Working at Hotel Chocolat | Glassdoor.co.uk

Hotel Chocolat Overview

Royston, East of England, England
1001 to 5000 employees
2004
Company - Public
Food & Beverage Shops
£100 to £500 million (GBP) per year
When the very first Hotel Chocolat shop opened its doors to guests in North London in 2004, it was the start of a revolution in British chocolate. Two entrepreneurs, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, were on a mission to make chocolate exciting again.

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Mission: To make chocolate exciting again by striving to be fresh, creative and innovative whilst maintaining a deep sense of fairness that extends to our farmers, our customers and future generations.

Company Updates

  • company-updates.categories.culture

    3 months ago, our CEO & Co-Founder Angus Thirlwell promised to update on our progress in being a force for good against inequality of opportunity in all its forms and, specifically, building an anti-racist culture. Here it is. A voluntary group from our UK, US, Saint Lucia and Japan teams have met fortnightly and frankly and openly shared experiences, ideas and agreed on these actions: To commit to long term learning about racism, its history, causes and manifestations To share our commitment to change To use our power and platform to take action We recognise the group alone cannot drive change without wider support and so we've signed the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter as well as partnered with an expert provider to provide Diversity and Inclusion training to everyone at Hotel Chocolat over the coming months. We’re pleased we have taken our important first steps and that we now have a passionate group to focus our long term commitment. #raceatworkcharter #diversityandinclusion #antiracism

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Hotel Chocolat – Why Work With Us?


Luxury British cocoa grower and chocolatier Hotel Chocolat was founded to make people happy. Co-founders Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris built the brand on three unwavering pillars – Originality, Authenticity and Ethics – that remain central to the brand’s success. 

The first Hotel Chocolat store opened in Hertfordshire in 2004, and its manager is still at the helm. Today, we have more than 100 stores across the UK and internationally, with presences in Hong Kong, Japan, Scandinavia, Spain and the United States. We also have concessions in John Lewis, Next and Ocado and we operate two innovative cacao-cuisine restaurants: in London’s Borough Market and at our Saint Lucia hotel, Boucan, in the grounds of our eco-conscious, organic cocoa plantation. 

One of the few chocolate makers to grow our own cocoa, we connect the world of sustainable cocoa agriculture with the hedonism of top-quality chocolate. This makes us unique in the UK, and gives us an unrivalled understanding of what impacts the taste of our chocolate, right from the growing tree.

Originality

Right from the start, we’ve never played by the rules of what people said a chocolate company should be.

When we first started making our Easter eggs more than a decade ago, we were advised by experts to make them as thin as possible. We did the opposite, opting for ridiculously thick shells that are still satisfyingly snappable.

Everybody said a bar of chocolate should be regularly divided into bite-sized pieces – but squares are boring, so we broke the mould and made our now iconic Giant Slabs, inspired by the shape of molten chocolate when you pour it onto the cool marble of a chocolatier’s table. More recently, we reinvented our smaller Slabs for our Rare & Vintage range, inspired by the crisp lines of pleated fabric to create a unique aesthetic that’s both functional and beautiful.

But all this only scratches the surface. We’ve also created the world’s first single-côte chocolate, developed our own chocolate genre, Supermilk, innovated with cocoa cuisine from spiced cocoa nib ketchup to white chocolate horseradish and even cocoa gin, and the invention goes on – we’re constantly embracing new technologies and ideas.

Authenticity

We’re one of the world’s few chocolate makers to actually grow cocoa, on our beautiful Rabot Estate plantation in Saint Lucia. Connecting cocoa-growing with luxury chocolate making and retailing makes us unique in the UK, and gives us an in-depth understanding of the factors that impact the final flavour of our chocolate, right from the growing tree.

Centuries ago, Mayans revered the potent cocoa bean as a gift from the gods, but somewhere along the way its power has been lost in translation. As sugar prices have dropped, British chocolate has focused increasingly on sweetness. Today, sugar is 20 times cheaper than cocoa, and a typical bar of milk chocolate contains more than twice as much sugar as cocoa.

Making our chocolates, our mantra has always been ‘More Cocoa, Less Sugar’. Cocoa will always be our number-one ingredient, even in milk and white chocolate. Most of the world’s ‘chocolate’ is laden with sugar – flip over the next bar you see and check.

Our house-grade milk chocolates, meanwhile, are 40% and 50% cocoa, and even our white chocolate is 36% cocoa, well above the average. This balance of cocoa to sugar is crucial: high levels of sugar dull the flavours of the cocoa itself, denying you all those nuanced notes such as citrus, red and yellow fruits, coffee and brownie and masking the quality of the cocoa so that poorer types can be used. We’re also committed to using only real, natural ingredients – nothing artificial, ever. Nature supplies all we need.

And it’s not just in our ingredients and the growing of our cocoa that we’re authentic – we also know where our ideas come from. Every month our chocolatiers are hard at work crafting brand new recipes in our Cambridgeshire inventing room for our Tasting Club members.

Ethics

We have a deep sense of fairness that extends to our farmers, our customers and future generations.

We believe cocoa farmers deserve respect and a fair deal. Our Engaged Ethics programme has already transformed the lives of many in Ghana and on Saint Lucia – and we’re only just getting started.

For our customers, we’ll never put seasonal products into sale before the big day, so that those who buy early can buy with confidence. And for future generations, we’re committed to reducing waste: we use every part of the cacao bean – such as the cacao shells in our teaolat infusions – and we don’t throw out chocolates just because they don’t look quite right. Misshapen chocolates that are still made with our premium ingredients go into our Ugly But Good bags.

Everything we do is driven by…

Originality

We never settle for ‘off the shelf’ ideas. Originality in everything is championed. 

Authenticity

Chocolate starts at the roots of the cacao tree. So we got stuck in. When your starting point is the finest cocoa, why mask it? Our mantra is ‘more cocoa, less sugar.

Ethics

You work too hard for bad chocolate. They work too hard for cheap cocoa. We’ve been raising the bar for cocoa-growing since 2002.

If you find a job you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. 

Find a job you love and you will never work another day in your life

It’s our mission to make the best chocolates on the planet. To do that, we need the best people. That’s why, like our recipes, if you have the right ingredients, we’ll invest our time and attention to make sure you reach your potential.

At Hotel Chocolat, you will be part of an innovative team and you’ve got to be passionate about what you do. Obsessively so.

Together we’ve achieved some amazing things 

  • Only British chocolatier to grow our own cocoa
  • Developed the world’s first single-côte chocolate bar
  • Innovated our own chocolate genre, Supermilk: 65%+ cocoa for robust cocoa depth, creamy milk and less sugar than a typical dark
  • Constantly finding new ways to use the whole cocoa bean: shells in our teaolat, pulp in our Pale Cocoa Beer and much more
  • Created ethical partnerships with over 170 cocoa farmers on Saint Lucia
  • Opened a medical centre for a cocoa-farming community in Ghana that provides crucial healthcare to more than 5,000 people

And we’re just getting started. Come and be a part of what’s next.

You’ll play a vital role within a constantly evolving company, in a friendly and energetic workplace. Every single person who works for us has the opportunity to learn and grow.

With over 1,900 members of the HC team, our brand is continuing to grow every minute. We work in a supportive and inspiring environment where ideas flow and we are all focused on achieving the same goal together. 

Working at Hotel Chocolat

We want you to share in everything we do. Part of understanding every aspect of our brand means discounts and benefits extend far beyond chocolate! From a stay at Boucan Hotel, Saint Lucia to dining in our restaurants. Share our complete guest experience...

For Less

Hard work should be rewarded. We offer generous discounts including chocolate (naturally) and every product in our range from award-winning alcohol to cocoa inspired cookery books.  

Bonus

All permanent employees are entitled to our discretionary bonus scheme.

Sharesave Scheme

A saving scheme that offers you the opportunity to buy shares in Hotel Chocolat plc.

Life Assurance

It’s good to know after three months you will be covered by our life assurance plan.

Well Being

Childcare Vouchers - Reduce the cost of childcare, sign up for our voucher scheme. 

Cycle to work scheme - Good for the environment and great if you can, available to all employees.

Hotel Chocolat Reviews

  • "A retail company that actually makes you feel valued"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Advisor/Key Holder
    Current Employee - Sales Advisor/Key Holder
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Hotel Chocolat part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - you feel valued, whatever role you have in the company
    - emphasis on mental health/wellbeing support
    - really supportive throughout Covid-19 lockdown periods
    - great benefits for employees!

    Cons

    - the company attempted to stay open during the November lockdown period, despite employees feeling unsafe

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Hotel Chocolat Photos

Hotel Chocolat photo of: Hotel Chocolat, Kensington, W8
Hotel Chocolat photo of: Store Training
Hotel Chocolat photo of: Christmas Lunch at Head Office
Hotel Chocolat photo of: Distribution Centre
Hotel Chocolat photo of: Retail Apprenticeship
Hotel Chocolat photo of: Store Team
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Hotel Chocolat Interviews

Experience

Experience
87%
3%
10%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
58%
23%
19%

Difficulty

2.1
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    Christmas Temp Sales Assistant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Hotel Chocolat in November 2020.

    Interview

    I received an invitation to interview two days after applying. The interview was via zoom and took place the following week. The manager interviewing me was very friendly and relaxed.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you describe the colour yellow to someone who had never seen it before?   Answer Question
    • What are your greatest strengths?   Answer Question
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Hotel Chocolat Awards & Accolades

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