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The catering and hospitality sector in Leicester

  • Head chef salary (September 2019) in Leicester: £29,869.47 a year / £14.36 per hour
  • Sous chef salary (September 2019) in Leicester: £23,802.66 a year / £12.74 per hour
  • Chef de partie salary (September 2019) in Leicester: £20,670 a year / £10.13 per hour

Until recently, Leicester (despite its size and central location in England) was something of an afterthought to those outside the East Midlands. It was famous for being the home of Walkers Crisps and the birthplace of Julian Barnes, Gary Lineker and the Attenboroughs, but not a lot else.

Then two things happened in quick succession to completely galvanise Leicester’s national image. In 2012, the long-lost remains of the 15th-century king, Richard III, were excavated underneath a city-centre car park – sparking a frenzy of interest in the infamous monarch. And then, in 2016, Leicester City FC shook the entire sporting world to its foundations by winning the Premier League – despite being 5000-1 rank outsiders and favourites for relegation. Much to Lineker’s delight, Leicester is now firmly on the map.

There’s much more to this city than rich heritage and sporting prowess, however. Thanks in part to its ethnic diversity and entrepreneurial spirit, Leicester boasts one of the most interesting food and drink scenes in the country. From award-winning restaurants and real ale pubs to independent coffee shops and pop-up food trucks, Leicester has it all.

This city is brimming with variety. With hundreds of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants, curry lovers will feel right at home in Leicester. The city was, after all, a former holder of the title of UK Curry Capital. Cheese and meat fans are in for a treat, too: Red Leicester and Stilton are famously produced in the surrounding Leicestershire countryside, as are Melton Mowbray pork pies. And with farmers markets, country boozers, local distilleries and ethnic diners thrown into the mix, this city is a foodie melting pot.

Leicester is a great place for talented catering and hospitality professionals to make their mark. Chef wages in Leicester are highly competitive; slightly higher than the nearby cities of Nottingham and Derby. Our most up-to-date data suggests that take-home pay for catering and hospitality workers is on the rise. The average salary for a head chef is just under £30,000 a year, while a talented sous chef can earn around £24,000 a year.

If you’re a chef looking to upskill, Leicester also has several industry-recognised training courses to help you master your craft. Leicester College, for example, offers a range of hospitality and catering courses for all levels of experience. Professionals who work for a Blue Arrow employer can also enhance their career with one of our Blue Arrow Apprenticeships.

From kitchen roles in care homes to mixologist roles in trendy cocktail bars, catering and hospitality jobs in Leicester are plentiful.

Cost of living in Leicester

  • Average monthly rent in Leicester: £550-£900
  • Monthly travel pass: £56 (all forms of public transport)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £45

Wages go a long way in Leicester, which has a relatively affordable cost of living. To rent a 1-bedroom apartment just outside of the city centre, you’ll have to spend around £470.88 per month. At the other end of the scale, a plush 3-bedroom city centre apartment will set you back £1,023.08.

Getting from A-to-B in Leicester is simple. The city has an extensive bus network that connects each suburb and outlying village to the city centre, with a one-way bus ticket costing around £2.60. Thanks to its central location in England, Leicester is also a great hub for rail transport. Regular services between London St. Pancras, the East Midlands and Yorkshire are operated by East Midlands Trains, while the east-west cross country route goes east to Peterborough, Cambridge and Stansted Airport and west to Nuneaton and Birmingham.

For newcomers to the city, food and drink can be purchased at the same prices you’d expect in supermarkets anywhere else in the country. It’s also easy to dine out with spending an arm and a leg. A meal for one at an inexpensive eatery costs around £11.50, while £45 should be enough for a decent three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant.

Council tax in Leicester depends on a number of factors, including the area you live and the value of the property you buy or rent. The cheapest tax band for residents is £1,228.03 while the priciest properties will set you back £3,684.08 a year.

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Leicester

With such a unique blend of cultures, it seems almost inevitable that Leicester has one of the best food scenes in the country. From traditional British pub grub to West African jollof, Italian fare to Gujarati thali, a range of gastronomic flavours are represented throughout the city.

Located in the village of Bruntingthorpe, The Joiners Arms is a stylish rural gastropub that holds a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand rating. Also in a rural setting is The Windmill Inn, a popular haunt for modern fine dining and classic pub dishes. The intimate atmosphere of OGGI Simply Italian is just as appropriate for romantic meals for two as it is for family celebrations, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find better pasta in Leicester. And Saray Mangal brings the taste of Anatolia to Leicester, with affordable prices and an unforgettable dining experience making it popular among students and young professionals.

More than a third of Leicester’s inhabitants are of Indian descent, so aficionados of the subcontinent’s culinary treasures will feel like they’re in nirvana. The famous Belgrave Road contains a flurry of first-class curry houses that attract foodies from all corners of the city and beyond. In the city centre, Kayal proves ever popular thanks to its quirky, authentic offerings of Keralan seafood, while Everest Dine serves delicious Himalayan fare to adventurous foodies.

In addition to a wealth of independent eateries, many of the restaurant chains common in the centres of big cities have a presence in Leicester, including Bill’s, Ask Italian, Las Iguanas, Zizzi’s, Bodega and Bistro Pierre. Meanwhile, a peppering of independent cafes, tea rooms and bakeries line the city streets – ideal for those who prefer a more relaxed daytime setting.

For those who’d rather work in the buzz of the city’s nightlife, a host of options await. With a USP “jazz, blues and classic cocktails”, 33cankstreet is one of the most stylish bars in town. Manhattan34 is a Prohibition-style speakeasy that serves up a mind-boggling array of cocktails. And BrewDog Leicester is ideal for craft beer lovers who want to serve a Punk IPA or two in sleek surroundings.

In addition to bars, restaurants and cafes, there are countless top-class universities (Leicester University and De Montfort University), sports venues (The King Power Stadium; Morningside Arena; Welford Road Stadium; Leicester Racecourse), and hotels (including all the major chains such as Hilton, Hotel Ibis and Premier Inn) that require catering and hospitality professionals throughout the year. Great opportunities can also be found in the city’s hundreds of primary schools and dozens of secondary and special schools, as well as in its hospitals and care homes.

Find Blue Arrow in Leicester

Click here for more information on our Leicester branch

Blue Arrow Leicester
20 Belvoir Street
Leicester
LE1 6QH

Tel: 0116 255 6111
Email: leicester@bluearrow.co.uk

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

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Hospitality and Catering Jobs Leicester

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