Though hesitant, I also tried playing it and got hooked in the process. After playing it for a while, I can say that it is not the same as Restaurant City. Here are the differences I observed:
Employees never get tired on Cafe World. As long as there is food in the counter, they will continue serving at the same speed. You don’t need to feed your employees. On the other hand, Restaurant City employees’ health must be constantly monitored. Employees get tired as time goes by and must be fed from time to time.
Foods on Restaurant City never run out. You just select the menu and the cook will continue cooking it as long as they live. On the other hand, foods on Cafe World are counted. If you run out of foods, you will not earn anymore even if you left your restaurant open. Each recipe on Cafe World have cooking duration which you have to monitor because your food will get spoiled / overcooked if it exceeds the duration on the stove.
There’s a food counter on Cafe World where the cooked food are placed. On Restaurant City, the foods are served immediately to the table.
Unlike Restaurant City, there’s no trading of ingredients on Cafe World. New recipes are unlocked everytime you level up.
Their similarity? They are both time wasters.
Anyway, add me as your neighbor on Cafe World.