Hotel Chocolat offers 50% discount to all NHS workers

Hotel Chocolat is offering every NHS worker a 50% discount on its products in store, as a “thank you” for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.

The company follows similar moves from Pret, McDonald’s and hotel chains, which are offering discounts, free drinks and accommodation for key workers.

Chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “Our locations are so close to so many major hospitals, it made sense for us to do something.

Hotel Chocolat rent cuts
Hotel Chocolat rent cuts

“That’s why any NHS worker can get a 50% discount in our stores with presentation of their pass. We hope when the day’s over they can have a chocolate or two to relax.”

In preparation for a potential shutdown, Mr Thirlwell added that he is planning to turn stores into delivery operations, making drop-offs from local stores to residents.

Several businesses have already stepped up, offering resources and services to assist with the Covid-19 outbreak, and the Government has been asking factories whether they can produce extra ventilators.

But others have taken advantage of the situation, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) saying the outbreak has prompted concerns that people could be exploited by companies “charging excessive prices or making misleading claims about their products”.

It said it has already contacted traders and platforms over excessive pricing of hand sanitiser as part of its efforts.

The move by Hotel Chocolat came as the company revealed it raised £22 million on the stock market on Friday through the issuing of new shares.

This included Mr Thirlwell and his co-founder Peter Harris spending £2 million each on the buy-in.

The company said there had been “strong demand from existing shareholders and other high-quality institutional investors”.