Running a successful restaurant is every chef’s dream, but dealing with the intricacies of running a business in the restaurant industry can sometimes seem more like a nightmare. If you’re a restaurant owner, you know how crucial it is to manage your cash flow well in order to make it through the month and cover all your expenses. Unfortunately, in the culinary world, that cash flow is mostly based on how often customers eat out, which can fluctuate greatly. If you’re considering a small business loan to help support your restaurant and aren’t sure where to start, though, there are a few things you should know. Take a look.

1. Consider Multiple Loan Types

Even if you’ve had shaky credit in the past, there are still several types of loans, like merchant cash advances, for instance, that you may be able to get. Don’t just limit yourself to traditional bank loans. There are lenders who provide specifically for restaurateurs, for example. If you find a low-cost program, you may also be able to start rebuilding your credit while still reaping the benefits of a loan.

2. Choose Business Partners Carefully

If you’re like many restaurant owners, you likely have a partner or two in the business. When you’re searching for a lender, make sure your investment partners have good character and financial practices, to ensure any potential blemishes on their record don’t harm your chances at a good loan.

3. Make On-Time Payments

Once you’ve secured a loan, make sure you never miss a payment. Besides the hit to your credit score, constantly missing payments can harm your lender-borrower relationship. If you think you may have a problem making an upcoming payment, talk to the lender directly, as they might be flexible and willing to help.

4. Clean Up Your Social Media

If your restaurant has any social media channels, such as an Instagram or a Facebook page, be sure you’re using them for marketing, networking and connecting with customers. Any unprofessional rants or rude comments posted on your business pages could come to the attention of potential lenders, throwing your character into question and possibly endangering your chances of securing a loan. Make sure you maintain a professional tone on your social media at all times.

Having steady cash flow is crucial to keeping restaurant operations running smoothly. Thankfully, getting a small business loan in the restaurant industry isn’t as complicated as it might sound. Keep these four tips in mind, and you’re sure to find the right loan to help your restaurant become a success!