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Restaurant City is a 2D social restaurant management game that allows players to start and run their own restaurant from the ground up. Re-arrange and design your new restaurant with a variety of decorations. Hire a complete staff made up of friends, set the daily menu, gather ingredients, and keep the customers happy. Although comparable to other games like CafĂ© World and Pet Society where players can cook up savory meals in Restaurant City it’s all about the ingredients. Players buy, earn, trade, and even grow necessary recipe ingredients to create meals. Work with or compete against neighbors for the position of the top restaurant on the block.

Starting Your Own Restaurant, the Gameplay

In Restaurant City players are in charge of their own fully functioning restaurant. Each player starts out small with several tables, chairs, and stoves. Before the game can begin users have to hire some of their Facebook friends to work for them. A quick click on their avatar and then desired job will accomplish this task. Once all of the waiters, chefs, and janitors have been assigned players are ready for business. Restaurant City has a helpful Open Hours feature that allows players to choose opening and closing hours to fit into their playing schedule. This option prevents users from having to rush and log back in simply to check on their restaurant. There are various shifts available for managers to choose from. Each shift has a coin fee. Shorter shifts earn more profits since they’re cheaper. Players can schedule their employees to work any length of time from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Employees complete tasks automatically following their assigned duties. Janitors clean up spills, waiters serve meals, and chefs stay busy behind the stoves cooking. Players take on more of a managerial role so the gameplay is fairly slow paced. Coins and XP are earned through leveling dishes, serving customers, and visiting neighbors. Players spend most of their time using strategy to boost their rank, collecting necessary ingredients, and decorating. Each restaurant has a popularity number. The more satisfied customers the higher the rating will go up. Users have to figure out how to balance the staff in a way that will serve all of the incoming customers in a timely manner. Customers who have to wait too long will walk out and decrease the restaurant’s popularity rating.

The Ingredient Hunt

Restaurant City has a very diverse menu. It’s divided into four categories consisting of a starter, main, dessert, and drink. Players can serve customers Tuna Steak with Vegetables, Russian Cappuccino, Lobster, Hamburger and Fries, Pink Lemonade, Mango Pudding, Pork and Apple Chops, Chocolate Cake, Beef Enchilada, or Strawberry Milkshake. In order to cook a variety of meals, ingredients are needed. The ingredient market is limited and very expensive. There are only three items are on sale per day for coins. The rest of the ingredients require Playfish Cash to purchase. If a player doesn’t want to spend real money for common items like water, ice, bread, butter, flour, sugar, cheese, and eggs than they have to rely on their neighbors and other methods to obtain them. Players can receive ingredients daily for free by logging in and correctly be answering the Food Quiz. The questions often vary from real life cooking techniques to food trivia. It’s quite challenging. This is a unique feature in the game that educates players in a fun way. In Restaurant City an option to a garden is available similar to the game Pet Society. Players can grow their own fresh ingredients. The garden lot expands as a user levels up. Although it’s a nice touch there is no choice in the type of seeds that you can plant. A mysterious bag of unmarked seeds will produce random spices, vegetables, or fruit when ripe. New dishes can be learned and leveled up to increase XP when all the required ingredients have been collected. Neighbors can assist in the hunt for ingredients as well.

Checking Out the Competition

In Restaurant City friendly competition and friendship work hand in hand. Players can visit their friends’ restaurants to help out or take a trip to a random street to see how other restaurant moguls businesses are operating. Visiting neighbors can earn coins, XP, and a free ingredient. Remove trash from their floor like spilled soda cans, discarded pizza slices, and banana peels by clicking on them. Sometimes their restaurant may have a nasty leak, a blazing fire, a penguin invasion, a sleeping bear scaring away customers, or giant mushrooms in the garden that requires immediate attention. The first time a player visits a new neighbor they earn one free ingredient. This makes neighbors an essential part of gameplay. Users must rely on friends to earn a significant amount of XP to level up and to receive ingredients which can be tedious at times. Players can also trade ingredients with each other by clicking the Ingredient Trade icon. For some players who do not like to depend on their friends to advance in games constantly joining neighbor adds lists and bargaining for ingredients can be exhausting. All neighboring restaurants on the street are ranked in order by popularity. This system lets players know exactly how their restaurant measures up when compared to their buddies. Restaurant City takes full advantage of its multiplayer aspects allowing users to travel to random streets with players who are not neighbors and rate their restaurants.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

The customization in Restaurant City is exceptional. Everything can be personalized from a player’s avatar to the minuscule details in the building’s exterior. Users have the option of keeping their avatar basic or personalizing it. Give your avatar a rock star Mohawk, a Princess Leila hairdo, villain attire, or cool shades. The game has dozens of various themes to choose from including a Roadside Diner, Saloon, Moroccan, Medieval, Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Psychedelic 60s, and Victorian style. There are also some fun unexpected designs like the UFO, Zombie, Ghost, Anime, and Princess available. It’s possible for players to create any kind of restaurant they want. The necessary basics like chairs, tables, stoves, toilets, and even drink dispensers come in an assortment of customized styles. Depending on the theme or desired look users have hundreds of items that they can add to renovate their restaurant. Click and drag new patterned tile floors, colored wallpaper, arcade machines, dividers, walls, aquariums, stereos, and arcade machines. The outside of the restaurant can be redesigned also. Change the building size from a small size to a behemoth building base. Attach various roofs or use decorations like a roving spotlight, balloons, lanterns, flags, flowers, canopy, menu signs, bouncer, benches, robot chef, and a magical unicorn. A very cool feature in Restaurant City is the music player that can be customized as well. Users can change the default elevator melody that plays over and over again to a catchier tune. Choose from the classic Pineapple Overture, upbeat My Irish Heart, Asian-inspired Delicate Spring, Latin Fiesta Brothers, or the cool mellow Lounge Lizard Slide.

Final Verdict: Great

Players participate in a competitive world overcrowded with restaurants all vying for top rank. In Restaurant City users have endless possibilities for customization. There are also some very cool features that keep the game entertaining. Explore the virtual streets in search for ingredients, listen to the music player while menu planning, message friends, or test your knowledge as a foodie in one their quizzes. It goes beyond other similar games like Cafe World or Pet Society by adding more social multiplayer options like the ingredient neighbor trade system. The slower paced gameplay with the Open Hours setting for scheduling play makes it perfect for busy gamers.

Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy

Whether you own a local brick and mortar business or an online company, you’ll want to use the Internet to promote your products and services. The online community is a vast goldmine of potential consumers who log in each day to search for every good and service you could imagine. If you have a product or service, there’s a market for it online. Tapping into that world-wide reservoir of customers is a must if you want your business to not only succeed, but thrive. While word of mouth and certain offline advertising can be great revenue generators for your business, it is important that you implement an online marketing strategy and get it working for you and your business.

Just like any other task involved in the promotion of a business, you’ll need to come up with a solid, effective online marketing strategy, to ensure the best possible outcome – in this case, boosting your customer base, and therefore your business revenue. This doesn’t need to be rocket science, you just need to outline the steps you are going to take to promote your business online.

Promoting Your Business

The most important goal in an online marketing strategy is getting consumers to view your webpage; they can’t buy what they can’t see. This isn’t something that can be left to chance, as there are literally millions of websites online for customers to browse. You’ll need to find a way to direct these consumers to your website, via any number of effective tactics, such as search engines, email marketing, pay per click advertising, social media etc. That way, any time an online consumer is looking for something you provide, you’ll have a that much more of a chance of being their primary choice. Whatever your product or service, you want your business to be known as the market leader. The main factor to ensure in promoting your business is that you’re targeting the right market; if you sell antiques, don’t target a dog training market. While that is an extreme example, the principal still applies.

Where to Promote Your Business

There are many places where you can implement your online marketing strategy; from social media to local business directories, you’ll find that the sky is the limit. All that’s needed is finding the right market and you’re set.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)-One of the most common ways to get your site on the first page of major search engine results is through SEO. Find keywords that people are typing in online and target your website around these. Search Engine Optimisation is a very profitable strategy and should be used by most business owners.

Social Media – Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ offer extensive opportunities for online marketing. These sites have millions of members who visit their pages daily; having your business listed on here would guarantee consumer traffic to your website. Just remember though, social media is about engaging and not selling, so make sure that you build up a relationship with your potential market when you start using social media.

Advertisements – Banners are viewed daily across the web; find websites in your particular niche and place your ads within these pages. This is an under utilised tactic that can be very profitable for your business if you engage with the right audience.

Blogging – Blogging on a website like blogger.com is an extremely effective means of marketing your business, especially within niche related blogs. For instance, if you’re a cake baker and you write a daily blog describing a new type of cake you baked, or about a design you created, and show pictures within that site, not only are you going to generate a following of people wanting to learn how to do this themselves, you’ll gain a steady base of customers dying to have their next big day celebrated with a cake from you. Blogging not only establishes your name in the world of cakes, it can also provide you a following as a leader in your market.

Why Your Business Needs an Online Marketing Strategy

The above are just a few examples of where you can promote your website and what you can base your online marketing strategy around.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the same location for 50 years; if you’re looking to generate greater exposure, and thereby greater revenue for your business, there is no better place to do so than online. And if you’re looking to market online, you’ll need to find an effective online marketing strategy to ensure your online success.

Remember, this doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out where your market is, and look to tap into a couple of these avenues. You don’t need to do every aspect of online marketing. Set a strategy where you are going to get the quickest return on investment. Remember to revisit your strategy every 3-6 months and adapt as necessary.

Do You Road Rage? Why We Do, and What We Can Do About It

Living in a city like Los Angeles requires a commute on some form of Freeway (too many to list), a journey through bumper to bumper surface streets, and possibly a walk. All of this is cemented between our daily stressors of work and family.

It’s often common for us to leave home upset around time management issues, conflicts with loved ones, or the dread of going to a place of employment. How can this not affect us? Most of us are also aware that there is an unofficial “Rules of the Road” handbook that establishes polite behavior, which is not followed by many. The perfect storm of impolite driving (unsafe, or self-righteous), and an average person’s bad day can lead to escalations that are unsafe for all parties. Most of us would call this sudden explosion of anger, Road Rage.

While the actions of others remain out of our control, we can be more mindful of our own state as we enter our cars. When a person makes a physical check of possible obstructions prior to pulling out of a space, they are hyper aware. Their eyes search all mirrors for people, dogs, and other cars as if life depended on it, and in many ways this is true. We can also look inward, within ourselves. Creating an awareness of how you are feeling prior to starting the ignition, can be helpful in creating awareness of where you are at.

Road Rage is related to the tipping point of our agitation. What is your frustration tolerance at that particular time, on that particular day? Some people appear to always be at a high frustration level, but for others, irritation can sneak up more slowly. What are the daily obstacles we still have in front of us? Maybe there is a specific meeting, appointment, or a time we have to pick up our kids. It could be the time of day we depart such as rush hour, or a work related task that still lingers on our mind. Are we late? There is an infinite amount of possible stressors, and personal drama or what we might call personal crisis situations (hey it seems like a crisis to us!), but when paired with inconsiderate drivers things can explode.

If we were to rank our personal wellbeing on a scale of 1-10, with one being Buddha, and 10 being Hulk, most likely we all live in a 3 most of the time. It’s once we cross 5 or 6, that we want to become more mindful of Road Rage triggers, and our own body awareness. This is the time we can course correct, prior to further and potentially more dangerous escalation.

Every person has a different anger response. If we begin to track our outbursts, we become more aware of the patterns in our triggers. This is where we can consciously begin to change patterns and replace or alter behaviors. Tracking body symptoms prior to outburst (twitching eye, flushed face, rapid breathing, warm forehead, watery eyes, itchy shoulders or neck, clenching, etc..), can be helpful in establishing patterns, but we need to work on better planning to implement prior to these escalations.

Listening to the radio, taking deep and purposeful breaths, or talking to a good friend or family member can be helpful. Avoiding conflicts while driving is a good rule of thumb as well. When a person is riding at an 8 or 9, it does not take much to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. As our mindfulness and self-awareness increase, it’s easier to make better choices, and do the things we need to do to be safe.