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The catering and hospitality sector in Cardiff

  • Chef Salary (May 2019) in Cardiff: £25,642 per year / £13.15 per hour
  • Head Chef Salary (May 2019) in Cardiff: £39,569 per year / £20.29 per hour
  • Assistant Cook Salary (May 2019) in Cardiff: £18,299 per year / £9.38 per hour

Cardiff is not just the capital of Wales. Right now, it’s one of the most desirable places to live and work in the UK. A thriving, cosmopolitan city, Cardiff is home to exceptional bars, restaurants and coffee shops, making it a haven for those working in catering and hospitality.

When it comes to take-home pay, Cardiff is amongst the best in the UK. Our most recent data reveals that the average salary for a chef in Cardiff is £25,642, almost £5,000 higher than Swansea, and £2,000 more than nearby Bristol. Meanwhile, a head chef can expect to earn up to £40,000, with an assistant cook earning just shy of £20,000.

Demand for catering and hospitality staff is on the rise too. 2018 saw multiple new openings in the city, whilst 2019 looks set to be another year of growth. And with skills shortages across every field of our industry, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a role that’s right for you in Cardiff.

For those looking to train or upskill, Cardiff has got you covered. NobleProg offers on-site training for chefs, whilst Cardiff and Vale College has all the training a chef would need to become a true great. For those working for Blue Arrow employers, you may also have the opportunity to engage with a Blue Arrow Apprenticeship course.

There’s little wonder so many great chefs are working in Cardiff. A recent Wales Online piece showed the breadth and depth of culinary talent in the city. Michelin Star chef James Sommerin also cooks up an exciting taster menu just a few miles away in the coastal town of Penarth.

Cardiff is not just a great city today. It’s a city that’s growing fast, making it an exceptional place to work in catering and hospitality.

Find out how much you could earn working in Cardiff using our salary checker.

Cost of living in Cardiff

  • Average monthly rent in Cardiff: £547-£1,172
  • Monthly travel pass: £49 (bus)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £40
  • Council tax: £823-£3,536

As a city, Cardiff is amongst the most affordable in the UK. According to MoneySuperMarket research, it offers the UK’s best quality of life. Unemployment is down, disposable income is up, and the cost of living is low. It’s little wonder we’re seeing so many people making the move to the Welsh capital.

An average 1-bedroom apartment outside of town should set you back an average of £547 a month, whilst a fancier 3-bedroom apartment in the city centre can cost up to £1,172.

Transport in the city is, on the whole, pretty reliable. A monthly travel pass booked online via Cardiff Bus will set you back £49 a month if you pay by direct debit. Not every route operates a night service, but unlike most cities in the UK, there are options. The route 18 service operates hourly throughout the night seven days a week, which is ideal when working late shifts. Route 38 also operates a night service, but only on weekends.

Working in hospitality and catering, the cost of food is at the forefront of our considerations when choosing a city to live and work in. Cardiff offers great value for money. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around £10, whilst a three-course meal for two is likely to set you back around £40. For a thriving city, this is excellent value for money.

As with most areas in the UK, council tax in Cardiff depends on which area you live in, and the price of the property you rent or buy. The cheapest tax band starts at £823.89 in St. Fagans and rises to £3,536.97 for the most expensive properties in Pentrych.

Get in touch with Blue Arrow Cardiff

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Cardiff

The city of Cardiff is becoming a major foodie destination. With locals and weekend visitors coming into town to dine every day, there’s a thriving bar, restaurant and coffee shop scene. As someone working in catering and hospitality, there are few better places to be. Not to mention the local universities, hospitals and care kitchens searching for new staff.

The Welsh capital’s restaurants cover almost every cuisine imaginable. From the Neapolitan pizzas at Dusty Knuckle, to the previously mentioned Michelin star quality of Restaurant James Sommerin, to the classy Catalan cuisine at La Cuina, Cardiff is home to some of the best restaurants to eat, work and cook in Wales.

Cardiff is not just the culinary capital of Wales. It’s also home to a booming nightlife, including some outstanding pubs and clubs. St. Canna’s Ale House, a micropub serving up the best Welsh craft beers is a newly opened local favourite. Tiny Rebel, now a widely known brewery, has its own pub just down the road in Newport. The Cardiff Food and Drink Festival, and the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival, both in July, also offer scope for seasonal work. 

But what is there for the baristas? Well, thankfully, Cardiff’s coffee scene is very much on the rise right now. The Uncommon Ground Roastery and 200 Degrees Coffee Shop are arguably the best in the city, with the latter also offering training courses as part of its Barista School. For beginners and experts, Cardiff is caffeine-central. Even those who prefer decaf are catered for.

If you’re a bar manager or barista, head chef or cook, Cardiff is the only city in Wales you should think about living and working in.

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Where to find Blue Arrow in Cardiff


Blue Arrow Cardiff
13 Duke Street
Cardiff
CF10 1AY

Tel: 02920 345 566
Email: cardiff@bluearrow.co.uk

Branch Opening Times
Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 5:30pm

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