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 The catering and hospitality sector in Rugby

  • Head chef salary (November 2019) in Rugby: £31,150 a year / £14.98 per hour
  • Sous chef salary (November 2019) in Rugby: £25,000 a year / £13.12 per hour
  • Chef de partie salary (November 2019) in Rugby: £19,978 a year / £9.61 per hour

Poor Rugby. For years, the town has been in the shadow of its famous sporting namesake, which was born at Rugby School in 1823 when William Webb Ellis picked up a football and never looked back. Ask most people in Britain what they know about Rugby the town, and most will only be able to tell you about rugby the sport. However, there’s more to this Warwickshire town than its oval-shaped gift to the world.

From its Anglo-Saxon roots to its current incarnation as a bustling market town, Rugby’s rich heritage can be seen in its historic buildings and museums. The charming old town area is a great place for a spot of shopping, with a wide range of high street stores and thriving independent shops as well as an abundance of cafes and restaurants to choose from.

With access to lots of green spaces both in and around town as well as competitive wages, Rugby offers residents a good standard of living. In 2017, the town was named as one of the top 20 places to live in the UK by Halifax’s quality of life survey.

Rugby is also located in the heart of England, making it the ideal base to explore the wider region. And with over 70,000 people living in the town, opportunities for catering and hospitality workers are numerous.

According to our most recent data, catering and hospitality wages in Rugby are among the most competitive in Warwickshire. A head chef, for example, can expect to earn over £31,000 per annum, while a chef de partie earns around £20,000.

For chefs and other catering professionals looking to up their game, the Rugby area has many opportunities for training and development, including the Professional Cookery course at Rugby College.

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Cost of living in Rugby

  • Average monthly rent in Rugby: £724 pcm
  • Monthly travel pass: £50.22 (all forms of public transport)
  • Meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: £50

The cost of living in Rugby is less than the UK average. An average 1-bedroom apartment, for example, costs £569 per month to rent, while a 3-bedroom apartment costs around £924.

Located near several motorways including the M6, M1 and M45, Rugby is extremely accessible by car. By rail, the town sits on the West Coast Main Line and provides frequent regular services to London Euston and Birmingham New Street, as well as to Stafford and Crewe. There are also less frequent services to Glasgow Central and the North West of England.

In and around town, the local bus service connects the town centre with the surrounding villages. An adult day ticket with Stagecoach costs just £3.40.

Supermarkets in Rugby sell food and drink at the same prices you’d expect anywhere else in the country while eating out at a restaurant is also relatively affordable. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant, for example, typically costs no more than £50.

Council tax in Rugby is calculated based on the area you live in, as well as the value of the property. More information about council tax bands can be found here.

Bars, kitchens and restaurants in Rugby

The small but thriving food and drink scene in Rugby is mostly clustered around the town centre, but there are also some great places further afield, too. Traditional English fare and flavours from across the globe can be sampled in a range of eateries, pubs and cafes.

The multi-award-winning Café Vin Cinq Restaurant is a chic bistro that brings Parisian culinary flair to Warwickshire, with a wide selection of French dishes and cocktail bar to match. For a no-frills Indian restaurant with food that packs a punch, look no further than Curry Club.

Likewise, the independently-owned La Casa Loco is a vibrant Mexican that’s proven popular with hungry locals. Trendy and contemporary, On the Rocks calls itself “Rugby’s most unique dining experience”, and with super-heated lava stones cooking your food right in front of you, it’s hard to argue!

Real ale is big news in Rugby. The Rugby Real Ale Trail connects the town’s many real ale pubs, each of which has their own unique character, tap selection and hearty menu. Meaty delights and exceptional English roasts are in store for punters at The Huntsman Carvery, while The Bull Inn is the quintessential village pub — great beer, great hospitality and great homecooked food. Other must-visit gastropubs include The Bell, The Merchants Inn and The Tuning Fork.

Aside from independent restaurants and gastropubs, Rugby town centre is home to several national and international chain restaurants, including Prezzo Italian and Pizza Express.

For a more laid-back working environment, there are also plenty of cafes, bakeries and tea rooms located around town. Papillon Cafe Bar is an ornate little tea room where friendly staff serve up scrumptious cakes and flavoursome cocktails. Treacles Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and has proven an immensely popular spot for family meet-ups. And Caffe Vita is the hipster crowdpleaser, offering arguably the best coffee in town.

There are more job opportunities outside of cafes, bars and restaurants. Catering and hospitality work is also available in the city’s primary schools, secondary schools and special schools, as well as in its hotels, hospitals and care homes.

No matter if you’re a full-time executive chef or a part-time catering assistant, Rugby provides plenty of great opportunities to take the next step in your career.

Your nearest Blue Arrow branch

Blue Arrow Coventry
First Floor
153 - 161 New Union Street

Tel: 02476 632 700

Branch Opening Times
Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 5:30pm

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