Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Cinnabon

When you're at the mall, you may find yourself there for a while, surrounded by amazing clothes, perfumes, makeup, and everything else you can find within its walls. If you're there for long enough, you'll need to take a break for a quick pick-me-up while you browse. Depending on what mall you're in, there is likely a variety of different food stands, allowing you the flexibility to choose what you snack on or have for lunch. One of the more common shops that you'll see in the mall is the iconic bakery known as Cinnabon.

If you love cinnamon rolls, then there's a good chance you've made your own stop at this treat destination at least once in your life. Getting some fresh, sweet desserts from Cinnabon's store is always a joyful experience, so imagine what it must be like working there. Is it free cinnamon rolls all day long, or is it just as difficult and stressful as other fast food jobs? Like any position in the food industry, working at a Cinnabon comes with both perks and flaws, so here is everything you might want to know about working at this iconic shop.

It's a good starting job

If you're new to the workforce and trying to find a good way to make money while you're in school, restaurant, fast food, and other food jobs are popular ways to make some cash. So, if you have the opportunity to go from stacks of tests and textbooks to creating fresh, sweet-smelling cinnamon buns and icing, why wouldn't you? For many, Cinnabon is a good starting point to dip their feet into the fast food industry and is filled with fun, friendly customers and sweet, sugary cinnamon rolls.

Yes, not all customers are pleasant, and every job has its ups and downs. But even with less enjoyable patrons, employees have praised Cinnabon as a good place to learn how to deal with unfavorable clients (via Indeed). Depending on where the store is located, it can actually be a fairly relaxed job, too. Management can be very supportive and welcoming, offering employees a great place to work (as per Glassdoor). So while the environment isn't perfect, it can definitely be one of the better chains you find for a fast food position.

Employees have had negative experiences

Cinnabon definitely has its upsides in terms of being a good workplace, but at the same time, it isn't perfect. If you were to work there, like most fast food places, you'd be met with lots of difficult aspects of the job. Despite constantly moving quickly to give hungry people their cinnamon and icing-covered food, these customers can become pretty impatient. One former employee notes that the customers at their location were awful. To make things worse, the management didn't do anything about the poor attitudes of the patrons demanding cinnamon rolls (via Niche).

Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be much room for growth behind the scenes. According to one employee on Glassdoor, even though they moved up the ranks within Cinnabon, they didn't experience a huge change in pay. Not only that, but other reviews note that working with the brand — even in a higher position — didn't really lead to much career advancement or any real decent benefits. However, this shouldn't dissuade you from working at Cinnabon as a job entirely. Although this may sound concerning, you could still make a decent bit of cash, and be surrounded by delicious, warm cinnamon rolls. 

Some employees complain about lack of training

You would think that working at a Cinnabon would entail certain things: free treats, the enticing smell of the sweet, sharp spice in the air all shift long, and, most importantly, training. But if you've never made a cinnamon roll from scratch before and have thought about applying to Cinnabon, you may want to think twice. Even if you have made your own version of the chain's desserts, most would expect the brand to have its own, unique recipe that it can teach you to follow. Or, at the very least, train you to work under quicker, more stressful conditions. While you won't be placed into a position at Cinnabon without any training, the teaching you do get isn't exactly as thorough or engaging as you might think.

According to some Cinnabon employees, the coaching was almost nonexistent — like they were thrown into the ring without a second thought (via Indeed). This meant that, yes, they were essentially expected to work even without full instruction, and had to wing it in their early days until they picked up the how-to from other colleagues. Multiple answers on Indeed's Q&A page for the chain note that there wasn't really any training, and they had to learn on the job, on their own. Working at a Cinnabon may seem enticing, but unless you're a fast learner, you may not get that far.

Almost anyone can make a perfect Cinnabon roll

Although the training at Cinnabon may seem minimal, you'd be surprised to learn that it's because making a cinnamon roll for the store is not as hard as it seems — as evidenced by the star of "Better Call Saul," Bob Odenkirk. 

In one of the final episodes of "Breaking Bad" (the original series on which "Better Call Saul" is based), Odenkirk's character, Saul Goodman, states that he may be managing a Cinnabon in a year. Though that originally was supposed to be a throwaway line, at the start of "Better Call Saul," he is seen actually working for the brand. On "The Late Late Show with James Corden," Odenkirk admitted that he had to know how to make the company's cinnamon rolls perfectly, and was trained to do so. He learned how to run the machines behind the counter, roll out the dough, and add the margarine and other various ingredients you typically find in a Cinnabon roll (via YouTube). 

These are things that any employee has to learn to do while they work at the chain. Current and former Cinnabon workers have commented on this particular clip, agreeing that Odenkirk's attempt was pretty spot on. He may not be a real employee of the shop, but he likely feels safe knowing that if acting ever goes south, the cinnamon roll business is an option.

You have to make the cinnamon rolls fresh -- and by hand

The best part about the cinnamon rolls that come from Cinnabon is that they're sweet, hot, and fresh. But do you know how fresh the Cinnabon cinnamon rolls are? You'd imagine that the rolls sold daily are made every morning, right? You would be partially correct, but those cinnamon treats go so fast that the employees likely couldn't make enough to get through a single day. In reality, Cinnabon workers have to make the rolls pretty frequently — so much so that if you ever stop by one of their locations, there's a chance you'll get a fresh roll.

As shown by Cinnabon's TikTok page, the cinnamon rolls are made fresh every 30 minutes, from the moment the lights turn on in stores. The rectangular dough is spread out on a counter and smothered in half a pound of margarine (via TikTok). After that, they're completely smothered in cinnamon, rolled up, and baked before they're topped with icing. If that sounds like a lot, imagine doing that every 30 minutes while trying to keep up with customer orders! That sounds pretty hectic, and it's safe to assume that many Cinnabon employees learn something about multitasking from their time at the franchise.

The dress code has its rules, but it's pretty casual

When you walk into a restaurant or store, you expect to see the employees in uniform. You don't imagine a Target employee wearing a bright blue T-shirt, or a waiter wearing a glittery dress instead of a dark-colored top. When it comes to Cinnabon, you may be familiar with the shades of white and blue throughout every store. To fit the theme, you'd expect the chain's employees to wear clothes of the same color and have a strict dress code. However, surprisingly, the rules for the appropriate attire are a bit more relaxed than you might think.

According to Dress Code Finder, the employee dress code at Cinnabon can be described as "casual." This is supported by former staff commenting on job posting websites; one user noted that the overall garb requirement was very loose and that they were able to wear dark jeans and sneakers with the store shirt and visor, so long as there were no rips and tears in them (via Indeed). This isn't revolutionary in terms of dress codes, but if you ever find yourself working at a Cinnabon, at least you'll know that you don't have to come into work dressed in a heavy suit and tie.

The employees are incredibly nice -- even the former Cinnabon president

Most Cinnabon workers have nothing to hide — they make cinnamon rolls, ensure they're iced well, and all the other regular expected tasks. They also do their best to be friendly to customers. In fact, the store's workers are so nice that even the previous president of Cinnabon would be surprised by their positive attitudes. Interestingly, this has actually been proven on television. In 2012, Kat Cole, then-president of Cinnabon, secretly disguised herself as a new Cinnabon employee for the show "Undercover Boss" (via Insider).

In this particular episode, Cole went incognito at multiple franchisee Cinnabon locations. In a later interview, she noted that one thing that surprised her most about the experience was how young and energetic many of the company's workers were (via Nation's Restaurant News). The former president said she had known this before, but actually getting to work with her employees side-by-side was quite eye-opening for her. While we don't know if Cole continues to go undercover at her current company, this episode is a good reminder that the employees behind the Cinnabon counter are extremely approachable.

You get to see how Cinnabons operate

We obviously don't know everything about what happens behind Cinnabon walls. Sure, they've got a glass that you can see through to watch the employees make cinnamon rolls and other products, but you likely aren't watching the workers 24/7. This means that the employees themselves have the best front-row seats to the company's inner workings. Because of this, they may know a few things that their customers don't. One former employee revealed some behind-the-scenes information that may or may not be true.

According to Newsweek, on July 21, 2022, a former Cinnabon staff member on TikTok leaked several things about the chain that consumers were unaware of. The first claim: the stores don't serve fresh rolls when they open. In fact, the desserts supposedly come from their to-go boxes. The past employee also revealed that the "Center of the Roll" menu items are not actually from the center of the cinnamon roll, but instead old Cinnabon bits. Other employees who commented on the original TikTok noted that they aren't entirely sure about the first claim. However, they do confirm that the "Center of the Roll" fact is true. Overall, though, it seems like the truth behind the Cinnabon claims depends on the location.

The hours are flexible

If you're trying to balance a part-time job with other responsibilities — or even multiple restaurant jobs over the course of a week — one of the most important things required is flexibility. You need time to focus on other tasks, like homework or raising kids, while being able to work enough hours to make a bit of money. For many employees, Cinnabon provides this, and for busy students, as well as anyone with a tight schedule, flexible work shifts are something that they appreciate from the cinnamon roll chain.

All over the web, you'll find various responses to the question, "What do the hours at Cinnabon look like?" According to Indeed reviewers, for part-time employees, some worked between 10 and 25 hours a week, while others worked for 20-30 hours a week, or even 40 — depending on their availability. Overall, many people seem to find that Cinnabon is an extremely flexible business in terms of shift hours, which is pretty surprising considering how many cinnamon rolls they try to dish out at a time. Although, being pretty adaptable with work hours may allow franchises to hire more people at a time. This means more rolls — which is good for us!

It can get hectic for employees around winter

When you think of Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other winter holiday, a classic, sweet pastry (and its hard-to-resist smell) that might pop into your mind is none other than the cinnamon roll — you probably see where this is going. During the colder season, it can get pretty hectic for Cinnabon employees — and we mean very hectic. Liking cinnamon rolls is nothing to be ashamed about, but when everyone likes cinnamon rolls, that can lead to a busy store. 

According to Insider, the "Undercover Boss" episode that featured Cinnabon revealed that the November-December months are some of the busiest days for the company. In fact, sales increase around 50% during the holiday season, and on Christmas Eve, stores can get 500 pre-orders for one day (via Bloomberg). That's a lot, especially considering how many people don't pre-order. So, if you are hoping to get a Cinnabon cinnamon roll over the festive season, you might want to plan ahead, now knowing how busy they can get.

Getting hired might be as easy as sending a text message

Looking for a job can be difficult, especially in this day and age. You may even find yourself getting turned down by jobs that seem like they should be easy to get, like a cashier at a grocery store or any other fast food joint. With that said, you'd think that a store selling delicious, high-quality cinnamon rolls would be a bit harder to get a job offer from. And honestly, many of the interviews, paperwork, and everything in between might seem a little more daunting. However, when it comes to Cinnabon, the hiring process may be a bit faster than you think. In fact, it might be as simple as pressing a button on your phone.

Cinnabon has found a way to reduce its hiring time by 50% by partnering with Workstream (via YouTube). This allows prospective candidates to apply to their job openings via text, which is a much faster process than physically going to a location and filling out paperwork. According to Workstream, Cinnabon uses its platform to post to different job boards easily and reach out to more applicants. With more people on social media and searching for jobs online, being able to access these websites has seemingly been beneficial for the cinnamon roll chain.