. While the quality of the chest gives a specific quality range, the cards that are given out will still improve your restaurants either way.

7. Upgrade Your Power Only When Needed

Your generators are an integral part of your restaurant. They’re what keep your phone lines powered, your stoves nice and fiery, your parking barrier working correctly, your refrigerators running, and many other things. Upgrading your generators and batteries may be one way you can improve your restaurant but they’re not always needed.

idle restaurant tycoon generator

Seeing as the most important item upgrades are plates, chairs, tables, chopping stations, and the like, you won’t be needing power all the time. In fact, it’d be even wiser if you decide to upgrade your power when you need to. The money you spend on upgrading the power room could be put to better use upgrading other things.

If you want that shiny new refrigerator upgrade and it requires a power boost, by all means upgrade the generator or any of its batteries and then earn your way back. Your funds through idling and the other tips we’ve given here thus far should help you bounce back through your expenses.

8. Study Where Your Money Goes

With all these things you now have to keep up with, you’d like to wonder where your money’s actually going. Maybe you’d see that you’re spending way too much on a specific area and that the profits you net are not enough. Maybe you’ve bitten off more than you could chew with staffing and ad campaigns. There is a way you can see this.

By tapping on what looks like a button with a graphic of alternating bars, you will see your restaurant’s Overview. Here, you’ll be able to study how much you earn from the dining profits, service profits, and parking profits as well as know what you might be spending too much on. While ad campaigns do help your restaurant thrive, it’s better for you to keep ad campaigns active only if you know you can afford them.

dining earnings in idle restaurant tycoon

Only hire more employees if you can see that your staff is struggling to keep up with customers. Hiring more than one cook early on is inefficient and may even cause them to quit because you’ve spent too much on other things.

Below, you will also see which of your tables and facilities are fully upgraded. Under the Dining tab, you will also be able to determine which of your tables is earning the most and which of them is lagging behind. In revisiting them, you’ll be able to make the most out of your earnings.

NOTE: If you have an ad campaign active and you didn’t tap Fast Forward to Morning, turn it off or you will spend for nothing.

9. Never Underestimate The Tip Jar

At the lobby, you will see a floating dollar bill. If you tap on this, you’ll take a percentage of the earnings made by your restaurant. This is the Tip Jar.

idle restaurant tycoon tip jar

After every few in-game minutes or so, the Tip Jar will be full of money so keep your eye out for this. Don’t let a moment pass where you haven’t collected anything from the Tip Jar as every penny earned from it could help further improve your restaurant. If you receive a $100 from the Tip Jar, it’s a nice way for you to earn these without having to wait for customers to finish eating or for them to come to your restaurant.

10. The Parking Scam

Just like in real life, you pay if you want to park at the restaurant’s space. By upgrading your parking in Idle Restaurant Tycoon, you will gain more customers and after taking up space at a slot, you’ll earn a little bit extra from it. This will still happen even if your restaurant is full and if they’ve been turned away because of bad service. While this may seem unethical, these people are parking at your restaurant anyway, so it’d be right to charge them. You don’t earn as much from this compared to how you serve food (this is Idle Restaurant Tycoon, after all), but every bit of earning helps.

idle restaurant tycoon parking

With your new restaurant up and running, you should be able to post ads of it all over the internet and have it overflow with many a customer. Finish upgrading the first restaurant first and when you finally decide to open up the next, bigger restaurant, you should have enough knowledge on how to advance quicker as well as learn from your mistakes.

There you have it! These would be all the tips, tricks and strategies we have come up for Idle Restaurant Tycoon. If there are any tips that we might have missed or if you’ve discovered any tricks of your own, be sure to leave us a message!