Opening up your own restaurant can be rewarding and a great career move. There are so many things to consider such as location, themes, cuisine, and the countless hours of hard work you’ll need to put in. You may have brainstormed the concept on your own, but you need a team of dedicated people around you to help get it going.

Creating a business from the ground up is no easy feat, but it isn’t impossible. There are variables that need to fall into place before you cut that opening ribbon. Here are three important things you should consider when opening your own restaurant.

Service with a smile

Naturally, delicious food is the biggest reason why people will come back to your place. Yet no matter how much you love the freshly made meals, if the servers are inconsiderate and unpleasant, it will ruin the customers’ experience. Your staff can be a determining factor in how customers rate you.

As an owner, you should have a big part to play in who runs your restaurant, whether you’re there or not, and all the employees are wearing your logo. No one is perfect and mistakes can occur, but if you get more negative Yelp reviews than good ones, you could be closing the doors before the year is out.

Your staff should have excellent people skills when talking and serving customers, especially when confronted with any concerns. You want your staff to take care of your guests so they keep coming back even if the experience was less than perfect. Your customers are the people who keep you in business and help spread the word about how fantastic your place is to visit. From your top manager to the bus boys, everyone can learn how to bounce back from mistakes.

It’s all in the planning

About 17 percent of restaurants fail within the first year for a variety of reasons: you may have a terrible location which is hard to find or mounting debts. Risk-taking is part of the business and although it can be a scary thought, it shouldn’t keep you from having a well laid-out plan (and perhaps a few back-up ones too). You’ll need some clear plans when creating your business.

You’re going to need money and time to get it. Your credit needs to be built up so banks are more likely to give you loans. Make a list of everything you need to give you a visual of what you require before you begin. Things such as restaurant furniture, kitchen equipment, and employee uniforms are a few to jot down. How fancy is your restaurant? Do you want the staff wearing formal wear or tee shirts and jeans?

Atmosphere matters a great deal. You want people to keep coming because they enjoy the entire experience. Aesthetics and a good theme help set the scene for customers. No one really wants to see waiters in disheveled, stained clothing or leaky bathroom toilets when they need to freshen up.

Updating your menu

You may love your chef’s niçoise salad, but that doesn’t mean is should stay on the menu forever. Besides changing up some of the mediocre sellers, updating the menu means more than adding new items. Food costs change all the time depending on the locations you source your products from.

Draught situations, demand, and changing seasons could mean a chunk of the menu has to be redone. You may also notice your clientele slowly evolving too as the community changes. This means you have to alter dishes for new and recurring guests.

Like any industry, popular foods can also fall out of the spotlight. In the last few years, the all-in-one meals known as poké bowls have grown as other dishes faded. Local favorites can be adapted to your specific cuisine too.