I really didn’t think I was going to write another blog post about the economics of Café World. However, the rollout of the spice rack was just begging for some financial analysis, and so here we are.
Since I’ve written three previous articles on the topic:
- Café World Economics: Profit & Café Points
- Café World Economics: Updated Tables
- Café World Economics: Real World Hourly Wages
- Café World Economics: Profit & Café Points (2010 Edition)
- Café World Economics: Alien Invasion & Google Docs
The Economics of the Spice Rack
The “Spice Rack” is a concept I have advocated previously for Farmville. A mechanism to purchase items that would accelerate / change the equations for existing actions. (My original request was for increased levels in Farmville to actually accelerate the length of time it would take you to harvest any crop, like a 10% cut in time, etc.)
Café World has rolled out 7 spices:
- Mystery Spice – Random improvement (reduce time by 1,2,5 min, +5 or +20 CP, +5% or +10% servings)
- Super Salt – Increase the number of servings by 5%
- Power Pepper – Increase the number of servings by 10%
- One hour Thyme – Speed a dish by one hour
- Six Hour Thyme – Speed a dish by six hours
- Instant Thyme – Make a dish ready immediately
- Salvage Sage – Rescue a spoiled dish
For this analysis, I’ve started with the simplest spices: Super Salt and Power Pepper.
For each dish, I calculated the increase (or decrease) in profit for buying the spice and applying it to one dish for the cycle. I assume that Café World rounds down when you apply the 5% or 10% increase in number of servings. I express the number as an “Return on Investment” percentage (ROI) on the cost of the spice.
So, for example, if spending 600 coins on Power Pepper yield an extra 150 coins of profit after subtracting the cost of the pepper, I describe that as a “25% ROI” for Pepper for that dish.
Results of Spiceonomics
There are a few very interesting takeaways from the table below:
- Spices are rarely worth it. Salt & Pepper have negative ROIs for almost all dishes. In fact, in the history of the game, only 9 dishes are profitable when using the spices. Interestingly, Grand Tandoori Chicken is net neutral (ROI = 0%).
- Spices help more advanced players. Almost all the dishes with positive ROI are at the higher levels.
- Spices help infrequent players more. The way the numbers work out, all the dishes where spices help are longer cooking time dishes. This is good for players that might only play the game once a day (say, in the evening).
The Spiceonomics Table
Here is the summary table. As usual, you can find all the supporting data in my Café World Economics spreadsheet on Google Docs.
|Dish||Salt ROI||Pepper ROI|
|Chinese Candy Box||200.00%||200.00%|
|Chicken Pot Pie||84.00%||85.00%|
|Giant Dino Egg||80.00%||80.00%|
|Martian Brain Bake||30.00%||30.00%|
|Ginger Plum Pork Chops||30.00%||30.00%|
|King Crab Bisque||9.67%||10.83%|
|Grand Tandoori Chicken||0.00%||0.00%|
|Homestyle Pot Roast||-5.00%||-4.17%|
|Delicious Chocolate Cake||-21.67%||-20.83%|
|Savory Stuffed Turkey||-40.00%||-40.00%|
|Crackling Peking Duck||-40.00%||-40.00%|
|Lavish Lamb Curry||-45.33%||-45.33%|
|Spitfire Roasted Chicken||-46.67%||-46.67%|
|Lemon Butter Lobster||-55.00%||-55.00%|
|Voodoo Chicken Salad||-56.67%||-55.83%|
|Bacon and Eggs||-58.00%||-58.00%|
|Smoked Salmon Latkes||-60.00%||-60.00%|
|Tostada de Carne Asada||-60.00%||-60.00%|
|Sweet Seasonal Ham||-60.00%||-60.00%|
|Shu Mai Dumplings||-61.33%||-61.33%|
|Fish n Chips||-67.00%||-67.00%|
|White Raddish Cake||-68.00%||-67.00%|
|Vampire Staked Steak||-68.00%||-67.00%|
|Triple Berry Cheesecake||-73.00%||-72.50%|
|Kung Pao Stir Fry||-73.33%||-73.33%|
|Tony’s Classic Pizza||-78.33%||-78.33%|
|Spaghetti and Meatballs||-78.33%||-77.50%|
|Fiery Fish Tacos||-80.00%||-80.00%|
|Atomic Buffalo Wings||-84.00%||-84.00%|
|Crème Fraiche Caviar||-89.33%||-89.33%|
|French Onion Soup||-90.00%||-90.00%|
|Macaroni and Cheese||-92.00%||-91.50%|
|Tikka Masala Kabobs||-94.67%||-94.00%|
|Hotdog and Garlic Fries||-98.00%||-98.00%|
|Powdered French Toast||-98.00%||-97.00%|
|Jammin’ Jelly Donuts||-98.00%||-98.00%|
|Super Chunk Fruit Salad||-98.33%||-98.33%|
|Chicken Gyro and Fries||-98.67%||-98.67%|
|Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail||-98.67%||-98.00%|
|Chips and Guacamole||-100.00%||-99.50%|
Updated Tables for Profits, Café Points, and Real Hourly Wages
Have trouble figuring out whether Mystical Pizza is a good dish? Deciding on whether to make the Dino Egg or Rackasaurus Ribs? My Google Doc is now updated with tables for all 62 Cafe World dishes for data, and color coded based the cooking time of each dish, to help make picking the right dish easy. Rather than cut & paste everything here, I’m going to just link to the doc.