Colchester Zoo
3.3 out of 5 stars.
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Colchester Zoo Pay & benefits reviews

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United Kingdom48 reviews

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3.3Work-life balance
2.9Pay & benefits

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School like environment.

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Management are very immature, and talk done about people behind their back. They also treat you like you are in school rather than at work. The actual job is quite easy, and can be fun to work with friends, I just think that the catering section is badly lead.


Sociable hours. Work with friends.


Not great benefits from the job, school environment.
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Not the best place to work

Management never really there when needed. Benefits not that great. Can get better discount with gold card. Staff get annoyed if you ask for a day off to take child to hospital for an appointment. Kitchen is too small to work with. Most the staff are kids


Made friends


Long hours, no fixed term contract
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Insights into Colchester Zoo

Based on 4 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Supportive environment
  • Ability to learn new things
  • Sense of belonging

Colchester zoo

Good place to work as a young person. Good to get customer facing experience and to build the CV. Good management and good pay for what it is. Also get free tickets.
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Don’t bother

Poor wage management is non existent whatever you do your in the wrong to much to do the hours you have to work. You will be put in one place then the other and have no set Rota very poor


Discounted food


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Company dont respect you would forget when you worked even when they signed you in previously. Would make you work alone for hours especially when washi g up. Stressed, not treated fairly and pay didn't amount for the work, wasnt worth it.
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Poor pay but fun jobs available

Very low pay and it was run by teenagers the management expected a lot for terrible pay, however had some fun jobs like face painting and helping in Halloween and Christmas events but overall pay was shocking and was a zero hour contract and got really funny about any time off even if it was a one off.
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Alright place to work, not great pay

Not a lot of pay for the amount of work expected of you and the conditions aren’t great. Can be quite boring as there’s a lot of standing about and always on your own so going to toilet or getting water etc was always always impossible. Managers where lovely and nice atmosphere
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Kind people but dull workplace

A typical day where I worked consisted of getting in between 9-10am when it was extremely slow - occasionally people would trickle in but you ended up kind of doing repetitive tasks just to stay busy. Lunchtime picked up a little but it never got overwhelmingly busy, even when working during the summer holidays (when you'd kind of expect the zoo to be filled up). Then, by about 2pm, it would slow right down again and areas would start to be closed off and cleaned up ready for shutting down at approx 4-5pm. One of the most annoying things about working here as someone who hasn't got a driving license and therefore relies on lifts is that you never knew when you'd be finished! Some days it was closer to 5:30 and others it was as early as 3/4pm. Can't really blame this on anyone as the restaurant closed down based on what the traffic was like; if people stopped coming in, there was really no point staying open. A bit annoying though since I'd have to wait around for my lift to come most weeks! The management in my particular restaurant were actually not bad; I didn't exactly adore them all but my supervisors in particular were very kind and offered help and usually jobs to do when it got slow. Some of the higher ups were a little intimidating though! Working mostly weekends and holidays (as I was at college) I would say that pretty much all of the staff were between the ages of 16-24 (at least those not in management positions) which has its advantages and disadvantages. It's great that the zoo offers so many young people a chance to gain work experience there but sometimes - 


Helpful managers, nice people, free zoo entry


Unspecified finish times, repetitive and mundane tasks, low pay
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Enjoyable work

Being one of the oldest on staff at the time meant that I was placed in the chip shop, which meant that I could work unaided and independently which was a good feeling to have




Short breaks
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Worst place i have ever had to go to.

I was made to work with food when I was vomiting. Worked too hard, very long hours with little break - I've had to work 10 hours with 15 minutes break. My supervisor (one running the shop) was 17, same age as me. No order, no appraisals, no appreciation for employees.




Long hours
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Long days and extremely repetitive tasks.

Typical day at work- Morning is very slow, after opening there will be a few customers buying just drinks, cleaning tasks are normally complete within an hour of opening. Lunch time, feels very busy but that is because the food production takes too long and the queue can be out of the door even on a quiet day. After lunch it dies down again and cleaning will be done by around 4pm. Shutting down can take anywhere between 15mins to an hour depending on the amount of staff and how much cleaning had been completed prior to shutting. Lunch breaks normally start at 2pm but you can often get one around 4pm (occasionally had to have one once hot food has been taken off) they last for 30 mins max. What you learned- Very little, applied for this job to do kitchen work and have had minimal training in that area, am either put on the tills or dining area (normally the former) Management- Can be great but there is minimal communication from them. Often changes are put in without informing anyone which can cause confusion for staff and customers. Co-workers- Can be nice, there are very few staff in Mon-Fri so you don't get to interact much. Sat-Sun and school holidays are filled with 16 year old cliques so the environment is not very professional if you are looking to leave behind your school years. Hardest part of the job- Finding something to do when all the cleaning has been completed, often end up sweeping a clean floor, wiping clean glass or cleaning an already clean coffee machine. Most enjoyable part- None of it is particularly enjoyable, you have little work - 


Free entry to the zoo (for yourself and one extra person) and cheap entry for any extra people.


Low pay, low benefits, lack of communication from management, holiday requests often ignored, extremely short staffed during the week, extremely over staffed at weekends, lack of promotional opportunities, rarely get a pay rise, pay rise often only by 10p per hour.
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Overall rating

Based on 51 reviews

Ratings by category

3.3 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.9 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.1 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.1 out of 5 stars for Management
3.3 out of 5 stars for Culture

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