The catering and hospitality sector in Nottingham
- Head chef salary (June 2019) in Nottingham: £28,990.96 a year / £13.94 per hour
- Sous chef salary (June 2019) in Nottingham: £23,539.79 a year / £11.32 per hour
- Chef de partie salary (June 2019) in Nottingham: £21,840 a year / £10.50 per hour
When you mention Nottingham, certain things are likely to spring to mind. Robin Hood. Lace-making. Raleigh bikes. Torvill and Dean. Paul Smith. Boots. Football heritage. Sleaford Mods. A thriving student culture.
But when it comes to food and drink, Nottingham can fall slightly under the radar – even for those in the know.
In recent years, Nottingham’s independent dining scene has flourished, with artisan coffee roasteries, tapas bars and sourdough bakeries popping up all the way from Clifton to Carlton. Every August, the city also hosts the Nottingham Food and Drink Festival.
Nottingham is even home to a two-Michelin star restaurant: Sat Bains, named after its much-lauded chef proprietor. From cosy cafes to high-end eateries, the Queen of the Midlands is ripe with opportunity for catering and hospitality specialists.
No wonder that industry professionals are flocking to Notts. 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 chef is £21,800 a year, while an assistant chef can expect to earn around £18,700 a year.
If you’re a chef looking to upskill, then Nottingham has you covered. The city has several industry-recognised training courses to help you hone your craft. Nottingham College offers a broad range of hospitality and catering courses – providing key skills in professional cookery, waitering, coffee making and bartending to students of all ages and ability. Professionals who work for a Blue Arrow employer can also enhance their career opportunities with one of our Blue Arrow Apprenticeships.
For those looking to relocate somewhere that combines a vibrant dining scene with a host of cultural and sporting pursuits, competitive wages and affordable rent, it’s hard to look beyond Nottingham. Slap bang in the middle of England, most of Britain is only a few hours’ train journey away, too. And as a 4.7% increase in city centre bars and restaurants between 2013 and 2018 demonstrates, the food and drink scene in Nottingham looks set to continue going from strength to strength.
Cost of living in Nottingham
- Average monthly rent in Nottingham: £400-£1,100
- Monthly travel pass: £55 (all forms of public transport)
- Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £42.50
- Coucil tax: £1,358.71 - £3,720.06 per year / £113.23 - £310 per month
An average 1-bedroom apartment just outside of Nottingham city centre costs around £470.88 per month to rent, while a high-end 3-bedroom city centre apartment will set you back £1,023.08.
Getting around the Nottingham metropolitan area is simple. The city has an award-winning integrated transport system (run by different operators working in partnership) that provides excellent customer service and a cheap, easy way to move around the city. Pay-as-you-go and seasonal Robin Hood travel cards are valid on buses, trams and certain trains throughout the city, with a single fare costing around £2.20.
When moving to a new city, it’s important for anyone to get to grips with local grocery costs. Fortunately, supermarkets in Nottingham sell food and drink at the same prices you’d expect anywhere else in the country. It’s also easy to eat out without forking out. A meal for one at an inexpensive restaurant costs around £12, while a three-course meal for two in a mid-range eatery will set you back around £42.50.
Council tax in Nottingham 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 £1,358.71 while the priciest properties will set you back £3,720.06 a year.
Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Nottingham
With its two Michelin stars, it’s impossible to look beyond Sat Bains when discussing dining in Nottingham. Despite being the standard-bearer for the city’s food and drink scene, this iconic establishment is refreshingly humble: located next to the A52 flyover, Bains calls his creation a “working-class two-star restaurant.” And with playful twists on modern British food, friendly staff and a warm atmosphere, the restaurant certainly stays close to its roots.
Sat Bains may have set the culinary benchmark, but Nottingham is not short on contenders. Alchemilla, a rustic, plant-based fine dining restaurant, has an ever-changing menu that will delight the most diverse of palettes. Also exceptional is the Lace Market-based Iberico World Tapas, which serves succulent sharing plates in an intimate, authentic atmosphere. Undoubtedly the most intriguingly named restaurant in the city, however, is Sexy Mama Loves Spaghetti: a cosy, modern trattoria meting out the best Italian fare in the East Midlands.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese food aficionados are in for a treat at Coco Tang – a cafe, bakery and restaurant that doubles up as a cocktail bar at night. Open since 2005, the Indian restaurant Kayal is another smash-hit among locals. Serving up dishes as diverse as Keralan duck roast and seafood curry, this is the place to sample the finest flavours of the subcontinent.
Other notable foodie favourites include Hart’s, a restaurant that provides impeccable service and modern British cuisine to the residents of Standard Hill; Tom Browns Brasserie, a family-run, riverside restaurant that brings an eclectic menu and homely ambience to Gunthorpe; La Rock, which serves up experimental global food and puts the town of Sandiacre on the culinary map; and MemSaab, a delectable staple of South Asian cooking on Maid Marian Way.
Nottingham is one of the UK’s most multicultural cities outside of London, and the catering and hospitality scene certainly reflects this cultural diversity. Whether it’s an Italian wine bar, Caribbean takeaway or traditional British boozer, Nottingham is packed with exciting job opportunities in the food and drink industry.
Find Blue Arrow Nottingham
Blue Arrow Nottingham
2nd Floor, Granby House
44 Friar Lane
Tel: 0115 947 2252
Branch Opening Times
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:30pm