Diner Dash: Hometown Hero is a casual game that employs elements of time management and strategy genres. It is the fourth game to come out of the Diner Dash series from game publisher and developer PlayFirst. Like previous titles from the series, the game challenges the player to accomplish tasks and orders in a simulated restaurant environment.
The game plot involves the main playable character in previous titles, Flo, as she visits her hometown where her grandmother lives. As the place has resembled a ghost town, the protagonist decides to bring back the town to life by taking over several defunct restaurants in an attempt to rake in customers.
The player is given the task of managing five restaurants that serve different types of customers, most of whom have appeared in previous versions of the game. Two new customers are introduced in Hometown Hero: the Celebrity and the Hungry Man. Usually, the game sets the same challenge to various levels: earn a certain number of points to advance to the next level, which can be achieved by serving customers as fast as possible. The game lets players use a variety of techniques aside from serving food to make customers happy. These include the option to place flowers on tables of customers who are growing impatient and moving tables together to accommodate large groups of customers.