During your first week of training it is best to arrive at the store one hour prior to opening in the morning . Coming early allows you to get comfortable and get involved in setting up the store before it opens. The following is a list of things to keep in mind when opening. It is not an absolute list as each store has its own specific needs. This is a guideline only and should there be an omission here, common sense must prevail as you apply this to your own store.

I. Turn on all lights. Check for burned out light bulbs and replace immediately or at the earliest possible moment. Make sure neon and/or storefront signs are on. Lights also include all the lights in your fridges and display cases.

II. Be certain equipment is on and functioning (i.e. Is cold display case cold? Are the coffee brewers up to temperature? Is the pressure on the espresso machine as it should be?).

III. Check cleanliness. Display cases should be crumb free, odour free and fingerprint free. Glass is cleaned with glass cleaner only (such as Windex) and lucite and plastics are cleaned with mild soaps ONLY (to prevent scratching). Storefront windows and glass must be sparkling. Garbage areas should be empty, clean and odour free. All floors, chairs, counters, tables, corners, must be spotless to begin the day.

IV. The cash register(s) should be ready to go with adequate change and the proper ‘float'. Only the 'float' should be in the register (no money from the previous day). Make sure you have enough paper tape in the p.o.s. printer as well as a couple of additional rolls close at hand.

V. If you use a stereo, CD player or tapes, make sure the music is appropriate for your customers, appropriate for the time of day and that it is played at a modest volume. Safe choices might be light classical music, easy or slow jazz or new age music. Music can be a very important part of the store atmosphere. It is a simple way to make work more pleasant for your employees and a great way to build a devoted clientele. The customers will begin to rely on the fact that they can hear good music at your store. However, just one employee tuning in an unpleasant radio station can spoil the reputation of the store. This is an important area and it does require proper daily management.

VI. Stock up your supplies. Are the front fridges full and the drinks cold? Is the cappuccino machine turned on? Is the water boiling for tea? Is there enough coffee made? Do you have clean dishes, mugs? Do you have enough coffee cups, napkins, stir sticks, lids, creamers etc.?

VII. Check the quality of your baked products before placing them in the display case. Are they burnt in any way? Are they over proofed? Are they undersized. Are they garnished properly? Do not put any substandard product out for sale. Also, place your product in the display case with care. The customer picks up on cues from your staff. If the product is displayed with care and handled as if it were extremely valuable, the customer will know they have purchased something special. Baked goods should be put out on clean trays with fresh paper liners and no crumbs. They should be lined up uniformly and not overlapped. Also, having a system of placing particular products in the same spot each day will help regular customers find what they want and assist your staff in more efficient service.

VIII. Make a quick review of your other retail merchandise spaces. This may include shelves with boxed tea, ceramic mugs, thermal mugs, gift baskets and so on. Is the arrangement of your merchandise attractive? Does the display need dusting? To assist you, from time to time your product presentation will be reviewed by a Head Office representative. Not everyone has a natural talent for merchandising but certainly everyone can learn.

IX. It is recommended to have reading material available for your in-store customers. We recommend getting a subscription to two local papers (The Globe & Mail and The Toronto Star) and perhaps two magazines. These should be placed in plain sight and be accessible to your customers. Particularly those customers who are eating by themselves will feel more at ease if they know that there is always something for them to read at your store. If you ever have children in your store it would be wise to also have a couple children's books and possibly colouring books & crayons. Parents appreciate these little touches (as do the kids!). Any extras you wish to provide, such as a flower arrangement on the counter or single bud vases on the tables can only enhance your operation and improve your business by injecting your particular personality into your store.

X. Put out your morning specials boards. These should be out as soon as you open. These alert customers to the fact that you are indeed open, what the specials today are and maybe reminds them that they skipped breakfast at home or that they do feel like a coffee after all. Putting your ‘specials' boards out after you've been open for an hour is too late. You will have already missed a lot of potential business.