Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Skip to content

Overview of prison catering

Someone like you

This is not your average catering job. Working as a prison caterer is a great opportunity to put your catering skills and qualifications into practice, while making an impact far beyond the kitchen.

You’ll work as part of a team to prepare and cook meals for every prisoner, every day.

Working in an industrial-sized kitchen, your day will be meticulously planned. But you’ll need to be prepared for when things happen that throw you off schedule – such is the nature of working in a prison.

The one thing that needs to stay constant is that everyone knows they will get a nutritious meal.

That is where you come in. You’ll need to be resourceful, flexible, efficient, creative, and have a ‘can do’ attitude.

The quality of food has a real impact on prisoners’ morale, so your skills and experience will play an essential part in helping the prison kitchen run smoothly.

As well as working alongside prisoners, you’ll take an active role in supervising them. You will help individuals learn valuable catering skills which they can use when they leave custody and potentially help increase their chances of employment.

Prison catering – an extraordinary job. Done by someone like you.

  • Must have minimum level-2 certificate in food hygiene and food production in hospitality
  • Starting salary of £30k to £36k for a 37 hour week
  • Skills you need: experience of working in an industrial-sized kitchen, resourceful and supportive
  • Gain vocational qualification at level 3 (if you do not already have one)
  • Support and coach prisoners to learn catering skills
  • No early starts, late nights or split shifts

Pay and benefits

Your starting salary will depend on which prison you work at.

LocationCaterer (Band 3)Catering supervisor (Band 4)
Inner London£36,164*£42,104*
Outer London£34,363*£40,207*
Other locations£30,902*£36,565*
* starting salary based on a 37 hour week including 20% unsocial hours allowance

Band 3 caterers report into band 4 catering supervisors.

Find out more about the benefits of working for HM Prison and Probation Service