Restaurants – Issues and Workarounds



April, 5th 2021

This is an old post and most of these issues have either been fixed, been replaced by other things or are still issues. For a more current list of issues, please refer to the compiled list in the EA Bug forum:
[READ FIRST] Compiled list of reported Issues


Dine Out allows you to have restaurants in your game – as owner and as visitor.

Unfortunately, there’s a few issues and bugs that can make the experience a bit frustrating. Some seem connected and some seem separate issues so it’s difficult to say what the bugs and what the symptoms are.

For a better overview, I want to list them here and give you a few tips on how to work around them.

Workarounds and Tips

By Design

The Chefs never cook anything: The chef will act as if he cooks but no dish ever occurs on the tray/window of the cooking station.

Make sure that the chief station windows and trays are free. This means, don’t place any tables/plants near the window/tray and do not use moveObjects or the ALT key to place decoration around it. Please see Food not being server/cooked for details.

By Design

Food is not being served: The waiters don’t actually serve the food. They either never get it from the tray/window or they get it and drop it on the floor.

Make sure your employees are happy. Praise them and give them raises on a regular basis. Also pay for training. It might be costly at the beginning but it will pay off.

Don’t let your employees work to long. If you’re getting a message that they are getting tired, disallow new guest and then close your restaurant.

Make sure you have room for the employees to roam about. Don’t make the seating too tight.

By Design

Sims never get seatedSims just stand around the podium and are never seated. They just talk and talk. If there’s a bar, they stand next to the bar and talk.

Be patient. Sometimes they like to talk first before going up to the host. Most jams at the host station will clear up eventually.

Wait with welcoming the guests until they are seated. In my experience, it distracts them from being seated properly

To avoid the initial seating madness in your own restaurant, open the restaurant from home and then travel there. Once you arrive the guests will be already seated.


Sims don’t eat their food: Sims sit in front of a full plate but never eat it. They do consume their drinks.

Sims that also order drinks have a tendency to just drink and never eat.

Bug Fixed

Sims get up to drink: Once served Sims get up to drink their drink and then either never sit back down or sit down but never touch their food.

Not sure if this is still happening

By Design

Guest are not being served: They ordered their food but never get anything.

If your guests are not being served, check if you can offer them free food/drinks or prioritize their meals.

Only put one piece of decoration on your tables. Even the big ones.

By Design

Sims get up to mingle with other guests: Sims get up a lot and just go over to other tables to chat. Sometimes they take their food with, sometimes they just leave their food. I also see them eating on benches or on the dance floor

Move around your tables and kitchen if you have lots of Sims gathering in weird places. The bar and aquarium are a place for them to mingle so if it gets annoying, remove those

Don’t place a bar close to the podium. Find another space for it.

Lock doors to your kitchen. Build a fence and a gate if you don’t want to have it closed. If you have microwave and coffee machine, the Sims will just waltz into your kitchen and stay there forever.

By Design

Single Sims join already seated groups/groups join other single Sims: Groups don’t come in togehter

Sims never leave: Sims have eaten but then never leave and hence never pay.

Sometimes a Sim or a group of Sims will join an already seated group that has possibly already ordered. This leads to food not being eaten or Sims never leaving. They look like late-comers but it’s hard to tell.

By Design

The Disallow Option on the podium doesn’t work: Although I have disallowed new guests there’s more and more coming. Sometimes they sit at new tables, sometimes they join existing groups.

Once you disallow new customers, they can still come in until all the already assigned Sims are served. It should die down after a while. It seems to take longer in Windenburg then in other towns. A bug with this was fixed.

By Design

Employees don’t show up: My employees are still employed yet they don’t show up for work or just stand outside without coming in.

If your Sim never go in, make sure the doors are unlocked for them and their working station is not blocked.

If you use a mod that allows > 8 Sims in your household, make sure to increase the lot maximum of 20 as well. All household Sims count towards the lot limit even if they are not on the lot.

By Design

Sims are not seated in a logical matter: Some of the tables are always empty and sometimes smaller groups are seated at big tables although there’s smaller ones available. This leads to larger groups being split up. Sometimes farther away tables are preferred towards closer ones.

If you use the restaurant mostly to own and not go out with large groups yourself, build more smaller tables instead. I’ve never seen a group larger then 4 Sims visiting my restaurant.


Restaurant is only loosing money when opened while not on the lot: Soon after opening the restaurant while not on the lot, I get a message that my restaurant is loosing money.

You get a message you’re restaurant is loosing money right away as the costs are higher than what you earn before they actually pay for their food. Wait a bit and check the financial report if the Sims are actually paying and if it gets better after a while before traveling there. Also make sure your employees are not angry at you. There is a current bug with this.

By Design

Booth don’t snap into place or disappear: When I try to place a booth, it just disappears or doesn’t snap to the table.

Make sure you use the right boot for the right table. The long booth fits any 2×1 table (except the bar height table) and the corner booth fits any 1×1 table. It’s also not possible to place two booth opposite of each other with one table.

By Design

Eating at the restaurant takes forever: When I go to a restaurant with my active Sim, it takes hours until they finish their meal.

I think the length of the meal has to do with general clock issues. As long as you don’t have to wait for hours (in which case food will never come anyways), I would say, that is normal.

By Design

Only one course gets served: I’ve ordered a few courses but only one gets served.

You can only order one course at the time. Once that is being served, you can order the next one. Ordering them at the same time, overwrites the first order.


Employees and Sims got jogging/Shovel snow: Instead of doing their job, Sims shovel snow or go jogging.

Active Sims tend to go jogging. Best to check on your employees traits and maybe fire all active ones.

Make sure to put your trash can into a closed room/fenced off area as well. Angry Sims will otherwise kick them all the time or foodies go rummage in them.

This is treated as a bug.


All employees are lost once re-opening the restaurant.

This issue is caused by culling: Restaurant Employees and Culling

Bug Fixed

Kids can’t drink rootbeer or cream soda


Inappropriate behavior in Sim’s restaurant: Sims are being thrown out for inappropriate behavior


Restaurant corruption: Can’t close restaurant and it doesn’t show as owned in the dialog, only on the map.