We are the waiters at a new dessert cafe. Every guest has a different palate to satisfy and some of them are fussy.
- 100 Cards
Shuffle the Dessert deck and deal three Dessert cards to each player. Then shuffle the Guest deck and deal out three Guest cards, placing them face-up in the center of the table.
Place the two decks side by side on the table where all can reach, and prepare a space next to each deck for a discard pile.
The player who has most recently served dessert to the group (in real life) gets to go first.
On your turn, draw a card from the Dessert deck and add it to your hand. Then turn up the next card on the Guest deck and place it in the middle of the table.
After the Draw Phase, choose ONE of these THREE options:
Satisfy Up To Two Guests: Discard one or more Dessert cards, as many as required to fully Satisfy all of a specific Guest's cravings (without giving them anything they refuse to eat), then move that Guest to the space in front of you.
Go Back To The Kitchen: Draw an extra card.
Dump Your Tray: Discard as many cards from your hand as you choose and draw back that many cards.
Example: You are holding Carrot Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, and Butter Pecan Ice Cream. The Little Girl wants Ice Cream and Cake but no Veggies.
You can only claim her by playing the Butter Pecan Ice Cream and the Strawberry Shortcake.
She won't accept the Carrot Cake because of the Veggies, but she doesn't mind the Nuts in the Butter Pecan Ice Cream.
Favorites and Tips
Anytime you serve a Guest their Favorite, you immediately gain a Tip (i.e. you draw an extra Dessert card).
Note the symbols on Favorites that show a Dessert is the Favorite of some Guest.
Notice that each Guest has a suit. (There are six suits, with four Guests of each).
If, at the end of your turn, there are any Guests with duplicate suits in the center, remove Guests until there is, at most, one Guest from each suit showing. You choose which Guests stay at the cafe and which depart.
The most recently departed Guest, i.e. the card on top of the pile of discarded Guest cards, is said to be "standing in the doorway".
This Guest is also eligible to be served. This means when discarding Guests, it might be very important which Guest you leave on the top of the discard pile.
When you are done discarding Guests, your turn ends. There is no hand limit.
Whenever either deck runs out of cards, the discard pile for that deck is shuffled and used anew. When reshuffling the Guests, start a new discarded-Guest pile using the topmost card from the old pile.
End of the Game
You win if at any time your set of Guests includes either:
- three Guests of the same suit, OR
- five Guests of all different suits
After your group masters the basic game, you may wish to add one or more of these extra rules. Make sure all players understand and agree to these options before starting the game.
Add the Poaching & Blocking rules first, then try Opening a Buffet and/or serving a Surprise Party.
Poaching and Blocking
As one of the two possible Guest serving opportunities on your turn (but not both), you may attempt to steal a Guest that another player has already claimed, by serving them just as you would Guests in the center. This is called Poaching.
That player has the chance to Block your Poaching attempt by discarding cards from their hand to re-Satisfy the Guest. If you are Blocked, you put the Desserts you were attempting to serve back in your hand.
Your Poaching opportunity is lost, but you may still serve two Guests from the middle as usual. If your Poaching attempt was Blocked, you may not attempt to Poach a second time in one turn.
If your Poaching attempt was successful, you may serve a second Guest as usual from the center.
If you Poach with a Guest's Favorite Dessert, you cannot be Blocked unless the defending player Blocks with the Guest's alternate Favorite (only possible for Guests who have two Favorites).
A player whose Guest is stolen draws an extra card (a Tip from the departing Guest). Anyone who successfully serves a Guest their Favorite Dessert also gets a Tip (for example if you successfully Poach or Block a Favorite).
If you attempt to Poach with a Favorite, and are Blocked, you do not gain a Tip (since you didn't actually serve them).
Opening a Buffet
This is a 4th turn option. If you have four single- flavor Desserts (known as Aces) you can discard them to force all other players to move one of their satisfied Guests (of their choice) back into the middle.
Meanwhile, you draw three more cards and may then serve one unclaimed Guest.
When another player Satisfies a Guest with Desserts other than their Favorite, either from the center of the table, or when Poaching, you can intercept the Guest out of turn by saying "Surprise!" and offering them their Favorite.
As with Blocking, the thwarted player simply returns the unused Desserts to their hand, and continues as if that serving attempt had not happened. However, unlike after being Blocked, they may re-attempt to Poach a different Guest.
They may not immediately Poach the Surprised Guest from you, but may do so on their next turn. If a Poaching attempt is Blocked with a Favorite, and another player tries to Surprise with the other Favorite, the Guest in question will always choose the Favorite offered first, be it the Block or the Surprise.
No Tipping at Surprise Parties: This is the only time you don't draw an extra card for using a Favorite.