Chef Jobs Maidstone  - River in Maidstone with people sitting on the river bank

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The catering and hospitality sector in Maidstone

  • Head chef salary (September 2019) in Maidstone: £35,000 a year / £18.27 per hour
  • Sous chef salary (September 2019) in Maidstone: £31,200 a year / £16.96 per hour
  • Chef de partie salary (September 2019) in Maidstone: £24,100 a year / £12.33 per hour

Maidstone, the county town of Kent, lies at the centre of the Garden of England. Quaint and bustling in equal measure, the Maidstone area provides the best of both worlds.

In the romantic villages of Headcorn, Marden, Lenham and Yalding just outside of Maidstone, visitors can enjoy a peaceful afternoon exploring orchards, waterways, hop gardens and tea rooms. Back in the thriving town centre, a host of cultural and dining pursuits keep people entertained throughout the week.

If you live in Maidstone, you’ll always be close to the green and pleasant countryside surrounding the town. Adventurous types can hike the chalky ridge of the Kent Downs AONB on the North Downs Way or challenge themselves on the pilgrimage trail that links Rochester to Canterbury. With a landscape of rolling hills and winding rivers, keen cyclists will also have a rural playground on their doorstep. Sip tea or sup a pint in the picture-postcard villages of Lenham, Marden, Headcorn and Yalding.

There’s also plenty of history to get stuck into. The mighty towers of Leeds Castle stand guard over a glimmering lake. Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery hosts a 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy. The regal, 14th-century Archbishop’s Palace straddles the River Medway. And the town is dotted with hotels, townhouses, cafes and pubs that range from a number of eras.

As Kent’s capital, there’s plenty going on in Maidstone throughout the year. With outdoor music festivals, food festivals and air shows, as well as a whole host of events at the Kent Event Centre (including the annual County Show), life in Maidstone is far from dull.

Whether you’re an experienced head chef or a part-time barista, there are plenty of opportunities for catering and hospitality work in Maidstone. And with cultural and sporting events frequently taking place, seasonal employment is readily available too.

Salaries are also among the most competitive in Southeast England. According to the latest Blue Arrow data, a head chef can earn around £35,500 annually, while a sous chef can earn over £27,230 a year.

And for ambitious chefs looking to upskill, the Maidstone area is home to a host of training opportunities, including Hospitality & Catering Study Programmes that are held at MidKent College’s Maidstone and Medway campuses. Alternatively, if you find work with a Blue Arrow employer, you may be able to join a Blue Arrow Apprenticeship programmes.

Cost of living in Maidstone

  • Average monthly rent in Maidstone: £750-£1500
  • Monthly travel pass: £81.90 (all forms of public transport)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £46.50

Despite being a London commuter town situated in the heart of the Garden of England, rental prices in Maidstone are not as steep as you might expect. A 1-bedroom apartment in the town centre costs around £762.50 per month to rent, while a 3-bedroom house in the suburbs can cost anywhere between £850 and £2,500 per month. And with competitive wages in the town, you’ll have plenty left over to treat yourself on days off.

The area is also easy to get around. Sandwiched between the towns of Sevenoaks and Ashford, Maidstone is only a 1-hour train journey London and is similarly close to the English Channel. In the more immediate area in and around town, a number of bus routes will get you to most locations, whether you’re popping from the town centre to the hospital or having a day out in a nearby town or village.

Food and drink in Maidstone can be purchased at the same prices you’d expect in supermarkets anywhere else in the country. It’s also easy to dine out without spending an arm and a leg. A meal for one at an inexpensive eatery costs around £14, while £45 covers a decent three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant.

The amount you’ll pay for council tax in Maidstone depends on the area you live and the value of the property you buy or rent. The cheapest tax band for residents is £1,220.53 per year while the priciest properties will set you back £3,661.58.

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Maidstone

As the county town, you’d expect Maidstone to have its fair share of eateries. And you wouldn’t be wrong in making that assumption. From traditional British pub grub to the best of the Indian subcontinent, all flavours can be sampled in this historic town. With so many restaurants to choose from, we’ll do our best to pick out the cream of the crop.

Artemis, Maidstone’s flagbearer for Greek cuisine, brings the vibrant flavours of the Aegean to Kent. Castle View Restaurant delivers exactly as promised, offering splendid views of Leeds Castle while serving quality local produce. A family-run business with a great atmosphere, hearty pub fare, cask ales on tap and variety of entertainment, The Bell Inn perfects the art of the pub. Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse is set on the bustling high street and provides the best wine and meat pairings around. Finally, Shamrat delights the people of Maidstone with an intimate dining space in which to enjoy the best Indian cuisine.

Aside from independent restaurants and gastropubs, Maidstone town centre hosts many of the restaurant chains you’d expect to see in a town of its size, including Prezzo, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Bill’s, Cafe Rouge, Nando’s, Cote Brasserie, Wagamama and Pizza Express. For those who’d rather work in an independent business, there are also plenty of popular local cafes, tea rooms and bakeries.

Maidstone’s catering and hospitality sector is more than just pubs, cafes and restaurants. A wide range of job opportunities can be found in the town’s many schools, colleges, hotels, function rooms, sports venues, care homes and hospitals.

From commis chefs and kitchen porters to bartenders and cafe assistants, Maidstone is a great place to further your career goals.

Find Blue Arrow in Maidstone

Click here for more information on our Maidstone branch.

Blue Arrow Maidstone
Ground Floor
64 Earl Street
ME14 1PS

Tel: 01622 662144

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

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