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The catering and hospitality sector in Glasgow

  • Chef Salary (May 2019) in Glasgow: £21,729 per year / £11.14 per hour
  • Head Chef Salary (May 2019) in Glasgow: £27,721 / £14.21 per hour
  • Cook Salary (May 2019) in Glasgow: £17,840 / £9.15 per hour

Great bars. Great restaurants. Great gigs. Glasgow is Scotland’s creative hub. Edinburgh may have its festival, but Glasgow is the place to be for chefs, baristas and bar managers alike. Not only is it a much cheaper place to live than the capital, but it is also home to some of the most inspiring places to work in hospitality and catering.

Wages are rising in the city. A recent Glasgow Evening Times report revealed that take-home pay grew by 11.3% on average last year, the highest in the UK. Compare this to Edinburgh’s 1.5%, and Glasgow suddenly looks like the place to work in Scotland. Our most recent data suggests that chefs in Glasgow can expect to earn more than £21,000 a year, whilst the average salary for a head chef is over £27,000.

This is a city on the up. As you might suspect, the demand for staff in catering and hospitality is rising fast, especially as these skill sets are becoming ever harder to find not only in Glasgow but throughout the UK. Wages are set to rise in the city for the long term for both chefs and waiters. With events in Glasgow running throughout the year, the city also offers an abundance of flexible, seasonal work too.

Training and upskilling are vital to everyone in our industry. Glasgow isn’t short of options. Tennant’s Training Academy, a dedicated hospitality-based training academy, provides over 40 courses for catering beginners and specialists. And if you work for one of Blue Arrow’s catering employers, you could also have the opportunity to join a Blue Arrow Apprenticeship course.

No wonder there are so many great chefs working in Glasgow. Celebrity chef Tony Singh, who features on Saturday Kitchen and The Great British Menu, moved to work in the city a few years ago, opening Tasty at the Alea Casino. Meanwhile, Glasgow-born Gary Maclean, winner of Masterchef: The Professionals, has worked in eateries across Glasgow. He also happens to be the Chef Lecturer at the City of Glasgow College. 

Glasgow is a city with a rich culinary tradition. It’s not just fried Mars bars. Whether you want to cook up neaps and tatties or tikka tandoori, this city has got it all. 

Cost of living in Glasgow

  • Average monthly rent in Glasgow: £451-£1,186
  • Monthly travel pass: £73 (bus, rail, metro and some ferries)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £50
  • Council tax: £1,179-£4,134 per year

Glasgow is the most affordable city in the UK for low earners to buy their own home. It’s also one of the most affordable places to live and work in the UK. An average 1-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre will cost around £451.32 a month to rent, whilst a swanky 3-bedroom apartment in the centre of town will cost on average £1,186.99.

Transport in Glasgow is extensive, especially compared to the rest of the UK. As one of only four cities in the UK to have a metro system, it’s a very accessible city to traverse. There are also reliable ScotRail services to the suburbs and beyond, whilst buses are regular and extensive. A travel pass covers them all at £73 a month.

Working in catering and hospitality, the cost of food is at the forefront of our minds. With its independent specialist shops and suppliers, Glasgow offers fresh, local ingredients and exotic spices at affordable prices. Eating out is good value too, especially considering the quality of its culinary scene. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant will set you back around £12. A three-course meal for two will cost on average around £50, and that’s factoring in the city’s high-end eateries.

Whilst rent is undoubtedly cheap, one also has to factor in council tax. Though more expensive than some UK cities, Glasgow isn’t extortionate. The cheapest properties can expect to pay £1,179 a year, whilst high-end apartments and mansion houses can cost up to £4,134.

Get in touch with Blue Arrow in Glasgow

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Glasgow

Glasgow may have the reputation of deep-frying everything from pizza to chocolate, but there’s more to this city than just that. Glasgow is home to some of the most creative bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Whatever your specialism, you’re likely to find a place to work in Glasgow that reflects your passion. Not to mention the local universities, colleges and hospitals which also offer jobs for catering and hospitality professionals.

Alchemilla, arguably the city’s hippest restaurant, serves up some of the best Mediterranean food for those deep of pocket, whilst Finnieston’s The Gannet offers quality food without breaking the bank. There are too many great restaurants in Glasgow to list here, but it goes without saying that this city is home to the best places to eat, work and cook in Scotland. Just ask any local.

There are so many recognisable chefs working in this city. Jimmy Lee, a regular on BBC cookery shows, recently designed the menu for the new Shanghai Teahouse restaurant in Bothwell (on the outskirts of Glasgow). Wherever you happen to be in this city, you’re only ever a stone's throw from some of the UK’s best chefs plying their trade.

Glasgow may be a culinary hotspot, but it’s just as famous for its bars. There’s The Finnieston, a trendy bar serving up creative cocktails, the Allison Arms, a cosy local boozer, and everything in between. Almost every bar serves up an extensive selection of Scotland’s famous whiskies too. May’s Southside Fringe Festival and July’s TRNSMT music festival also offer short-term opportunities for hospitality workers.

Coffee culture. The heart of almost every modern city. For baristas, Glasgow serves up some of the best brews from artisan roasters in exciting locations. Tinderbox is something of a pioneer in this regard, with three branches now spread across the city. Artisan Roast is likewise a caffeine-scene dream. They buy beans directly from farmers, roast in-house and serve up brews in a cool, minimalist cafe-front. A barista’s dream.

Whether you’re a head chef, cook, bar manager or barista, Glasgow is a creative, thriving city to both live and work.

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Where to find Blue Arrow in Glasgow 

Blue Arrow Glasgow
125 West Regent Street
G2 5JF

Tel: 0141 221 0007

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

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