The Let's Play Archive

Restaurant Empire 2

by Enchanted Hat

Part 3: But, coffee

Episode 3: But, coffee

Hallo Monsieur Laurent.

Bonjour, Ms. Delia! How are we today?

I'm very well Monsieur. And I hope you are as well.

Ah, it makes me happy that you say that Madame. Actually, I must take this opportunity to thank you Miss Delia.

I've had more customers buying coffee from me ever since we started doing business together. They keep telling me that Miss Delia suggested that they come here to try out my products. Very grateful…

Delia, what the hell are you doing? We're in the business of selling $9 cups of coffee, please stop telling our customers that they can get the coffee much cheaper directly from our supplier!

So Madame, how may I help you today?

I wanted to ask you for some info about the more exotic coffee yields out there…

Unfortunately, I can't help you there Ms. Delia as I'm only importing Colombian coffee right now. Although there is something I have over here that you might be interested in…

Please wait right here Madame, I'll be right back.

Here Ms. Delia, have a sip of this… this is coffee made from my own personal stock.

Mmm… gosh, this espresso's amazing. It has this unusually sweet taste and a very smooth texture. I've never tasted anything like it. This isn't your own Colombian beans is it?

No Madame. These are actually Indonesian Kopi Luwak. I would say these are the most expensive and possibly best coffee beans on the planet that money can buy.

Ok Laurent, you've convinced me. How much are we looking at here?

Oh no Ms. Delia, you misunderstand. This is my own private stock that I keep for myself and for guests. This is not for sale I'm afraid.

Yes, I guess we all need to play with the cards we've been dealt with one way or another.

Madame, right now I can give you one piece of good advice. If you're really determined in serving the best possible coffee in your shops – and, judging by our previous conversations, I can see that you are very serious

– then perhaps importing Kopi Luwak is something you'd consider yes?

Not only is Delia undermining her own coffee shop business by telling people to buy it directly from Laurent, now Laurent is undermining his own coffee bean import business by telling Delia to start importing coffee herself. Why is everyone in this world so catastrophically bad at business?

A word though Ms. Delia: these beans are for the true coffee connoisseurs and they are extremely expensive; you should be prepared to pay for the quality that you're asking.

I see. This is actually not the first time I've heard of Kopi Luwak. I must say that this is very intriguing indeed. Excellent advice Laurent! Thank you so much.

No need to thank me Madame. The pleasure is all mine.

Speaking of being catastrophically bad at business, Delia has once again hired goons interior designers to help decorate her new modern café! Let's take a look.

Beautiful. This is the EAB décor style - I have crammed in as many of those tall green lamps as possible, while also covering every surface and every wall with additional lights and pictures. I've never been to Los Angeles, but I'm pretty sure this is right on trend. Small glass tables have been strategically placed to caused maximum inconvenience to the staff and our guests.

Slight problem: doing this cost literally all the money. If you look in the top left, we are down to 101 dollars. I'll have to do something I never had to do during Restaurant Empire 1: borrow money from the banks.

At least, that was my plan, but then I realised that the banks have forgotten about us since Restaurant Empire 1, and we don't have any lines of credit. Oops.

That means that I can't buy recipes, I can't buy useless bottles of wine for my staff, I can't buy anything. Shortly after taking this screenshot, I actually had to sell a couple of lamps just so I could at least pay $2,000 for wholesaler relationships, since those are genuinely very important.

There's also an interesting new mechanic in this mission – we can now research new recipes! We, um, can't afford that either.

Since I really need to have some money available to me for buying new recipes and other stuff from our customers, I reduce all marketing and staff training spend to zero. It's time to milk this business as hard as we can.

We could have bought this delicious recipe for milk chocolate and walnut cookies with 2 tablespoons of flour and 20 teaspoons of baking powder for only $15,525! But now that'll never happen! All because of your insatiable lust for phallic green lamps.

By lunchtime, I've already spent the money I raised from returning some of the lamps. In desperations, I go to Treize à Table and sell the fountain as well as some dividers and tapestries.

The first month of the mission brings in $92,000, which gives us a bit of breathing room. I plan to let this mission run a few months longer than necessary to give us a bigger cash buffer so I won't have to shut down recipe buying entirely again.

There we go! Broccoli soup, only $12,420. It's a bad recipe, but it's a start.

One of our goals for this mission is to get an environment rating of 3.5 overall. Delacourt Sunset and Delia's First Coffee Shop are both dragging us down here because we haven't done anything with their exteriors yet. So let's do that!

First Delia's First Coffee Shop

Pretty weak. Unfortunately, façade improvements are gated behind your restaurant star quality rating, and all the really cool stuff requires four stars. We don't have anywhere near good enough recipes to get our cafés to four stars, so I had to take what I could get, which was mostly a bit of shrubbery around the entrance.

Let's see if Delacourt Sunset is any better.

Little bit. At least they put the shrubbery on the roof.

Now that we've improved the cafés and built up a bit of capital, we just need to go and talk to Armand to be able to finish the mission.

Oh hi sweetie, I'm glad I caught up with you…

Oh hey hon. Well, you're a little early today. Everything ok?

Umm, well. You, see… I need to ask you for a favour…

Ughh… that was the last thing I wanted to hear…

It's important… no, I mean, it's really important.

What is it?

Uhh… well… okay. Can you… manage the shops for me for a few weeks while I'm away on business?

Business trip? What are you talking about?

You see, I kinda need to fly to Indonesia to contract this local coffee bean exporter to supply the shops with their high-grade coffee beans… and I can't fly out if there's no one available to manage the cafes. I was hoping you could help me with that?

"I want to go to Indonesia to buy butt coffee."

Sweetie, between the restaurant and rehearsals, I already have my hands full. I honestly can't fit two more coffee shops into my schedule. Can't you ask somebody else to help you out?

And seriously, all this for a bunch of coffee beans… you're kidding?

They're not just coffee beans, Armand! This is important to me!

I'm not doing this! I have my own problems to deal with.

Please Armand… I can't do this without your help…

I promise I'll be quick, and I'll be back in a few days. All I ask of you is to visit this new furniture store downtown, so that we could establish some links with them and maybe buy a couple of pieces from them later.

Fine. Go on and buy your coffee. Your shops will still be here when you get back.

Thank you!

Such a charmer, that Armand. All right, let's go to that furniture store, then.

Hi there, Mister. How may we help you today?

Oh hey, it's Dick Steele, our CFO from the first game! What's he doing selling furniture? Maybe he got fired when Armand sold off all our old restaurants.

I wanted to see what type of goods you had in store.

Is there anything you're looking for in particular?

Nothing specific really. I run a French restaurant and a couple of cafes – well, technically my wife runs the cafes – so I guess, if I was looking for furniture, I'd be looking in those areas.

Restaurants, eh? Well, if that's what you're looking for then we've got a wide selection for you to choose from. Here's a brochure of the new stuff that's just arrived in stock.

Thanks, you've been very helpful Mr.Howell.

"Which I assume is your name. You look like a Howell to me.""

No problem, son. Come visit us again.

Restaurant Empire 2 introduces the concept of furniture wholesalers. In gameplay terms, they're almost completely pointless, but it does mean that as the game goes on we'll be getting a slightly broader range of furniture available to us as we find new furniture wholesalers. Dick only sells six pieces of furniture, and they're not very interesting, so going there was kind of pointless.

Delia's gone to Indonesia, so I've had to temporarily move Armand to Delacourt Sunset. Unsurprisingly, food quality has plummeted, as Armand doesn't know the first thing about making coffee.

Shortly after, I get called over by a customer.

Comment peux je vous aider, Madame? You asked to see me?

Yes, I wanted to tell you personally how wonderful I think this café is; the coffee as well, I thought was excellent, Monsieur…

Lebouf, Madame. But please call me Armand.

Armand Lebouf? Somehow your name seems so familiar. Have we met before Armand?

"Perhaps you have noticed my face on the giant portraits 'anging around the café, Madame?"

I can't say Madame, as I have not yet had the pleasure of knowing your name.

My apologies. I am Michele Poulan…

…of Poulan-Tatou Industries? To what do I owe the honor of having France's riches heiress sit in my humble coffee shop?

Haha, please Armand. Your coffee shop may be humble, but the coffee is anything but… I was in town and I heard very good things about your 'humble' café. It seems the whispers were very much spot on.

You are too easy on the compliments, Michele…

Well, I only say what I know to be true. But again, tell me Armand, have we not met before? I know your name from somewhere, but I can't wrap my finger on it…

But wait! You're Armand Lebouf! The grand master chef?

A pleasure. It seems both our names have traveled far.

But, why are you here, of all places? Shouldn't you be… weaving your magic in a kitchen somewhere?

That.. is a story for another day.

But if you'd like to try me – try my dishes I mean – you're more than welcome. Here's my card. Come by anytime you like. Who knows, I might even give you a discount…

Haha, I'll hold you to that, Armand. I have some business to take care of this week abroad. But I promise I'll come by and sample you, once I return.

Bye, Armand…


France's richest heiress, you say?

And with that, we win the mission! Next time, we'll be getting another new café, and Armand will be doing the first episode of his new TV show!

Recipe research

Now that we have a bit of money to burn, I'd like your advice on what type of recipes to research. I've listed the research options below. Each research branch costs $10,000 per month, so I think we can easily support five different research topics. Each branch will unlock a total of five recipes for us over time, and the fifth one will be incredibly good, so once we pick something, we ought to stick with it. Please let me know what kind of recipes you think I should be researching!

In terms of usefulness, soups and desserts are always very useful to research, because when I'm designing an optimal restaurant, I like to put a single high-quality soup and a single dessert on the menu and make them horrifically expensive. Main courses, on the other hand, tend to have the highest recipe quality levels out of all recipe types. Breakfast recipes are completely useless because we sell so few breakfast dishes.

In terms of café recipes, most of the beverage recipes are about equally useful. I've discovered that the blender used to make frozen cocktails is the oven of cafés – that is, recipes using the blender take a disproportionate amount of time to prepare – so investing in "Other Drinks" will be investing in our own demise. Café food is great, though, since it tends to be higher margin than the actual coffee.

Feel free to vote for however many research topics you like, I'll just pick the five that seem to be the most popular overall and invest in those.

Research topics

French breakfast
French appetizers
French soups
French main courses
French desserts

Italian breakfast
Italian appetizers
Italian soups
Italian main courses
Italian desserts

American breakfast
American appetizers
American soups
American main courses
American desserts

Coffee shop hot coffee
Coffee shop iced coffee
Coffee shop tea
Coffee shop other drinks
Coffee shop food