dave the diver best staff guide

Dave The Diver Best Staff Guide: The Employees You Need to Succeed

Dave the Diver is a game that wears many hats; alongside being an unforgettable adventure game, it also does a pretty damn good job of simulating the intricacies of a sushi restaurant.

Few titles attempt two big main mechanics at once and execute them so successfully, and while diving for fish and skilling up is an addictive and rewarding part of the game, it was climbing the ranks in the sushi world that hooked me. 

As I’m sure you have too, I’ve become absorbed by such a colorful cast of transfixing characters—individuals that have a depth and unique charm you might not have at first imagined their pixilated forms capable of expressing.

Exploring these individuals and selecting them for their highly sought-after skill sets is a huge part of running Dave’s bespoke seafood eatery, and building a workforce that complements one another is a crucial element to your success.

While you’ll come to find Dave’s talents seemingly innumerable, he can’t do everything on his own, and there are so many staff to choose from that the choice can be a little bewildering.

To help you put together a winning team, here are the top ten restaurant staff members you should be considering to ensure your business will flourish. At the bottom of the article, I’ve also included some extra tips to keep you on your A Game. 

Selection Criteria

Before we begin, here are my criteria for picking my top ten staff members for this list:

  • Must be especially proficient in at least one skill: Staff can be multitaskers, but each character on this list will at least excel in one skill in particular.
  • Will include staff across all categories: A great cook is nothing without great service staff; you’ll need to pay attention to all roles to advance.
  • Will be ranked ten to one: Number ten represents the worst of the best and number one is, in my opinion, the best staff member in the game.

Some Tips to Consider Before You Start

dave the diver staff

When I first started with Dave the Diver, I found it difficult to understand what constituted a good member of staff.

This is because proficiency in a given skill doesn’t necessarily constitute a good staff member within the context of the team you currently have, and with a total of twenty-two separate members available throughout the game, there can be a lot of trial and error involved.

Here’s a brief primer on a few details I’ve learned need special focus:

Pointers on Stats and Skills

  • Stats are what your eye will first be drawn to when looking at a potential employee’s information card, as these are what dictate their abilities in four key areas: cookingservingprocure, and appeal.
  • The Cooking and Serving stats both denote the speed at which the staff completes the given task, while Precure and Appeal raise Cooksta ratings (the restaurant score in the hub app for leveling up all aspects of your restaurant) and the generosity of tips given.
  • You’ll also see that, in addition to the four main stats, each staff member also has two special skills. Where stats show you a staff member’s proficiency overall, think of special skills as benefits stacked on top of those. The first is unlocked when the staff member reaches level three, and the second at level seven.

Don’t Forget to Dispatch Your Staff

  • While you’re out on one of your many diving excursions, you’ll come across many red cooking pots that contain individual food ingredients, but procuring them this way is a pretty laborious way to go about it.
  • Thankfully, you can send your staff out to collect ingredients for you in larger quantities than you could ever hope to obtain yourself. I missed this until I was embarrassingly far into my playthrough, so don’t make the same mistake I did!
  • Dispatching staff is very simple. All you need to do is open the staff menu, select the staff member you want to utilize, and click Dispatch. This will open a small menu providing a list of items you can send your staff member to collect: select and confirm the items to send them off.
  • The important thing to remember is that different staff can bring back a higher or lower quantity of the item you’ve sent them off to collect – just make sure you double-check manually which staff member can carry the most loot.

Remember: Cooking, Drink Making, Serving, and Wasabi

  • Your goal from the outset should be to have at least one staff member maximized in one of these skills, and whether or not they have the potential to be should be the biggest influencing factor in hiring them.
  • As your restaurant expands and you have more space to hire a larger team, remember that quantity will never trump quality: it’s far better to invest heavily in four staff members than it is to spread your attention across ten. Always strive for a balance between the main abilities.

Top Ten Dave the Diver Staff

dave the diver staff

10. Jandi

  • Cooking: 66
  • Serving: 507
  • Procure: 375
  • Appeal: 441
  • Special Skills: Tip Master and Wasabi Refill

In many ways, Jandi is a rough diamond: his stats are pretty unremarkable when he first joins, but train him up well, and he’ll be hanging with the best of them.

Once his Wasabi Refill skill unlocks, he becomes a truly venerable staff member. Keeping the wasabi station well maintained is a crucial component of your cooking chain, and Jandi’s skill in this department gives you one less thing to think about.

He also holds the relatively rare Tip Master skill, making him more likely to receive tips and contribute to the restaurant passively.

9. Billy

  • Cooking: 308
  • Serving: 616
  • Procure: 310
  • Appeal: 442
  • Special Skills: Tip Master and Cleaning Master

Any well-oiled restaurant needs a team of good deckhands, and few compare to Billy in that regard. After his training, Billy earns his status as a Cleaning Master, meaning he can clear the restaurant faster and more efficiently than most.

He’s also got a great service rating, making him the number one choice to have out front interacting with the customers.

8. James

  • Cooking: 908
  • Serving: 330
  • Procure: 505
  • Appeal: 198
  • Special Skills: Cooking and Ingredient Prepping Master

Given his perpetual wearing of a Friday the 13th-looking hockey mask, it’s a good thing James is kept in the kitchen and outside the view of the paying customers. James has a great cooking score, which can be significantly buffed up by his Cooking+ and Ingredient Preparation special skills. 

This trifecta of gleaming stats makes him a wonderful asset in your kitchen. Even when you find a technically better cook, He’s still worth keeping around for his prowess in several areas of the kitchen. If you do decide to replace him, just make sure you let him down gently…

7. Charlie

dave the diver staff
  • Cooking: 1573
  • Serving: 318
  • Procure: 778
  • Appeal: 135
  • Special Skills: Cooking and Ingredient Prepping Expert

As one of the top cooks in the game, Charlie is always going to be a solid choice. The benefit with him is that you can acquire him relatively early on compared to Tohoku and Maki, and once you do, you will find you’ll want to keep him around for the majority of the game.

You’ll have to put in a decent amount of effort to get him to perform at his best, of course, but it’s more than worth it – work to unlock his special skills and he’ll become a behemoth in the kitchen.

6. Masayoshi

  • Cooking: 786
  • Serving: 253
  • Procure: 814
  • Appeal: 378
  • Special Skills: Ingredient Prep Expert and Dispatch Master

While you might think most of the crucial elements of the kitchen are cooking and serving, dispatching is a highly underrated skill – one that Masayoshi has in spades. He’s a decent cook, for sure, but you’re much better off putting him on dispatch services. In this role, he’ll fly back and forth, delivering those all-important ingredients so you never have to worry about it. 

Ingredient acquisition can be a bottle-neck further on in the game, making Masayoshi a real savior at times.

5. Tohoku

  • Cooking: 1294
  • Serving: 440
  • Procure: 660
  • Appeal: 264
  • Special Skills: Cooking+ and Cooking++

As the second-best cook in the game, Tohoku is a fantastic addition to your restaurant. The great thing about him is that even with his amazing cooking skills, both of his special skills are tailored toward preparing delicious meals.

He’s not especially good at anything else, but that doesn’t matter; put a knife in his hand, and he’ll make short work of any dish you can throw at him.

4. Raptor

dave the diver raptor
  • Cooking: 304
  • Serving: 910
  • Procure: 770
  • Appeal: 194
  • Special Skills: Wasabi Refill and Cocktail Serving

Considering Raptor’s design and profession, I’m almost certain the developers have gotten a cue from the anime Dorohedoro and its half-reptilian, gyoza-obsessed protagonist, Caimen. In Dave the Diver, though, the anthropomorphic lizards prove to be excellent restaurant staff rather than glutenous customers, it seems.

Raptor is fantastic at keeping everything ship shape. He’s easily the best wasabi refiller in the game, and his superb skills as a drinks server add flair to his otherwise more robotic utility. Once you’ve gotten your hands on him, you won’t be letting him go for anyone.

3. El Nino

  • Cooking: 132
  • Serving: 1033
  • Procure: 769
  • Appeal: 901
  • Special Skills: Drinking, Serving, and Cleaning Master

If you’re looking for speedy and efficient service staff, then look no further than El Nino. Presently, he’s by far the best server in the game; once you get the chance, you should prioritize him for your team immediately.

His skills extend beyond his impressive level 1033 serving skill, too: El Nino also sports impressive efficiency at cleaning and serving drinks once you’ve unlocked his special skills, which only increases his value.

2. Maki

  • Cooking: 1100
  • Serving: 23
  • Procure: 10
  • Appeal: 10
  • Special Skills: Cooking ++ and Cooking +

Maki’s regularly touted as one of the best members of staff in the game, and it’s clear to see why. This hard-working kitchen member is an incredible cook once you’ve leveled her up: hit level 20, and she’ll boast an impressive 1100 in the cooking stat with special skills also catering to the culinary arts. 

Always hire Maki if you have the means – you’ll never regret it!

1. Yone

dave the diver yone
  • Cooking: 1752
  • Serving: 330
  • Procure: 794
  • Appeal: 132
  • Special Skills: Cooking and Ingredient Prepping Expert

Yone is the best chef in the game right now. With a level 20 cooking stat of 1752, few accomplish the task of preparing first-class meals as she does. She’s also a master prepper, making her a very versatile member of the kitchen.

While some of the admittedly excellent staff members on this list are still optional, there’s no doubt that you should always strive to have her on the roster.


Question: I’ve Noticed that there are around Fifty Cheats for Dave the Diver. Do any of them Work with the Sushi Restaurant Elements?

Answer: Unfortunately not. There are indeed many fun cheats to use with Dave the Diver, including my personal favorite, Simulate Time Edit, which offers unlimited oxygen. All cheats relate to the main portions of the game, though, and there’s nothing in there to expedite your restaurant’s success at the moment.

Question: Will any more Staff Members be Added to Dave the Diver?

Answer: No such additions have been discussed as of yet, but keep a check on the patch notes. A piece of DLC has been released called the Digital Extra Pack, but it was pretty lackluster regarding in-game content as its main selling points were the soundtrack and the art book.

Fans have been crying out for some new content, so hopefully, if there’s a second phase of DLC, we can expect some new staff members!

Question: Is it better to Hold off on the better Characters or Invest in the more Accessible Ones?

Answer: Ultimately, you’re not going to have access to the best characters in the game straight away, and if you don’t want to leave the entire job up to Dave himself, you’re going to have to invest in some cheaper staff.

Thankfully, though, many of the staff members on this list are available quite early on, so you won’t have to wait a long time before you can reap the benefits. In any case, this progression and mixing and matching staff of different skill levels is a huge part of the fun.

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoyed this rundown of the top ten staff members you should hire for Dave the Diver.

For more on the game, why not check out our Dave the Diver Review or some of the latest news surrounding the game? I’d also encourage you to check out the official Dave the Diver board on Reddit to engage with the community and ask any deeper queries you might have.

Thanks for reading Indie Game Culture!

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