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YMMV / Cook, Serve, Delicious!

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  • Author's Saving Throw: After many players criticized the lack of a sense of progression in CSD2, especially in comparison to the first game, CSD3 has been revealed to have a fully fleshed-out campaign mode with a wide variety of progressive upgrades.
  • Breather Level:
    • The Fried and Carnival Iron Cook challenges in the first game. Compared to the American and Italian challenges which overloaded you with orders with tons of ingredients and food that needed to be cooked and then prepped, the small pool of ingredients and small amount of prep work in the next two challenges make then almost effortless by comparison even with rapid-fire orders and little to no order patience.
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    • In the sequel, Slammy's Old-Fashioned BBQ generally has easier shifts than other restaurants at similar levels, thanks to most of the foods being simple to prepare
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The game goes out of its way to avert this:
    • Most of the easy and/or high-earning dishes will start to generate negative buzz if left on the menu for longer than two consecutive days. This forces players either to change strategies constantly, or go with Staple dishes which tend to be less lucrative or, in the case of Soup, incredibly difficult to make properly.
    • Certain events, like bets, Cook4Luv dates, and VIP visits, will require you to have certain dishes on your menu. Not having the correct dish(es) counts as an automatic failure.
  • Contested Sequel: While the vastly expanded food choices and the new Chef 4 Hire mode have received nearly universal praise, there is heated debate on whether the sequel’s main restaurant mode is a worthy successor to the original game. Some enjoy the new version for being more streamlined with fewer distractions and gimmicks, whereas others feel it to be so stripped down in comparison to the original that there's no reason to play it over the more engaging, fleshed-out Chef 4 Hire.
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  • Ending Fatigue: Getting the platinum five-star ranking. Provided you've been keeping up on purchasing all the food, keeping it upgraded and finishing all the extra events as they become available, you'll be left with nothing to do but sit through another 20 days.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the emails in the first game regards someone who's sick of waiting for "HL3" to be released. Then the sequels reveal that the series takes place in the late 2030s-early 2040s. Poor guy's got every right to complain, considering he's been waiting for over thirty frickin' years.
  • It Was His Sled: It's fairly common knowledge at this point that five platinum stars is the highest possible restaurant rating.
  • Porting Disaster: While not as bad as most examples, the mobile versions lag significantly behind the Steam version in terms of content and updates. Among the laundry list of issues: the texting minigame still has the absurdly long delay between texts (see Scrappy Mechanic below), both CookBet and Extreme Difficulty are entirely missing, and some of the ingredents and recipes use outdated names and/or contain misspellings that have been fixed on the Steam version.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
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    • The Guide Dang It! example involving the Robbery chore. The minigame seems nearly impossible until one notices how the interface for this minigame works.
    • The girlfriend/boyfriend texts, since they take several seconds to reply to each and you can't put the phone down until the conversation is over, meaning you will almost certainly break your combo. A post-release patch attempted to alleviate this by significantly reducing the delay between texts (though only for the Steam version).
    • The "20 days of service" requirement for earning stars. It makes earning that next star feel like more of a grind than an accomplishment, especially considering that most players will have achieved all of the other star requirements long before this one. Apparently the creator agrees, since earning stars in the sequel uses more of an experience-based system, allowing players to rank up as quickly as their skill level allows them to.
    • In the sequel, the sheer volume of chores one is assaulted with. It's not uncommon for the serving of a single order to generate up to four chores at once, and because chores decay much faster than orders most of the time, shifts tend to devolve into "serve dish, fight off chores, serve dish, fight off chores, repeat ad nauseum", especially during rush hours. The biggest offenders, however, are the Trash and Dishes chores, since not only are they the most time-consuming, but they're also the most frequent of the lot, meaning that while you're dealing with them, orders or even other chores are slipping away before your eyes, and you may even have two trash or dishes chores queued up at the same time! On the whole, it ends up feeling like Fake Difficulty at its most blatant. It's no wonder, then, that much of the fandom heaved a sigh of relief upon learning that CSD3 jettisons chores altogether.
  • That One Level:
    • Soups have the most ingredients out of any dish, and certain ingredients have to be chopped as opposed to just dropping them in the pot. Fortunately, the number of recipes is limited, so a little memorization goes a long way.
    • Shish Kabobs have a special requirement that no two of any ingredient can touch one another. It requires a surprising amount of planning ahead, in a game that places a heavy emphasis on speed.
    • Nachos cook like burgers (cook meat first, then put the ingredients together and serve). When fully upgraded, however, they have more ingredients than burgers, yet they sell for less than half of the price. Because of this, there would normally be no reason to put nachos on the menu if you already have burgers, but certain events (like Cook4Luv dates and VIP visits) require that you have them. You can expect those days to be a living nightmare, especially with high Buzz.
    • The Robbery chore, besides being Guide Dang It!, is also frustrating because unlike most other chores which have linear straightforward keypresses (press once to do a thing once, press again to do it again) the Robbery just cycles through a bunch of options with no pattern, meaning besides checking the 'order' section on the bottom to see what you have to do you also need to look at the options on the right to see what you've selected. If you play with the keyboard there's an added layer of difficulty since the keys try to be mnemonic but only work halfway (in particular, 'Y' for "eyes" and 'F' for "facial hair"), so you end up hitting 'E' and accidentally change the ear or 'H' and accidentally change the hair. It's probably wise to remap the keys to QWEASD and forget about the mnemonic, or switch to the mouse.
    • In the sequel, Biggs Burger Shift 9. 11 prep stations, 8 holding stations, 90% Buzz, and an extremely short patience level with no side dishes to boost it mean you're in for quite the ride.note 
    • The third game has "Burgers and Patties", a level that only allows for burgers, chicken sandwiches, and breakfast sandwiches. It requires a ton of ingredients properly placed, and missing even one will lock you out of a perfect score. Quite notably, if a gold is obtained, it unlocks a decoration screaming "no more burgers!"
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