Many people dream of opening a restaurant — especially if they’re chefs or foodies. Yet, chasing a dream can be an overwhelming process. There is usually stiff competition, numerous variables, and a million details to think about if you’re going to be successful.

In an industry where many businesses struggle, how can you make sure to survive and thrive as a restauranteur?

One place to start is by looking at the specific stages involved in opening a new eatery. When you want to create a place that has real staying power, consider the following.

Before You Open

Long before anyone dines at your establishment, you’ve got some vital preliminary work to do. Create a solid business plan that forces you to think through the details. The planning stage is a good time to make connections with the locals. Start forming partnerships with neighboring businesses and set up social media accounts to build buzz. Put together a punchy, succinct press kit and target media in the area.

The Grand Opening

On opening day, there will be a lot of moving parts. Not everything will go perfectly, but make sure you have plenty of well-trained, highly qualified staff ready to help your restaurant start off on the right foot. Pay attention to the minutiae and work together with your team. Check-in with your guests. Be active on social media, prepare yourself for reviews, and try to have fun.

After You Open

Once you’ve officially launched, the work has only just begun. Now, you should continually monitor and adjust operations based on feedback, seeking ways to improve. Pay close attention to review sites — they can make or break a business. Look for ways to spread good PR on social media and elsewhere. Start an email marketing campaign, launch a customer loyalty program, and/or consider offering delivery services. There are endless ways to grow.

To learn more about the important stages of opening a restaurant and what you need to do, take a look at the attached guide, which organizes tips into a helpful, visually friendly format.

Author bio: Jackie Prange ­is Marketing Manager ­for RestoHub. Prange has worked in the restaurant technology space for more than five years, introducing new and existing restaurant owners to tools and resources that will set up their businesses for success.

Infographic provided by Restohub