Chef Jobs Northampton  Ariel view of Northampton Market

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The catering and hospitality sector in Northampton

  • Head chef salary (August 2019) in Northampton: £31,987.12 a year / £15.38 per hour
  • Sous chef salary (August 2019) in Northampton: £25,574.17 a year / £16.96 per hour
  • Chef de partie salary (August 2019) in Northampton: £22,464 a year / £11.02 per hour

Lying between Birmingham and London, Northampton is one of the largest towns in England. As the county town of Northamptonshire, it’s also a key cultural and economic centre in the East Midlands.

For 900 years, the area has been a centre for the shoemaking industry, and the iconic Dr Martens brand is based in nearby Wollaston. Such is the prestige of the industry that Northamptonshire is still commonly referred to as the ‘shoemaking capital of the world.’ The local football team, Northampton Town FC, are even nicknamed “The Cobblers” in recognition of this illustrious trade.

It’s not all shoes, however. Carlsberg and Weetabix have bases in the county, while the world-famous Silverstone racetrack is only 25 minutes drive from the town. Dating back to 1235, Northampton’s market square is one of the oldest and largest in England — and has an eclectic offering of fresh produce, street food and antique knick-knacks.

Among younger generations, the town is perhaps most notable for being the birthplace of the UK rap artist, Slowthai. And for those in the know, Northamptonshire is home to an up-and-coming food and drink scene that’s beginning to make a name for itself.

For talented and highly skilled catering and hospitality professionals, wages in Northamptonshire are among the best in the region. According to our latest data, a head chef can earn over £31,000 annually, while a chef de partie can earn over £22,000 a year.

For chefs looking to expand their culinary repertoire, Northampton and the surrounding area is home to a number of training and upskilling opportunities. Northampton College, for example, provides several nationally renowned hospitality and catering courses. What’s more, if you find work with one of Blue Arrow’s catering employers, you can also join one of Blue Arrow’s Apprenticeship programmes.

Northampton’s food and drink scene is a good place right now. A number of hospitality and catering jobs are available across the town from a head chef in a gastropub to a part-time catering assistant in a secondary school. There are also cultural and sporting various events taking place throughout the year, meaning seasonal employment opportunities are rarely in short supply.

Hospitality and Catering Jobs in Northampton

Cost of living in Northampton

  • Average monthly rent in Northampton: £500-£900
  • Monthly travel pass: £56 (all forms of public transport)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £45

Northampton’s rental market is cheaper than the UK average, making housing affordable for newcomers to the town. A 1-bedroom apartment in Northampton town centre costs around £568.75 per month to rent, while a typical 3-bedroom house outside the town centre costs around £817.67 per month. And with competitive wages in the town’s catering and hospitality sector, you’ll have plenty left over to spend on the best chefwear and kitchen knives.

Northampton is handily located near the M1, making it easy to travel to the north or south. For those who don’t own a car, Northampton itself is easy to get around via public transport. An extensive bus network serves the town, suburbs and surrounding region, with regular services to nearby destinations such as Milton Keynes, Rugby, Daventry, Kettering, Wellingborough and Corby. By rail, Northampton railway station is served by West Midlands Trains services southbound to London Euston and northbound to Birmingham New Street. A handful of Virgin Trains services also depart from the station.

Food and drink costs in Northampton are the same as you’d expect in supermarkets and restaurants anywhere else in the country. 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.

As for council tax in Northampton, the amount you’ll pay depends on the area you live and the value of the property you buy or rent. The cheapest tax band for residents is £1181.72 per year (in Upton) while the most expensive band is £3696.90 (in Duston).

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Northampton

If you enjoy working in a close-knit team that loves the buzz of the evening service, there are plenty of great food and drink establishments in Northampton in which to find your niche.

As the largest town in Northamptonshire, Northampton attracts diners from all over the county and has its fair share of eateries. From hearty pub fare to the flavours of Vietnam, a range of different cuisines and cookery styles can be sampled across the town.

Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, offers a carefully selected menu of Turkish dishes. Aladdin’s Balti, Lazeez and Baloo are perhaps the town’s best Indian restaurants, all serving a range of flavours from different regions of the subcontinent. Diners regularly flock to Les Olives for its fresh, simple and delicious Spanish tapas. Finally, The Cromwell Cottage and The Telegraph Inn are the cream of the crop when it comes to pub grub.

Mediterranean food is big news in Northampton. The atmospheric Nuovo offers a Venetian-inspired menu of Cicchetti, which is basically the Italian equivalent to tapas and is simply mouthwatering. The family-run Sorrentino Ristorante serves up sublime pizza, pasta and Mediterranean classics in an intimate, relaxed setting. And Sophia’s Restaurant is a charming trattoria specialising in French-Italian cuisine and is handily located nearby to the Royal & Derngate for some pre-theatre nourishment.

Aside from independent restaurants and gastropubs, Northampton town centre hosts many of the restaurant, pub and coffee-shop chains you’d expect to see in a town of its size, including Prezzo, Turtle Bay, ASK Italian, Bella Italia, Pizza Express, Nando’s, O’Neills, Revolution, Starbucks and Caffe Nero. For those who’d rather work in an independent business, there are also plenty of popular local cafes, tea rooms and bakeries.

Northampton’s catering and hospitality sector is more than just pubs, cafes and restaurants. A wide range of job opportunities can be found at Northampton University and Sixfields Stadium, as well as 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, Northampton is a great place to further your career goals.

Find Blue Arrow in Northampton

Click here for more information on our Northampton branch.

Blue Arrow Northampton
1st Floor,
51-53 Abington Street

Tel: 01604 603 002

Branch Opening Times
Monday - Friday :7:30am - 5.30pm

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