Chester Zoo
Happiness score is 55 out of 100
3.6 out of 5 stars.
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Chester Zoo Employee Reviews

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United Kingdom86 reviews

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3.6Work-life balance

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Stressful workplace, good pay and breaks, great full time hours

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This is a good job if you want to work full time but bad if you want only few hours a week due to pressure to work moreNearly all ‘fulltimers’ have a sense of superiority and never help with the heavy work load. The seasonal part is a let down if your looking for job security and due to the influx of seasonal staff you can’t have a steady work day as they are unreliable and sometimes lazy. Although, Chester zoo do pay their staff a fair wage no matter your age as you all receive the same, you get at least a half hour break (unpaid) and most of the time a 15-20 minute break (paid) which they are not required to give, depending on where you work in the zoo the management staff can be amazing and make your day easier but that’s not always the case as some will down right not care. If you’re looking for a steady job with no gossip or drama I wouldn’t suggest this job due to the ‘highschool’ like atmosphere, however if you can handle this and ignore it then it can be the best job in the world. But be prepaid to pick up the slack of the under 18s as they are as useful as a chocolate tea pot. If you are placed on the opposite side of the zoo from the staff canteen bring your own lunch as you do not get walking time or discounted lunch in the department you work.

Pros

Good breaks, good pay for all, great hours

Cons

No job security, Rotas are last minute, unreliable management
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Lovely workplace

The nicest people, great team. Good benefits, you know your rota in advance, good holiday allowance. Nothing bad to say and I workHere again in a heartbeat.

Pros

Get lunches, rota in advance, good training

Cons

Temporary contract
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Insights into Chester Zoo

Based on 13 survey responses
What people like
  • Ability to meet personal goals
  • Feeling of personal appreciation
  • Clear sense of purpose
Areas for improvement
  • Time and location flexibility
  • Energising work tasks
  • Trust in colleagues

Great place to work where you can make a difference

Great place to work where you can make a difference to both visitors and the Charity, some days can be long, but seeing the smiles on the kids faces is worth it

Pros

Can make some great friends, and see the animals every day

Cons

Can be long hours
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Fantastic

Would 100% work here again it was amazing! Lovely staff in June’s restaurant I actually miss everyone! They’re such an amazing group to work with! The hours were fantastic too!
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Great workplace

team were friendly and full training provided with regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss your progress and areas for improvement. hours were flexible and all staff were very approachable.
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Awful

Office had drain that overflowed and stunk, mice in cubboard. Low pay for the job description, higher managers only care about their boys club culture, treated terribly during covid pandemic, staff lovely,
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Management was awful

The role itself isn’t very difficult but if you’re looking for a comfortable working environment this wouldn’t be right for you.The job is very inconsistent, you won’t be working in the same place all the time and most days you will work overtime to finish other people’s duties.Most managers are extremely rude, unsympathetic and undertook nepotism and favouritism on a daily basis. Despite hiring all university students they expect you to prioritise your seasonal job above all else.Other than that, it can get quite busy. But if you’re put with decent coworkers, it’s manageable.

Pros

Benefits, working with animals

Cons

Inconsistent locations and hours, terrible management
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Not a good environment to work

Very catty atmosphere managers don't really care about any issues you may have no consistency with orders towards staff or customers complete shambles

Pros

No free anything

Cons

Extremely long hours
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Stressful, overworked, poor management

Stressful, overworked, poor management and expectations are unreachable. Favouritism and rudeness between management and seasonal colleagues. Poor communication.
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I wouldn't wish a job in Food and Beverage at Chester Zoo on anyone.

The management style is the worst I've experienced - childish, nepotistic, and unorganised. Additionally, the clique culture is enough to drive anyone insane. Was once told I wasn't spoke to much because I was ''at the bottom of the ladder''. - Feels like you're back in high school. Furthermore, there isn't a finish time, so don't have any other plans. You have to help in sections that aren't yours because they either hire incompetent people to keep them on seasonal contracts or the bosses' favourites go and gossip rather than contributing to the 'team', a word aggressively forced in your face if you show an ounce of resentment. I can't forget to mention the smell of sexism and and lack of career progression that runs through the company. The one and only perk is you sometimes manage to make a friend or two and you recieve free tickets when your contract is over - whether that makes the pain of the job worth it I'm unsure. But if you want your rota on the Saturday before the Monday, want to feel like you're in highschool again and lose a few brain cells this is the perfect job for you!

Pros

Sometimes friendships. Free tickets after the contract ends.

Cons

Management. Cliquiness. Poor work-life balance.
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Management and higher are incompetent, no idea and little guidance given to staff, what is given is confusing and subject to change with no notice

worked in the Zoo for a number of years, management are useless no idea and lack skill. CEO and some Directors will ignore you as they walk past and look down on you, if they acknowledge you at all. promise the earth but fail to deliver. Pay if good job is pretty easy but boring and monotonous.

Pros

Good group of staff, pay and holidays good

Cons

no recognition from managers, toxic work environment. no support, direction any suggestion to improve is ignored or dismissed.
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Friendly staff, fun workplace

Very friendly place to work. Thoroughly enjoy being a member of the team. Good management and always accommodating if you have any problems whilst working there

Pros

Free zoo access

Cons

Late winter shifts
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Management is poor but the majority of people who work there are nice, but some are cliquey and immature.

The management is appalling. Some of the people who work there are immature and lazy. Others are great to work with and make working there enjoyable. The management also pressures you into doing more hours and doesn't take into consideration that people have their own lives apart from the zoo.

Pros

Zoo tickets

Cons

Management and Organisation
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Under staffed

Short staffed. Not ran properly. Could be better. Free food on breaks would be a plus. Staff need to know there place. Overall a disappointing 6 months for me.
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Amazing helpful staff...

A great opportunity if you love animals and people in general.. such brilliant staff... a caring lively personality is required for this type of role

Pros

You sèe beautiful animals on shift. Daytime hours mainly.

Cons

You can't bring the elephants home.
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Fun place to work, very busy during the summer

I worked as seasonal summer staff at chester zoo and loved my time here. You may have to work long hours during the summer but there are always a lovely team of people to work with and the days flew by. Be prepared to work full time even on a low hour contract, but great for a summer job.

Pros

Living wage, team rapport, great environment

Cons

Long hours, more hours than contracted, not always the best management
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rude useless management, very clique, overall rude stressful environment

I was a seasonal retail staff and was treated like scum. only one hour of barley training before being put on shop floor and you only get your rota weekly not monthly and then they get annoyed when you ask for a day off and make the conditions for booking a day off so unclear you cant do it. all the management are rude and all the permeant employees and returning seasonal staff are in groups and aren't friendly and many times i got told they were too busy to help me or they made me feel extremely dumb and made me feel as if i was extremely annoying by asking. they just throw you into the deep end and with no friendly atmosphere and it feels as if your in high school again with all the mean cliques. Management is so rude and weird you feel too scared to ask them any questions or ask for help. me and my friend both quit after a month of working there and i have never quit any job in my life. DO NOT WORK as a seasonal staff in retail here

Pros

free tickets to the zoo and get to see animals pay is good

Cons

rubbish management, isolating workers and no help
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Nice place to be but not to work

4 hour shifts 5 days a week when I was fully available from when I started there and let go from seasonal contract with 48 hours notice despite being made out i was being kept on over winter. Great job if you are student or looking for part time but awful if you want full time hours.The job itself was cleaning toilets and changing bins mostly which isnt glamorous but you do get to see lots of animals. Most of management was very friendly and the people you work with are also very nice.However the zoo had such a high turn over of staff that you are pretty much disposable. And because they hire at different points throughout the year you start with too few staff and when it picks up and you think you see going to get more hours there is then far too many staff to give people fair hours .If you are looking for something permanent or something with career progression then I wouldn't recommend working here at all.

Pros

Get to see lots of animals and co workers are friendly, good staff canteen with nice meals

Cons

Not enough hours, no career progression, working outside in all weather
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A fun place to work

A fun place to work, where you feel like you are working with good friends and family. A place were you need to be confident enough to work by yourself at times but comfortable working in a group

Pros

Staff Discount Pass
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False promises

seasonals get treated like scum. I worked there for over a year and they terminated me and all seasonals with no pay amid the covid-19 outbreak. They kept all full time and management employed with full pay. Seasonal s are paid less and have to work harder than the full time staff. It's a disgrace of a company if your a person. Great for the animals tho

Pros

Free tickets

Cons

Lies and false promises. And management are terrible
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Good hours and pay

Varied work, very busy. Nice people to work with, work with different people everyday and meet many customers. Good benefits, friendly staff and exciting.
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Overall rating

Based on 93 reviews

Ratings by category

3.6 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.6 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
2.8 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.9 out of 5 stars for Management
3.5 out of 5 stars for Culture

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