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The Catering and Hospitality sector in Edinburgh

  • Chef salary (May 2019) in Edinburgh: £23,603 per year / £12.10 per hour
  • Head chef salary (May 2019) in Edinburgh: £33,395 per year / £17.12 per hour
  • Cook salary (May 2019) in Edinburgh: £18,379 per year / £9.42 per hour

The capital of Scotland. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The home of the Fringe. Edinburgh is a truly spectacular city. But it’s not all pretty streets, Scottish pride and experimental theatre. This city is one of Europe’s best cities to live and work in catering and hospitality. Whether you’re a bar manager or a chef just starting out, inspiration lies around every corner in ‘Auld Reekie’.

Though Edinburgh is a more expensive city to lay down roots than its fierce rival Glasgow, wages in the capital are higher. Our most recent data suggests that an average chef can expect to take home £23,603 a year (£1,874 more than Glasgow), whilst a head chef on average earns £5,674 more than in Scotland’s second city (£33,395, as opposed to £27,721).

Scotland’s capital is not just an incredible place to live and work today, it’s also a city that’s still developing. With so many tourists visiting from all four corners of the earth, there’s a thriving catering and hospitality sector ripe with opportunity. Not only are more restaurants than ever opening their doors in the city, but there’s also a ready supply of seasonal and temporary work -- particularly when the Edinburgh Fringe kicks off.

Whilst there are a bunch of opportunities for catering and hospitality working in Edinburgh, inevitably, there’s also a lot of competition for roles. With so many internationally renowned establishments, they only expect the best.

To keep on top of your game, training is key. Thankfully, there are a number of training opportunities across the city. Better still, if you work for a Blue Arrow employer, you can also upskill with one of our Blue Arrow Apprenticeships.

Edinburgh is a city that is famous worldwide, so it won’t be a huge surprise to learn that some world-famous chefs work in the Scottish capital. This is not just a city for haggis, neeps and tatties. Celebrity chef Tom Kitchin cooks up a storm at The Kitchin, whilst Michelin star chef Martin Wishart serves some of the city’s finest fare at the aptly named Restaurant Martin Wishart

This city is bursting with creativity in every respect, but especially when it comes to its culinary scene. For catering and hospitality professionals, Edinburgh is one of the best places to live and work in the entire world, let alone the UK.

Get in touch with Blue Arrow in Edinburgh

Latest Hospitality and Catering Jobs in Edinburgh

Cost of living in Edinburgh

  • Average monthly rent in Edinburgh: £598-£1,379 a month
  • Monthly travel pass: £55 (bus and tram)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £52
  • Council tax: £1,147-£4,018 per year/ £95 - £334 per month

There’s no doubt about it, the cost of living in Edinburgh has slowly risen over the past decade. However, it’s still a much more affordable place to live than you might imagine, especially considering the city’s desirability. An average 1-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre will set you back £598.75 on average, whilst a high-end 3-bedroom property can cost up to £1,379 a month. Compared to Glasgow, Edinburgh seems pricey. Compared to London, it’s an outright steal.

Public transport in the Scottish capital is extensive and reliable. Bus services operate 24 hours, whilst Edinburgh trams operate across 15 stops, connecting the Airport with the New Town. Wherever you live in the city, getting around will be simple, even if you don’t drive. A monthly travel pass will set you back around £55, so it won’t cost you too much either.

If you’re a chef, or just about anyone working in catering and hospitality, the cost of food is massively important. Not only for ordering stock at work, but trying out the competition. Though Edinburgh isn’t the cheapest place to eat in the UK, it’s not extortionate either. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant costs £52 on average, whilst a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around £13.50.

Rent in Edinburgh is reasonable, but council tax also needs to be taken into account. The amount paid can vary wildly. The cheapest flats outside of the city centre cost £1,147 a year, whilst the most expensive, luxurious mansions will set you back more than £4,000 a year in council tax alone. 

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Edinburgh

Edinburgh may be best known for its thriving arts scene, but the city’s burgeoning selection of high-class restaurants, unique bars and chic coffee shops makes it a year-round destination. With some of the UK’s best eateries, roasteries and bars, landing a great hospitality or catering job in the Scottish capital is easier than it is in most cities. This is without taking into account the vast number of public sector work in Edinburgh — from schools to hospitals to universities.

From Michelin-star restaurants to street food markets, Edinburgh’s vibrant culinary scene is one of the UK’s shining lights. The Scran & Scallie, brainchild of two Michelin star chefs, is the most sought-after eatery in the city, serving up top-notch gastropub classics.

The tasty Thai outfit Ting Thai Caravan has some of the best Asian flavours, whilst family-run Timberyard showcases the best local cuisine. Whatever your specialism, Edinburgh’s vast array of restaurants give you plenty of opportunities to showcase your talents.

Edinburgh’s eateries certainly warrant the city’s growing culinary reputation, but for those working in hospitality, a city’s bars and nightlife are equally important. For whisky experts, The Bow Bar should be the first point of call, with over 300 served.

The craft beer revolution is in full swing in Edinburgh too, with Malt & Hops the pick of the bunch. There are countless cocktail bars to work in too. For bar managers, bar staff and every other hospitality worker, Edinburgh is a solid place to be.

Coffee culture is strong in Edinburgh, too. Fortitude, Cult Espresso and Brew Lab Coffee are among the most celebrated, though you’re never too far away from highly skilled baristas serving up cortados and macchiatos in the city.

Whether you’re a head chef or cook, bar staff or barista, Edinburgh is one of the best places in the UK to live, work and develop your career.

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Where to find Blue Arrow in Edinburgh

Blue Arrow Edinburgh
9 Coates Crescent

Tel: 0131 225 4237 
Email: edinburgh.office@bluearrow.co.uk

Branch Opening Times
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:30pm

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