Great American Cookies Application and Careers Guide

If you’ve ever been inside a shopping mall and noticed the smell of delicious cookies, chances are it was coming from a dedicated cookie shop. A Great American Cookies application can give you a chance to join the king of all cookie shops and an opportunity to grow and further your working career.

With more than 290 locations in the United States, these little shops are located mostly in shopping malls. The job attracts many younger workers who are looking for their first part-time and full-time jobs.

Working at Great American Cookies

Working at this cookie store is a lot of fun, according to many workers. The store gets average reviews from past and present employees and the low pay is what drives down the ratings for this company.

Still, since this job is generally cut out for either young workers or retirees, the pay is competitive with what is offered in the industry.

Here are the pros and cons employees talk about when it comes to working at great American cookies:

Pros

  • You usually get free snacks and drinks while working your shift
  • The atmosphere is highly enjoyable
  • In some stores, customers leave good tips
  • Coworkers are generally very friendly
  • When you are on break, you can usually walk around the mall for a few minutes
  • Management helps you by being flexible on your scheduled work hours
  • The job is very easy to learn

Cons

  • The pay is very low
  • Health insurance is hard to get
  • In some locations, the company only offers part-time positions
  • Not much room for advancement within the company
  • Management doesn’t give you enough hours of work every week
  • The employee turnover rate is very high
  • You have to be standing on your feet throughout your shift
  • There some complaints about poor management

Great American Cookies Careers

The jobs available at Great American Cookies are as follows:

  • Sales Associate
  • Cake Decorator
  • Shift Leader
  • Assistant Manager
  • General Manager

Great American Cookies Sales Associate

As a sales associate, you will do a lot more than just operating the cash register and making sure the money is accounted for. You are the first person customers will see, so you’re expected to create a memorable experience for each person so they can turn into regular customers.

You’re also going to prepare cookies according to company standards and bake them in the oven. Using templates, you’re also going to be decorating cookies and cakes.

When there is downtime, you’ll be expected to maintain the cleanliness of your store by sweeping and mopping.

This job requires you to be at least 18 years of age. If you have any experience in food service or retail, it is a major plus for this company. However, this is an entry-level position where you don’t have to have any experience at all.

The starting salary for this position is approximately $8.25 an hour.

Great American Cookies Cake Decorator

This position has you doing everything a sales associate does but you also have a few more responsibilities. First, you’ll be the one in charge of decorating the cookies and the cakes.

You get to be a cake decorator when you have proven yourself as a sales associate in having the ability to decorate the baked goods with skill and ease.

Management will sometimes give you special orders and you will be the one in charge of completing them. It will be your job to work together with sales associates to make your store run efficiently while constantly pumping out fresh and well-made products.

Aside from having excellent skills in the decoration of baked products, you have to be 18 years of age and you need to be able to multitask and pay attention to detail.

If you have any cake decorating experience, that would be a major plus during the hiring process.

The starting salary for a cake decorator at Great American Cookies is approximately $9.75 an hour.

Great American Cookies Shift Leader

A shift leader has a job much like a department manager in a grocery store. This is because you will oversee all the aspects of the operations in your store and you will supervise sales associates and cake decorators.

In this position, you’ll report directly to your assistant manager and you’ll be expected to perform many of the tasks that are normally completed by store management. 

This is a position where you can get promoted after working as a sales associate or a cake decorator for 1 to 2 years.

The average starting salary for a shift leader in this company is approximately $10.25 an hour.

Great American Cookies Assistant Manager

An assistant manager at Great American Cookies will assist the general manager in hiring staff members as well as training them. Even though you can delegate some of your responsibilities to your shift leader in this position, there are a few things you will have to do by yourself.

This includes coaching and developing associates to ensure they are meeting the operational goals of the company. Additionally, you will be performing many of the duties of your general manager such as overseeing all the cash handling and making deposits.

The qualifications for this position include having 1 to 2 years of working at Great American Cookies or a similar retail store and showing leadership skills. You can conceivably start out as a sales associate in this company and move up to an assistant manager position if you work hard and show that you’re a talented and dependable employee.

The assistant manager at this cookie store chain makes a very low hourly wage to start. It averages at around $11.50 an hour.

Great American Cookies General Manager

In this position, you are in complete control of your own store. You will be the one who sets sales goals and develops marketing strategies.

Oftentimes, you will be the one handling the cash register, decorating and baking the goods, and cleaning the store. This is a very hands-on position but the biggest difference between this position and others is that you are the one who is responsible for the profitability of your store.

The minimum qualifications for this position are 2 to 5 years of working as a Great American Cookies employee, and it’s preferred that you have a college degree and at least 1 to 2 years of experience decorating cakes and cookies.

A general manager at this store earns a starting yearly salary of approximately $35,000.

How to Apply at Great American Cookies

If you want to apply at this cookie store chain, you will have to do it online. Follow the steps to ensure that you have the best chance of getting hired:

  1. Visit the official Great American Cookies careers website.
  2. If you’d like, click on the navigation bar and learn a little bit about the company before the next step.
  3. Click the “Career Search”  link on the top navigation bar.
  4. In the 4 search boxes, simply enter your city and state and possibly the career category (not necessary).
  5. Now you can begin looking at job openings in your area. Click on the job that interests you.
  6. Read through the job description and when you’re ready, click the “Apply Now” button.
  7. You will be redirected to a page where you can create a new account so you can begin the Great American Cookies application process.

Here are some extra steps to take:

Once you have submitted your application online, you will get a callback from the company within 1 to 3 weeks. Sometimes it will only take a day or two.

If you don’t get a response within the first two weeks, make sure you take initiative by dressing up in nice business casualwear and visiting the store you have chosen.

Once you are there, ask to speak to someone in management. This could be a shift leader, assistant manager, or general manager.

Do your best to make a great first impression and let the person know you are highly interested and being considered for the position you applied for.

Leave your contact information with that person and say that you are looking forward to hearing back from them.

With this approach, they will have met you in person, and you will have either impressed them or not. Regardless, it’s the best course of action to take if you don’t receive any word from any company once you apply online.

Great American Cookies Hiring Process

The way the hiring process usually works at this store is that you get a call back for an interview within 1 to 2 weeks. The interviewer will ask you very basic questions and you can find a ton of these examples online by entering “common interview questions“ on the Google search box.

Once you complete the interview, you may be hired on the spot. If not, you will be informed about whether you were hired or not within another 1 to 2 weeks.

Again, if you don’t receive word at all either through an email or a phone call from the company, dress up again in business casual attire and visit the store to inquire.

Great American Cookies Hiring Age

You must be at least 18 years old to be able to work at Great American Cookies. This is because of the liability involving cooking ovens and generally dangerous work for anyone who is not an adult.

Does Great American Cookies Drug Test?

This company does not normally drug test its job applicants before they are hired. However, please be aware that this company just like any other, reserves the right to have you submit to a drug testing at any given time when they have a valid reason.

History

In 1977, Michael J. Coles and his partner Arthur Carp opened up the first Great American Cookie store in Atlanta, GA. The store was a rousing success and by 1985, it had become the largest retail cookie chain in the United States.

Since then, it has blossomed to close to 300 stores across the United States and has more than 1,000 employees.

Benefits

It’s very difficult to acquire benefits as a Great American Cookies employee. Many sales associates and other workers are hired on a part-time basis, so they don’t qualify.

Management personnel works full-time, so they are able to participate in the comprehensive health and dental insurance plan. However, there are some full-time workers who have qualified for full health benefits. 

Aside from the health plan, there are many discounts, paid time off, and a 401(k).

The company offers basic benefits for its workers and this is expected from a company of this size.

Final Thoughts

If you are hoping to land a solid career with a company where you can grow and advance within the company, you can certainly progress to the rank of a general manager within a few years if you really set your sights on it.

This company loves to hire from within, so if you work hard and pay attention to detail and do everything that is asked of you, you may be able to parlay that into some success.

If you are someone looking for an hourly job in order to pay your bills and sustain your standard of living, you may have to look elsewhere. This is not a job where you can apply, get hired, and begin making enough money to be able to live on. 

You certainly cannot support your family on the wages earned at this company, even if you have two household members making the same amount of money.

However, that’s not what this job is for. This job is intended for people to get their first job and to gain experience in the food service and retail business. You may want to check out Dairy Queen because it has a similar feel as this cookie store chain.

In fact, if you play your cards right, you can gain 1 to 2 years of experience at this store and move on to another retail chain and be far more attractive to the hiring managers. They will see you as an experienced and productive employee who experienced success at Great American Cookies.

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