Thursday, July 18, 2013

Business as Usual Bistro Store Venue Review

Hey guys,

Welcome to the review of the Business as Usual Bistro, a new Restaurant-themed venue released in The Sims 3 Store on July 18th, 2013. I will be posting my review and criticism on the pricing, the venue, the premium content, and showcasing the content at the end.

Here is the link to the collection file:


This venue brings something new and innovating to The Sims 3 Store. The Store has always had limited budget and technology in order to bring out store content that never utilizes expansion packs, requires coding for the Base Game only, and of course never brought NPC's to the game. Towards the end of The Sims 3 series, it looks like they allocated more time and budget into some new content that will allow NPC designation to some premium objects. Although it may not seem perfect, I find this new venue a step towards future content that will utilize NPC's.

I remember Open Restaurants being introduced in The Sims 2 Nightlife, and actual running of said restaurants was introduced in Open for Business. I believe this new content will be a step towards something many simmers missed from The Sims 2, and hopefully we'll see some new content, maybe even a world, designed for OFB.

The price of this venue is 1900 Simpoints, and is on sale for 1700 Simpoints until 7/21/13. Included are 15 items: 1 is a community lot, 6 are CAS, and 8 are Build/Buy that are themed mostly towards an Industrial Kitchen. I am squealing like a fanboy right now due to the fact that we are finally getting some nice content for Industrial Kitchens as I always wanted to build something utilizing a theme as such, and now I finally can! There is only ONE Premium Content object included, but there is enough design and gameplay utilized that you could say it includes more than one in a single venue. The premium content object is the It's Business Time Industrial Oven, which will be detailed in the next step.

The price breakdown of the set is below:

Industrial Oven: 600 Simpoints
3 CAS Outfits: 3x75 = 225 Simpoints
3 CAS Hairstyles: 3x100 = 300 Simpoints
Kitchen Counter: 75 Simpoints
Kitchen Island: 75 Simpoints
Food Processor: 50 Simpoints
Lighting: 2x50 = 100 Simpoints
Fridge: 100 Simpoints
Sink: 75 Simpoints

Cost of Individual Items: 1600 Simpoints
Cost of Set: 1700/1900 Simpoints
Cost of Savings: (-)100/(-)300 Simpoints

Even though there are no savings with this set, I do feel like it makes up for the lack of missing OFB-style and missing restaurants that we had, even if it should have been introduced in the Base Game to begin with. Also, I kind of wished they varied their prices with Store Venues, while not pricing higher than 1900 Simpoints, I wished there was a range from good venues for 1900 Simpoints to lower cost venues at 1000 Simpoints, in order to provide variety for players. Perhaps if this set was 1600 Simpoints initially, and then marked down to 1400 Simpoints for sale, it might be a catcher for many simmers. That's just my opinion of the price though.

It's Business Time Industrial Oven

One of the major premium content that is introduced in this set is a new business-related content called the It's Business Time Industrial Oven. This new premium content object introduces something new, and hopefully in the future, some more nice new gameplay to the Sims 3 Store, leading up to OFB being a store-only thing. 

This new object introduces some settings on the oven that can include designating an NPC chef, serving what types of food you want in the venue, and even pay rates and salaries. While it may be spoken like it's real, I do feel like this type of gameplay is still limited via the store, due to the fact that there are many things that have to be utilized through the main coding of it all, including Story Progression.

These settings include:

  • Set Menu for Lot
  • Hire Chef
  • Fire Chef
  • Set Food Markup for Lot
    • 50%
    • 75%
    • 100%
    • 125%
    • 150%
  • Set Chef Quality for Lot
    • Line Cook ($10 per day)
    • Sous Chef ($20 per day)
    • Executive Chef ($40 per day)
  • Set Hours for Lot
    • 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
    • 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
    • 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Fix Quick Meal
  • Menu: Place an Order
Below are the list of recipes that can be used by the new Industrial Oven:
  • Autumn Salad
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Breakfast Calzone (Woodfire Oven)
  • Cheese Danish (World Adventures)
  • Cheese Tofu Steak (Showtime)
  • Cheesesteak
  • Cheesy Bread (Woodfire Oven)
  • Combination Pizza Margherita (Woodfire Oven)
  • Country Bread (Woodfire Oven)
  • Crepes (World Adventures)
  • Dim Sum
  • Egg Rolls (World Adventures)
  • Eggs Machiavellian
  • Extra Cheesy Pizza (Woodfire Oven)
  • Falafel (World Adventures)
  • Fish and Chips
  • Forever Alone Calzone (Woodfire Oven)
  • French Toast
  • Fried Beanut Butter and Banana Sandwich (Showtime)
  • Frogs Legs (World Adventures)
  • Fruit Parfait
  • Garlic Bread (Woodfire Oven)
  • Goopy Carbonara
  • Grasshopper Pie (Seasons)
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Grilled Salmon
  • Hamburger
  • Herbivore Delight Lasagna (Woodfire Oven)
  • Hot Dogs
  • Hot Wings (Late Night)
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Lasagna Sopresa (Woodfire Oven)
  • Lemon and Eggplant Lasagna (Woodfire Oven + Al Fresco Market)
  • Lobster Thermidor
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Meat Mania Calzone (Woodfire Oven)
  • Mushroom Omelette (Supernatural)
  • Nachos (Late Night)
  • Olive Platter (Late Night)
  • Onion Rings (Late Night)
  • Pancakes
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Pepperoni Pizza (Woodfire Oven)
  • Porcini Risotto (Supernatural)
  • Potato and Truffle Torte (Supernatural)
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich (Seasons)
  • Ratatouille
  • Shawarma (World Adventures)
  • Shrimp Cocktail (Late Night)
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti with Veggie Sauce 
  • Stir-Fry (World Adventures)
  • Stu Surprise
  • Stuffed Turkey
  • Stuffed Tursoykey (Showtime)
  • Summer Desert Pizza (Woodfire Oven)
  • Sushi
  • Teppanyaki Chicken Fried Rice (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Filet Minion (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Jumbo Shrimp (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Lobster (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Pepper Steak (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Salmon (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Trio (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Teppanyaki Vegetable Medley (Teppanyaki Grill)
  • Tofu Dog 
  • Tri-Tip Steak
  • Tri-Tip Tofu Steak (Showtime)
  • Vegetarian Dim Sum (Showtime)
  • Vegetarian Fish and Chips (Showtime)
  • Vegetarian Grilled Salmon (Showtime)
  • Vegetarian Lobster Thermador (Showtime)
  • Veggie Rolls (Showtime)
  • Veggie Burger (Showtime)
  • Waffles
  • Wood Fired Lasagna (Woodfire Oven)
Of all of these recipes, I do wish this oven introduced some brand new recipes too along with it! This is one of those missing elements that I wished existed though.

Included with the Industrial Oven is an object called the menu, which makes other sims order foods when you place it appropriately on the dining tables. There are still some few restrictions in this particular object that I find below:
  • You can only hire one chef per oven. Therefore, if you want more than one chef, you need more than one oven.
  • There are no Hostesses, Waitresses, or Waiters, but the chef does act like a waiter at the same time
  • If your sim goes on a date, and wants to order and sit together, it may be difficult to get the other sim to order. There are chances you both will order at different times.
  • Your chef will just continue making food until someone orders from the menu. The interaction does repeat and tends to get old.... 
While it may seem limited, it does seem very nice to finally get to enjoy a new dining experience, well a step, introduced via the store, even though it would be nice to just add this along to the base game via update. 

How this works is that first, your sim(s) can make an order first, depending on what is on the menu, and your chef will come and take notes pictured below:

Then, the chef will prepare the food instantly, bring out a dish with a silver lid on top, and bring it to the guests who ordered:

The menus are temporarily replaced by the dishes, and when you are done, the menu pops back up. And that is pretty much what the basic gameplay is in terms of this new object.

One single flaw I could find in regards to the menu is that if you go on a date with two sims, you don't know what the other sim will do. When you order your food, and if by chance they order their food, by the time you are done, they get their food also. One suggestion that would have improved on this was if the menu had an option that says "Place Order with..." Meaning this object will que the interaction of the sim to come to your table and you both would order at the same time.

Another flaw is that children cannot use the menu and order food. No clue if this was intentional or not as the premium content page says that children can take part of the Industrial Oven, but we know children cannot cook in it, so it would be safe to assume they can use the menus. Hopefully it was an oversight and will be fixed in the future.

Business as Usual Bistro Venue Lot

This new community lot added via the Store is just a Visitors Allowed lot, and while it doesn't include a new lot type, it provides functioning that isn't limited to just a restaurant. It's a 30x30 lot and has two floors. It is designed modernly and may have a fusion of Asian in it also, at least it feels like it to me, and adding content from other store sets and expansion packs can fully flesh out this venue. Below are the pictures of the venue.

Build/Buy and CAS

Included in this set are many objects and clothing that decorate your kitchens to look like ones you would find in a restaurant. I do love the design of the lighting and the counters used, but I also wished there were some cabinets included in the kitchen portion of Build/Buy. Also, there are no trash compactors or dishwashers included, but even the base game ones are industrial-looking already, so adding those would make this problem not really exist. 

As for CAS, included are 2 Female Chef and 1 Male Chef Outfits, and 3 Male Hairstyles, and *GASP* NO FEMALE HAIRSTYLES. This is something new and glad the store team just added something mostly for men, but even one single female hairstyle would be nice, maybe more male outfits too.

Anyways, enjoy the pictures below showcasing the new objects and clothing.



Overall Review

Price: 6/10 - While the price is still steep for just 14 build/buy and CAS (including Premium Object) the amount of gameplay and creativity introduced using the new industrial oven and menus can make up for something that was missing from The Sims 3 since Base Game. I do wish the price was like 1700 Simpoints, and discounted to 1400 Simpoints because the individual objects add up to 1600 Simpoints, making it seem there is nothing great about the price of the venue. 

Theme: 10/10 - I LOVE anything Industrial and this new Industrial Kitchen was something I wanted for over a year now and glad the Store Team decides to make one. Also, we haven't had a Kitchen Set in a while, so this makes up for that too. I also love the concept and idea of a restaurant-styled venue that is introduced in The Sims 3 Store and can't wait to see what future venues we will have.

Design: 9/10 - Many of the build/buy objects are nicely designed, and the venue does seem nice, with a little touch-ups here and there. So far, I haven't found any flaws in any of the objects, but I may find them later in the week.

Premium Content: 10/10 - This deserves a 10/10 because it goes beyond the limited capabilities in the past due to budget and restrictions when creating new premium content via the store. It introduces a new NPC, new job outside of your household, and potentially new ways to play utilizing this object. Combined with the menu, I do hope more coding gets added to the base game to introduce missing elements like ordering food for someone, etc. Other than that, this object is a must-have in my book, even though it's still pretty pricey for what you're paying for.

Overall: 8.75/10 - While I do wish all of this should have been introduced via the Base Game through an update, or through an Expansion Pack, more coding and concepts would have expanded through both rather than the store. Now that they are introduce OFB-like content via the store, it makes me feel irksome that we will be getting more limited content through the store, unless they continue stepping up their game and add something better than what they just added today. Curious to see what they add in the future.


  1. Great job Anz. The Sims 2 store was amateurish and the Sims 3 store was also at first. They are now rocking the house which makes me curious to see what the Sims 4 store will be like at the end if they have a start like this. The store may be making the EPs, LOL.

  2. Hye can i ask this stuff can be use in the sims 3?? please answer at my email

    1. This is The Sims 3 Store Blog, meaning anything can be used in The Sims 3. ;)

    2. where to put the package??? C:Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Collections\User????

    3. The collection file only will do you good if you already purchased the set from The Sims 3 Store, and can be placed in the folder that you just listed.

      If you don't own the set, downloading the collection file does not give you the set.

    4. i have one thanks for the info

  3. I can't find key lime pie - or any desserts. I also wanted drinks to be served in my coffee house I wanted to set the menu so it only served drinks and cakes. Do I need other items like a fridge or bookcase - wish I could add more recipes.

  4. Thank you for the review. So far it seems like a rather nice addition except for one thing - I can't find the menus anywhere in the build/buy menu. I've looked in the kitchen section and everywhere else. They are in my game if I add the Bistro to a lot, but I can't find them to add more tables or to build my own lot. I'm sure I'm missing something simple, but I'd appreciate any help. :)


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