Café World Economics: Real World Hourly Wages

I’ve been distracted by Fishville lately, but the Zynga team has been busy rolling out new dishes for Café World, so I thought it was time for a new post on Café World Economics.

gameBig_cafeworld

This post is the third in the Café World Economics series:

But before I get to the new tables, I did some additional analysis based on my popular Farmville post, “The Personal Economics of Farmville“.  I’ve produced a table that ranks all the Café World dishes based on the equivalent US $ / hour wage you are valuing your real world time when you play the game.

In order to do this, I needed to find some additional data.  The first was an effective value of Café World coins.  To do this, I used the payment schedule that Zynga has in the game (as of 11/30/2009):

Café Coins Price ($) Coins / $
15280 $4.99 3062.12
45240 $9.99 4528.53
125280 $19.99 6267.13
333300 $49.99 6667.33
1000000 $149.99 6667.11

Note the wide disparity in values!  If you pay the bare minimum ($4.99), you are valuing Café World coins at 3062.12 per dollar.  But if you pay at the high end ($49.99), you get 6667.33 coins per dollar.

Since there is such a wide disparity of values, I decided to calculate both a high and a low estimate for my table.

The second new piece of data needed was the “time spent per dish“.  This is something that I left out of my initial calculations, but makes sense in this context.

Since all of my tables are “per dish per stove per day”, I estimated that you need to spend one (1) minute per cycle to clean the stove, buy the dish, and click through the 3 ingredients, and then get the finished dish.  This might be a tad high, but it’s in the right ballpark.

What this means is that a dish that takes 5 minutes to cook is now estimated to have a cycle time of 6 minutes, with 1 minute of “real world time” spent.  So, 1440 / 6 = 240, which means to cook a 5 minute dish all day you’d need to cook 240 cycles, which implies a sign up for 240 minutes of “real world time”.

This allowed me to do the simple algebra to weigh the profit per dish per day, in Café World coins, and then subtract the real world time, and figure out the effective “hourly wage” of each dish.

As it turns out, whether you use the high value or low value for coins, the sort order is the same.  Here are all Café World dishes, sorted by “hourly wage”:

Dish Hourly Wage (high) Hourly Wage (low)
Impossible Quiche $199.57 $91.66
Chicken Pot Pie $148.62 $68.26
King Crab Bisque $105.22 $48.33
Grand Tandoori Chicken $78.08 $35.86
Homestyle Pot Roast $77.10 $35.41
Herbed Halibut $74.16 $34.06
Delicious Chocolate Cake $67.31 $30.91
Overstuffed Peppers $58.49 $26.86
Savory Stuffed Turkey $56.53 $25.96
Crackling Peking Duck $52.61 $24.16
Spitfire Roasted Chicken $50.65 $23.26
Voodoo Chicken Salad $38.40 $17.64
Lavish Lamb Curry $34.98 $16.06
Vampire Staked Steak $33.21 $15.25
Tostada de Carne Asada $29.10 $13.36
Shu Mai Dumplings $26.55 $12.19
Triple Berry Cheesecake $24.20 $11.11
Kung Pao Stir Fry $19.30 $8.86
Spaghetti and Meatballs $17.83 $8.19
Tony’s Classic Pizza $17.34 $7.96
Pumpkin Pie $16.56 $7.60
Atomic Buffalo Wings $11.66 $5.35
Fiery Fish Tacos $9.60 $4.41
French Onion Soup $8.33 $3.82
Caramel Apples $3.82 $1.75
Buttermilk Pancakes $2.65 $1.21
Tikka Masala Kabobs $2.55 $1.17
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail $1.33 $0.61
Powdered French Toast $1.31 $0.60
Super Chunk Fruit Salad $0.98 $0.45
Chicken Gyro and Fries $0.55 $0.25
Bacon Cheeseburger $0.43 $0.20
Chips and Guacamole $0.22 $0.10

Now, these figures are a little misleading, because the dishes that result in high profit (like the Impossible Quiche) and that have long cycle times result in very low amounts of real world time. As a result, if you can make $2 in a minute, you effectively get $120/hour. Still, it makes a point. If you are trying to minimize time spent in Café World for maximum profit, this is a pretty good list to go by.

First thing you’ll notice, is that Chips & Guacamole may build your Café World coin stash, but they are not valuing your time very highly.  In fact, you have to get to Kung Pao Stir Fry to break above the living wage in California, at the low valuation for coins.

However, it also shows that the economics of these coin values are unsustainable. If Zynga allowed people to convert coins to US $ at these rates, then the value of opening up 50 Facebook accounts and cooking Impossible Quiche all day would beat most jobs.  ($200/hour = approx $400K per year!)

Just one of the interesting things you find when you crunch the numbers.

For those of you looking for updated tables with the new dishes, see below.

Café World dishes, sorted by profit per dish per day:

Dish Profit / Day Profit / Hour Min Per Cycle
Bacon Cheeseburger 6336.0 264.0 5.0
Overstuffed Peppers 5970.0 248.8 720.0
Kung Pao Stir Fry 5910.0 246.3 240.0
Delicious Chocolate Cake 5888.6 245.4 840.0
Fiery Fish Tacos 5880.0 245.0 120.0
Shu Mai Dumplings 5420.0 225.8 360.0
King Crab Bisque 5370.0 223.8 1440.0
Lavish Lamb Curry 5355.0 223.1 480.0
Chips and Guacamole 5280.0 220.0 3.0
Impossible Quiche 5092.5 212.2 2880.0
Powdered French Toast 4824.0 201.0 20.0
Super Chunk Fruit Salad 4800.0 200.0 15.0
Atomic Buffalo Wings 4760.0 198.3 180.0
Tostada de Carne Asada 4455.0 185.6 480.0
Buttermilk Pancakes 4320.0 180.0 45.0
Tony’s Classic Pizza 4248.0 177.0 300.0
Chicken Gyro and Fries 4032.0 168.0 10.0
Grand Tandoori Chicken 3985.0 166.0 1440.0
Voodoo Chicken Salad 3920.0 163.3 720.0
Chicken Pot Pie 3792.5 158.0 2880.0
Herbed Halibut 3785.0 157.7 1440.0
Crackling Peking Duck 3580.0 149.2 1080.0
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail 3264.0 136.0 30.0
Savory Stuffed Turkey 3147.3 131.1 1320.0
Tikka Masala Kabobs 3120.0 130.0 60.0
Spaghetti and Meatballs 2730.0 113.8 480.0
Spitfire Roasted Chicken 2585.0 107.7 1440.0
French Onion Soup 2550.0 106.3 240.0
Triple Berry Cheesecake 2470.0 102.9 720.0
Caramel Apples 2340.0 97.5 120.0
Homestyle Pot Roast 1967.5 82.0 2880.0
Vampire Staked Steak 1695.0 70.6 1440.0
Pumpkin Pie 1690.0 70.4 720.0

Café World dishes, sorted by Café World points per dish per day:

Dish CP / Day CP / Hour Min Per Cycle
Bacon Cheeseburger 2016.0 84.0 5.0
Chicken Gyro and Fries 2016.0 84.0 10.0
Chips and Guacamole 1920.0 80.0 3.0
Powdered French Toast 1512.0 63.0 20.0
Super Chunk Fruit Salad 1344.0 56.0 15.0
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail 1008.0 42.0 30.0
Buttermilk Pancakes 992.0 41.3 45.0
Shu Mai Dumplings 624.0 26.0 360.0
Lavish Lamb Curry 600.0 25.0 480.0
Fiery Fish Tacos 588.0 24.5 120.0
Atomic Buffalo Wings 544.0 22.7 180.0
Tikka Masala Kabobs 528.0 22.0 60.0
Delicious Chocolate Cake 468.0 19.5 840.0
Kung Pao Stir Fry 450.0 18.8 240.0
Savory Stuffed Turkey 439.6 18.3 1320.0
Caramel Apples 420.0 17.5 120.0
Overstuffed Peppers 412.0 17.2 720.0
Grand Tandoori Chicken 403.0 16.8 1440.0
Tostada de Carne Asada 369.0 15.4 480.0
French Onion Soup 366.0 15.3 240.0
Voodoo Chicken Salad 336.0 14.0 720.0
Tony’s Classic Pizza 326.4 13.6 300.0
Spaghetti and Meatballs 300.0 12.5 480.0
Triple Berry Cheesecake 280.0 11.7 720.0
King Crab Bisque 252.0 10.5 1440.0
Herbed Halibut 225.0 9.4 1440.0
Crackling Peking Duck 221.3 9.2 1080.0
Spitfire Roasted Chicken 210.0 8.8 1440.0
Impossible Quiche 175.5 7.3 2880.0
Chicken Pot Pie 153.5 6.4 2880.0
Pumpkin Pie 152.0 6.3 720.0
Homestyle Pot Roast 139.5 5.8 2880.0
Vampire Staked Steak 113.0 4.7 1440.0

Enjoy.

Update: I’ve now published updated information on Cafe World Economics.

10 thoughts on “Café World Economics: Real World Hourly Wages

  1. very interesting article. good analysis. I think most of these game economies seem to unsustainable. they’re just interested in making as much money as possible, and they can print unlimited money AND make unlimited ‘goods’ in the game, so they don’t think about it much. I’d love to play a game where the economy was regulated and based on fixed resources.

  2. Pingback: Café World Economics: Profit & Cafe Points (2010 Edition) « Psychohistory

  3. Pingback: Café World Economics: Profit & Cafe Points « Psychohistory

  4. Pingback: Café World Economics: Updated Tables « Psychohistory

  5. Pingback: Café World Economics: Aliens Invade & Google Docs « Psychohistory

  6. Pingback: Café World Economics: Alien Invasion & Google Docs « Psychohistory

  7. Pingback: Café World Economics: Spiceonomics « Psychohistory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s