Dishes can be cooked on a stove or looted during a raid. There are many different kinds of dishes and each dish varies between cook time, number of servings, and amount of XP.
You can cook a previously unlocked dish if you have enough money and an open stove. The dish requires a chef to be cooked but it can be paused and resumed at any time.
Depending on the dish's cook time, if you leave a stove unattended for a long enough time, it will burn. Once a dish as finished cooking, you can leave it unattended for a period of time depending on the recipe cook time. If a dish takes 5 minutes or less to cook, once finished cooking, the burn time is 5x the cooking time; 4x the cooking time if a dish takes 6 to 30 minutes to cook; and for dishes that take 31 minutes to 3 days to cook, the burn time is 3x the cooking time.
This is how customers get to eat the food and you get money. You can select your zombies or your chef to serve by clicking/tapping on a serving counter, sink, or table. Servers will automatically take dishes to waiting customers and clear dirty dishes. Make sure they've got a clear path to every table, serving counter, and sink. If not, the zombie or chef will remain motionless.
Cooking is the best way to gain XP and level up your café. As your café levels up, you can unlock new dishes that are found in The General Cookbook, with a total of 97 dishes. The highest level dish you can unlock is Yucky-soba (unlocks at level 100).
See Recipe for more info.
There are currently 21 different cookbooks in the menu and a total of 320 different recipes. Many require special stoves to cook on. These stoves can be purchased in the store in the Utility section for Cash and can be upgraded for Toxin.
Your Favorite RecipesEdit
Besides the different cookbooks in the menu, there is a light blue section with a yellow star called You can favorite a recipe by clicking/tapping on "Add ☆". You can have a total of 15 favorite recipes. You are allowed to unfavorite a dish by clicking/tapping on "remove ☆". Once you have favorited a dish, you are required to have at least 1 favorite in this section.
Unlocking new recipesEdit
The second way to acquire a dish is by raiding an enemy cafe on the map. When raiding, there will be a random food dish on the counter. When the zombies win, it will be stolen then the food will appear in one of your fridges. From there, you can either serve the dish for the customers or unlock it as a cookable item. If a dish or recipe has already been unlocked, the only option left is to serve it. Depending on your level, you may not be able to serve or cook a dish that has been obtained in a raid if its level is higher than your current level.
Also see Recipe.
There are 9 different dish variations: Spicy, Very Spicy, Fancy, Very Fancy, Bulk, Fresh, Frozen, Quick, and Very Quick. Although not always obvious, these rare and special variations are more valuable than their normal counterparts. Each can be unlocked through enemy raid cafés or through a friend's café (if your friend has already unlocked the dish).
There are a total of 34 dishes in gold labeled as RARE. There is a very low chance for a rare dish to appear in an enemy raid café. Some rare dishes are rarer than others. Most rares can be found in Enemy Café, but there are rares that appear in other cafés such as Deadbead's X'Spot (Chili Chili Bang Bang), Gourmet Goblin (Red Dragon), Drac's Snack Shack (Blueberry Fangcake), and Christmas Café (Pina Collider). There is a rare dish called Beeline Honey Glazed "Ham" which must be purchased with Toxin to unlock.