Recently Great American Cookies was selected to be part of the Franchise Gator Top 100 Franchises List.
We sat down with Christina Chambers, Director of Franchise Development for Great American Cookies, to talk about the company and its franchise opportunity.
Many franchisors will say they want to "award" franchises and not sell them. What does that mean to your company, and what steps do you take to ensure you are bringing on the right franchisee?
At Great American Cookies, we are fiercely protective of our brand and long history of success. Since we are almost 100% franchised, our success comes from great franchisees that follow the system and maintain brand standards. When we speak with candidates who would like to join the Great American Cookies franchise family, they first prove they can follow a process throughout their discovery phase. This includes showing up for scheduled calls/meetings, thoroughly reviewing the FDD, calling existing franchisees, and presenting their business plan to us.
They also need to have passion, business savvy, and strong community ties, as we know that is one of the best ways to really grow our type of business. During face-to-face meetings at Discovery Day, if any of our executives feel that the candidate is not a good fit, we will not award the franchise. We don't believe in the "fog a mirror and stroke a check" qualification!
Talk to about the level of support that franchisees receive from corporate during their opening, as well as once their business is off the ground.
All new franchisees receive 4 days of in-store training, followed by one week of "GFG University" training to cover items such as financial analysis, customer service, hiring, and marketing. Before that point, however, we provide comprehensive support in identifying the right location, negotiating leases, and construction project management to make sure the store opens on time and on budget.
At grand opening, franchisees are assigned a Franchise Business Consultant (FBC) who will assist with the opening week and employee training. The FBC stays in close contact with the franchisee and visits the store at least twice a year for the life of the business.
Why should a candidate get excited about the opportunity to work with Great American Cookies?
Great American Cookies has been in business since 1977, with some current franchisees in the business almost as long! We have a stable history of growth and an amazing management team who ensures that the brand continues to perform at the top of our category. The operation is simple which provides franchisees the opportunity to easily and quickly grow from one store, to five stores, or even 42 stores (the size of our largest franchisee). This is a really fun business with happy customers cookies always bring out smiling faces!