I've just discovered that there's a third game in the Diner Dash series, called Diner Dash: Flo on the Go. It has a new storyline, new locations, some new customer types and a few new challenges, including serving by flashlight and having to match all of the colours of the characters to the coloured seats. I definitely enjoyed those additions.
As far as bonuses go, even though this one has some "renovation" upgrades, I prefer those upgrades in the second Diner Dash… where you could have a choice of three possible upgrades for each restaurant item, rather than just choosing which item to upgrade but having no choice in what that upgrade would be.
The other bonuses in this one are new clothes for Flo, which isn't really my idea of fun but I can see that it might appeal to people who enjoy the online dress-up games (which I don't). There are also secret levels that you can unlock if you score expert on all the levels on a particular leg of the journey. I liked that idea and some of the secret levels presented interesting new challenges, but not all of them. A bit of a wasted opportunity, I think.
Overall, I think was fun… as were both Diner Dash 1 & Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue. But Restaurant Rescue remains my favourite.
If you're planning on playing the free downloadable version, I recommend heading over to Big Fish instead. Their free versions offer one hour of game play, as opposed to the 1/2 hour offered by the game creators.
General Diner Dash Hints:
1. Chaining Bonuses — Think time and motion study efficiency stuff... do the same thing 2, 3 or 4 or more times in a row (and save a restaurant full of dirty tables to the very end).
2. Color Matching — As in, seat a red person in a red chair and watch the points roll in.
3. Podium — Once you've got a podium, only seat four tables at a time and wait at the podium after you've served their food (even if they're asking for crab sticks or samosas). And make sure you wait until the heart finishes growing and everybody in line does the wave of happiness before you do anything else.
4. Customers — Sometimes you just have to seat obnoxious customers next to customers that they will annoy. Just keep the annoyed customers happy with lots of drinks.
5. Expert Levels — Occasionally you will come across some levels which are really hard to attain "expert" on. Especially the second Diner Dash which has a few glitches and expects you to reach a higher point value than they actually asked for (at least in the version that I have). But aside from the glitches, the best way to achieve those tricky expert levels is to get as many long chaining bonuses as possible and keep everyone as happy as possible. Especially if there is dessert involved... don't let the customers get more than one heart down if you're hoping that they'll be asking for dessert.
A few other restaurant games:
The Waitress (Highly addictive! Unfortunately, the game designer's website is no longer active, so you'll have to play it through another game site and deal with the annoying ads. I haven't played this version, but hopefully it's free of the glitches that plagued the I am Bored.com version.)
Delicious (This link is for the free trial version for 60 minutes... but I managed to play it for several hours. Just don't quit the game and it seems to keep working.)
SpongeBob SquarePants: Diner Dash
SpongeBob SqaurePants: Flip or Flop