I worked for the company for a year and a half and did a lot of covers in stores all over London.
Working at Hotel Chocolat is relatively easy - depending on the location of your store. High street and station shops are incredibly busy. Non-stop all day. Brutal. Smaller stores are really quiet most of the time.
The customers are easy to deal with - they're usually shopping for an occasion or for a present for someone and as such are usually in a good mood. Especially when you give them a free sample. You ask them what they're looking for, they tell you roughly what they want, you show them the relevant stock - they grab the item that suits them best and head towards the checkout. Easy-peasy.
You sell a few products, restock the shelves and clean up before you leave. Average day is not very challenging. The busiest times are holidays (Christmas, Easter Halloween), that's only when things really pick up.
Shift patterns are relatively okay - again depending on which store you end up at. Most stores operate roughly 9-19:00, so work-life balance in manageable.
The main problem with the job is only management get salaries and set work hours (40hrs a week) everyone else (sales advisers, supervisors) only get 8 hour contracts which means you are not guaranteed more than 8 hours a week (contractually that's all the company has to give you) and as such you get basically no paid holidays (if you take a week off, you will get paid for one 8 hour shift).
There is a possibility of do
ProsStaff discount, friendly teammates
ConsPoor/unhelpful management, 8 hour contracts, no paid holiday, no guaranteed hours, lack of clear vision/voice in management, lack of support from management, lack of transparency from management
It is a good place to work and enjoyable job and i worked with some great people and the company itself is good with what they do but some of stuff that goes on isn't great.
I Started out in stock room at xmas. you sorted through stock and organised everything through type and code fairly easy to do stock, only issue its small stockroom its hard find places for items. the deliveries are a mess. distribution clearly have no understanding of what they doing, you get sent stuff you already got loads and you struggle to put away.
Shop floor is ok lots of greeting with guests and asking if they need help fairly easy to do but you have to pretty much throw yourself at the guests which hard to do as some guest just want to shop.
one of my first shifts on the shop floor, there was something going on and had meeting with area manager getting accused fraud with reward cards during a time i didn't even work there all because i had the same name as someone who used to work there no apology was given.
They are expecting you to be fake, you can't just have a job and sell the product to the best you can, you have be like OH MY GOD i love this stuff so much even if you don't. i believe i got let go of my role because i didn't get on with management and not being overly enthusiastic about the product.
Management of the place is typical bad management...they favour certain people who get away with scott free to other who do one simple thing wrong....capital crime. work place culture is ba
A typical day includes cashing up or opening the shop, meaning counting large quantities of money and making sure everything is in check in time to open. Part of my job includes approaching people to offer them a sample of chocolate, and I've never struggled with this. I usually engage in various conversations that last until the transaction is complete. No two days are the same either, there are always different people wanting different things. It is important to know the products to help the guest make a perfect decision, and I regularly go out of my way to help.
The work environment is amazing. I am more than happy to talk with both management and my co-workers, but we all have a firm understanding on when we have some time chat and when things need to be done. We share out tasks evenly and fairly, and I've never had an issue with the way things are run.
The job cannot be done halfheartedly, you need to put your all into the work. It can be tiring at times, but it is rewarding seeing guests so happy just by providing excellent service. It is also heavy in knowledge, as each staff member is required to know a lot of information about cocoa and the process of making it into our chocolate. However this came easy to me, as I enjoy learning new information and sharing my knowledge.
It is highly rewarding communicating with so many different people, and I often engage in conversation about a wide range of topics. Guests have given me advice on various lifestyle tips, and one
I was employed by a recruitment agency who worked within the hotel chocolat factory.
Mostly picking and packing work, packing was fast paced and you had to make sure you put all the sufficient labels and packing in the parcels. Packing could be hard work as you had to establish how to pack things correctly without them getting damaged.
The work ethic was good but the picking and packing staff were very clicky with one another.
I was put on the commercial picking and packing line, the supervisor would disappear for 3 hours for a ciggarette leaving me and another person to pick and pack everything, the supervisor would come back and stress about how we’d packed everything.
I also have to say there was a language barrier between me and the other person who was picking and packing and although we managed to hand signal to each other, it made the job that bit more difficult, however this is not down to management to train in the British language.
I would recommend as a stepping stone job to something better however the pay was enough to suffice.
Dealing with the supervisors for both The commercial line and the sales line was difficult at times, keeping your head down and getting on with the job at hand is something this place has taught me.
I felt at times staff were made to feel inadequate or guilty for doing something wrong or making a mistake. We were given a box of chocolates if we picked a certain amount of products in our shift, management seem to thin
ProsPay, recruitment staff were pleasantly helpful
A typical day would be for me to carry on from where I had left off on an ongoing job the previous day. If I was facing challenges I would normally had worked it out in my head how to tackle it before coming into work.
I have freelanced and have work for numerous design agencies both big and small, the workflow is normally different from agency to agency and that is always a good learning curve and a challenge that provides me the experience to be confident to be able to adapt quite quickly to any working environment.
Managing my time is very important especially when there is a lot of images to work with. I normally try to get the most urgent and ones that require more work first out of the way before tackling the easier jobs.
Most of the time the working environment is relaxed, airy with a music in the background, people with a down-to-earth friendly attitude also does contribute to the day going quickly without feeling the pressure of the work but still being able to keep to the deadline.
For me the hardest part of the job is having to wait for jobs to be signed off when facing a tight deadline. Once the job has been presented, it is no longer within my control - so waiting on the other party is always the challenge as changes can be made in the last min.
The most enjoyable part is to be able to complete a job well before the deadline is up. Once approved I can look forward to the next job and get started. Being kept busy is good after all I do this job bec
ProsHealthy lunch from the canteen at a fraction of the price
ConsWhenever am not driving commute takes long especially if I miss the train
When I first started it was a great place to work all the staff I visited in stores were professional and were never a problem.
That was the same as the staff in headoffice and the London office all the staff were friendly and professional.
Then it all changed when the company when the company sold some shares the management structure changed but not in a good way.
They employed manages that can talk the talk but could not do the walk.
I was asked to train the new manager in her role after the chose to hire from outside the company and I was not even a manager.
I was just one of the two maintenance persons that had to look after all the shops and cafes and head offices.
They had no idea on times from one store to the next I was once told it’s only a cm on a map between one store and the next.
That cm on a map was 70mils on the road.
I would spend 3-4h driving to one shop to Change a light bulb and then 3-4h back if you asked if there was any jobs on the way back it was generally a no.
Once you back you get an email asking if you can go to a store you had passed 2h ago.
No organisation skills at all.
I was treated so little when the company changed.
They have much to learn.
The owners peter and Agnes are great people
To talk to they always make time to listen.
ProsFree Chocolat 50% off
ConsManagement are self important, no organisation skills, no trust, just a shambles
A typical day at work was a Team meeting at the beginning of each and every day, setting up shop and finishing off jobs we'd left the night before if there was any.
We would then open the shop and if it was a busy day we would stay in our sections of the shop.
The store was highly focused on customer service and would expect you to always ask the customer the right questions on the floor and while the customer is purchasing the product.
I felt the management and my co workers were always listening to what I was saying to my customers in the first few months which was quite off putting and made me feel very uneasy.
They would take me to a corner or ask me to the office and keep telling me what I am doing wrong - I never felt they had time for constructive compliments it was always negative feedback.
They would always show me a list of there Top employees , Star of the week and go on about how wonderful they are and it wasn't very fair on the other staff who had only been working there a short amount of time...
The most enjoyable part of the job was learning about Chocolate and what ingredient's, how much sugars, etc they use, as the store sells a lot of diabetic chocolate we had much more of a variety of customers.
I felt like I was more at Chocolate school.
Hotel Chocolat, more like Hotel Horrible Management 🤔
There’s no time off from the job, with a facebook page constantly sending notifications from management, with the expectation to read and respond as soon as possible. Management have bullied many people out of the job, with little regard for mental health, managers will also chose their own personal friendships over the well being of their team. Staff are utterly expendable, with staff members who have worked for the company for many years being disregarded. Staff members are expected to pick up many of the managerial tasks, whilst not receiving extra pay, whilst managers receive promotions and pay rises. The job is incredibly fast paced and management never train up new starts, with the expectation of other staff members to train them, particularly on the cafe. If you’re wanting to apply as a christmas temp I would recommend against it, as the manager will constantly belittle you and talk behind your back that you don’t know how to do the job, despite them not training you up. Very little reward for what at sometimes can be a very stressful job. It’s a shame because the company it’s self is a good company to work for, fair pay, good discounts, good ethics, however this branch in particular has many issues, rooted in management.
Good place to work with great benefits, typical management style and gossip filled workplace
Management was always great unless you can’t work when they want you to or get on their bad side, then you begin to get different treatment. Staff they liked more/had personal friendships with were always treated better. Amazing 50% staff discount and can take products home if they go out of date. My team was small and friendly and the days went quickly during the busier periods, however it became unbearably slow especially after Christmas with not much to do and too many staff in on shifts with nothing to do. Training is good but if you join at a busy period they expect you to know things eg product knowledge, tills and pricing straight away which isn’t fair.
Kind of felt like typical ‘grouping’ situation at my store where if you weren’t part of their ‘group’ you’d be treated differently. They let personal friendships etc get involved in work politics making things unfair
Customers can be difficult to deal with and rude at times
Pros50% staff discount Chocolate to takeaway and taster products sent to you Staff incentives
ConsLong boring shifts at quiet times, Gossipy environment, Typical management always making others do the work so they can leave early or call in sick
I have absolutely loved working for this company, I love Hotel Chocolat’s ethos that customers always come first and have loved that as it suits my own values and I can be my self and do whatever I can for customers.
Every day is different and if you have a great team behind you it can be such a great workplace. I’ve learnt so much from Hotel Chocolat and have learnt so much about myself and leading a team during my time here.
However, there seems to be no progression within this company as they tend to like to hire from outside and not within. This is a real shame because I absolutely loved working here and in a great team, but due to being offered a management position elsewhere and no progression within, I’ve had to move on.
My advice to head office would be to listen to employees like me who love working for you and really wanted to progress but couldn’t!
I would happily work for this company in the future and would recommend working for them. I’d recommend before applying here that you are willing to work hard and understand that the customer always comes first, therefore you are able to demonstrate high customer service skills.
Pros50% off products, 35% off cafe products, Friendly team
ConsNo Progression Within Company
Questions and answers about Hotel Chocolat
What is the paid holiday policy like at Hotel Chocolat? How many days do you get per year?
Asked 11 Jan 2019
Holidays are stitched up if you have poor management, end up having to work some of your holiday week so you can get paid.
Answered 2 Jun 2022
21 (28 incl bank holidays) but they try and dictate when you can take it. And you are expected to cancel it and immediately get back to work at short notice if there’s a lack of staff, or you have to work through it voluntarily.
Answered 13 Nov 2021
What is the interview process like at Hotel Chocolat?
Asked 23 Aug 2017
I was Interviewed by phone which was a waste of my time. The Interviewer couldn't give any answers about the direction the company wanted to go in with the post. Based on a short telephone conversation, stating it was a new role with no boundaries it was decided at that stage 40 years experience was not enough. I really need to work on talking rubbish instead of just been an honest talking action person. When I researched Chocmobile on the internet it comes up with a van been used to show workers been exploited to produce cheap cocoa beans. This is not what I thought a company would want to be associated with but what do I know. Trying to sell luxury chocolate from an Ice Cream van also seems to be a strange way to get your brand across as a company. 40 years of customer knowledge indicates Ice Cream vans are perceived as been tacky retail outlets and not somewhere you would set out to buy a £30 box of chocolates from. The person conducting the interview had no idea of you would need to carry out the role but just had a set of tick boxes. My question would be how good has the tick box system been put together.
Answered 13 Nov 2018
Not organised at all
Answered 30 Apr 2018
How many weekends are you expected to work in a month?
Asked 7 May 2019
Every weekend if you are not a favourite
Answered 8 Apr 2022
At least 2
Answered 8 Jan 2021
How old do you have to be to work here?
Asked 21 Jan 2019
16, but completed GCSEs
Answered 24 Jun 2022
You must be at least 16. However some products contain alcohol, so you must be 18 or over to sell these.
Answered 21 May 2021
How do you feel about going to work at Hotel Chocolat each day?
Asked 23 Nov 2018
I do not look foward to going to work as the hours are an awkward length, constantly worried about money as the cut off date for each monthly payment means that part time / christmas temps never get payed a substantial amount.