The Independent Operator role is a unique opportunity in the retail and grocery industry. To help you learn more, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive.

A typical candidate has 4-5 years of retail management experience (grocery preferred), an acceptable financial background, and proven sales and merchandising skills. Candidates also include owners of small businesses in a variety of retail sectors. If you’re not sure if you qualify, a call with one of our recruiters may help answer your questions.

We realize this question is likely the most important one that you have and believe that our existing Independent Operators can answer it best. We’ll connect you with existing Independent Operators, who can share their experience with you. They will explain that, due to our profit-sharing model, you can take charge of your financial future by growing sales, managing margins, and controlling their variable expenses such as labor, utilities and supplies. They can also tell you about the lifestyle that being an Independent Operator allows them to enjoy.

Independent Operators are given access to an order guide that is updated daily. Independent Operators can order a significant portion of the products as needed. There is no limit to how many trucks they use per week, although independent operators pay for freight costs.

Each Independent Operator candidate is required to complete our Aspiring Operator in Training (AOT) program before accepting a store assignment. This year alone we invested $1.5 million in our Independent Operator training program. Once you become an Independent Operator, you will have marketing and sales support from Grocery Outlet whenever you need it.

Grocery Outlet has a major presence in Central and Eastern PA & NJ but are expanding quickly along the East Coast. We are also excited to continuing to expand in Washington State, Oregon, California, Idaho and Nevada.

Grocery Outlet chooses and builds stores based on demographics and demand. If you are chosen to be an Independent operator, you can then apply for stores as stores become available.

Please also note that enrollment in the Aspiring Operator in Training program does not guarantee that you will be eligible for or invited to apply to become an independent operator and offered an Independent Operator Agreement by GOI. You must successfully complete the AOT program first to GOI’s satisfaction and also meet additional financial and background conditions.

Have more questions? We’re here to help!