Chef Jobs Newcastle, Tyne Bridge during the day

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The catering and hospitality sector in Newcastle

  • Head chef salary (July 2019) in Newcastle: £34,050 a year / £16.37 per hour
  • Sous chef salary (July 2019) in Newcastle: £25,960 a year / £12.50 per hour
  • Chef de partie salary (July 2019) in Newcastle: £24,600 a year / £11.80 per hour

The largest city in the Northeast of England, Newcastle upon Tyne’s reputation exceeds its size. Though only the eighth-most populous urban area in the UK, few cities have had such a disproportionate impact on popular culture. From the world-famous Tyne Bridge (of which the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a copy) to the familiar TV appearances of native sons Ant and Dec, Newcastle is one of the best-known cities in Britain.

This reputation has largely been forged by the gregarious, hardworking nature of its people. The Geordie tones of the Auf Wiedersehen Pet builders were familiar in living rooms up and down the country, as were the sporting exploits of local-boys-done-good Sir Bobby Robson, Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer. In Newcastle, football is a religion, and the locals are just as famous for their passionate support of Newcastle United Football Club as they are for their distinctive accent. Music is also in the blood: just ask Sting, Mark Knopfler, Cheryl, and one half of Little Mix.

When it comes to food and drink, however, Newcastle is not particularly on the radar – which is a surprise given its rich culinary heritage. Geordie cuisine has given us pease pudding, the stottie cake, Newcastle Brown Ale, and the UK’s favourite bakery chain, Greggs. Panackelty, a type of casserole, also originated in the nearby city of Sunderland. For lovers of hearty British food, the Northeast is in a league of its own.

But there’s no need for more adventurous chefs to miss out. As a welcoming, cosmopolitan city, the Toon is fast becoming a foodie hotspot. From Gateshead to North Shields, a crop of excellent eateries are popping up all over Tyne and Wear, giving catering and hospitality professionals plenty of choice for employment in the city. Whether you’re after tapas and cocktails or steamed bao buns and beer, Newcastle won’t let you down.

With such a vibrant dining scene and strong wages, Newcastle is increasingly becoming a destination for ambitious catering and hospitality professionals. According to our most recent data, the average head chef in Newcastle earns up to £34,000 a year. A sous chef can expect to take home £26,000, while the average chef de partie makes earns around £11.80 an hour. All of these wages are higher than the national average for these roles.

Newcastle also has plenty of opportunities for catering and hospitality workers looking to upskill. Newcastle College, for example, runs a popular Chefs’ Academy. If you work for one of Blue Arrow’s catering employers, you may also have the opportunity to join a Blue Arrow Apprenticeship programme. No matter if you’re a commis chef, bar back or barista, Newcastle is a great place to work in our industry right now. 

Cost of living in Newcastle

  • Average monthly rent in Newcastle: £400-£1,000
  • Monthly travel pass: £57.50 (all forms of public transport)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £40
  • Council Tax: £1,240.02 - £3,964.22 per year / £103.34 - £330.35 per month
As if good wages weren’t enough, the Newcastle urban area has affordable housing to suit any budget – meaning you’ll have plenty of disposable income to enjoy the city’s offerings on your days off. An average 1-bedroom apartment just outside of Newcastle city centre costs around £451.11 per month to rent, while a high-end 3-bedroom city centre apartment will set you back just £1,033.33.

Thanks to a comprehensive rapid transit and light rail system, the Metro, Newcastle and the larger Tyne and Wear region are easy to navigate. Gateshead Quayside is a short hop over the Tyne away from Newcastle city centre, while a journey from Newcastle City Airport to Wallsend only takes 45 minutes. For the more far-flung areas not accessible via light rail, Newcastle’s regular bus network ensures quick access to the city centre. A single fare in Newcastle costs £2.90, while a monthly travel pass will set you back £57.50.

When moving to a new city, it’s important for anyone to get to grips with local food costs. Fortunately, supermarkets in Newcastle sell food and drink at the same prices you’d expect anywhere else in the country. Eating out at a restaurant also represents fantastic value for money. A meal for one at an inexpensive restaurant costs around £11, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range eatery will set you back around £40.

Council tax in Newcastle 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 £1,240.02 while the priciest properties will set you back £3,964.22 a year.

Find out how much you can earn in Newcastle

Bars, Kitchens and restaurants in Newcastle 

From hearty British pub grub to experimental Asian food, Newcastle’s dining scene is as eclectic as it is exhilarating. In 2017, the Toon was even lauded as the top city in the UK for independent restaurant openings and that trend has shown no signs of letting up.

Set within a Grade-I listed 16th Century former merchant’s townhouse, House of Tides is currently Newcastle’s only Michelin-star restaurant. Owner and chef Kenny Atkinson grew up on a council estate in the city’s west end and his food offers a fine-dining twist on traditional Geordie fare. Lobster, scallops and truffles ensure that it’s a culinary experience for punters to remember.

While House of Tides is the gold standard, a crowd of fantastic fine-dining establishments are following in tow. Peace & Loaf is headed up by 2010’s MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Dave Coulson and champions the freshest local produce in Tyneside. Situated in Fenwick Foodhall, Saltwater Fish Company is a no-frills fish bar and fishmonger that serves up delicious seafood. At The Patricia, chef-owner Nick Grieves brings a rustic, bistro-like vibe to Jesmond, and the locally-sourced food ain’t half bad, either.

Fans of casual dining are also spoilt for choice. Cal’s Own is a delightful pizzeria that makes wood-fired sourdough pizzas in an authentic Campanian style. Situated between the stanchions of the iconic Tyne Bridge, The Bridge Tavern is a popular brew-pub serving up tasty seasonal grub and thirst-quenching craft beers. Whitley Bay’s Papa Ganoush mezze bar offers some of the best Middle Eastern food in the Northeast, while the Nan Bei kiosk in Grainger Market is a must-visit for fans of Chinese street food.

As a university city, Newcastle is famous for its nightlife and is awash with fantastic pubs, bars and nightclubs. For bar managers, bartenders and mixologists moving to the city, the options are endless. Whether you’re serving the cast of Geordie Shore in an upmarket Diamond Strip bar or looking after a student birthday party in an Osborne Road pub, one thing’s for sure: hospitality work in Newcastle is never dull.

And how could we forget the city’s thriving coffee culture? Founded in 2012, Ouseburn Coffee Co was one of the first independent roasteries in the city, and since then it has continued to provide the perfect blend to Geordie coffee connoisseurs. Other local favourites include Pink Lane Coffee, Flat Caps Coffee and Tynemouth Coffee Co, which has created something of a buzz among the barista community thanks to its quirkily named blends.

From head waiters in fine-dining restaurants to catering assistants at the Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle is undoubtedly one of the UK’s best locations for catering and hospitality work.

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Where to find Blue Arrow Newcastle

Collingwood Buildings,
38 Collingwood Street 

Tel: 0191 230 3400

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

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