A kitchen only works when everyone and everything in it is working at optimal efficiency. A lot of factors contribute to this being the case.

Always work within and to your budget. That includes staffing and chattels.

Any kitchen needs to be productive as to what is coming out of it, how it’s being made and who is making what. People must have designated responsibilities. Hence a pastry chef should take care of desserts and baked goods only, whereas a saucier should concentrate on providing quality sauces.

A great kitchen needs a leader, someone to run things smoothly, deal with problems and make sure everything comes together as it should when it arrives on the plate. This person is the one you build your kitchen around.

Use your people power in the kitchen effectively. If you are under-resourced, then fill the gap. If you’re over, then ‘trim the fat’ as they say.

Equipment needs to be maintained or updated if necessary. If it’s not doing the job then get something that can. Keeping material costs low and equipment up to speed can help you keep expenses lower in the end. Have and use only the cooking utensils you need and avoid cluttering your kitchen with unnecessary items.

Even the layout of your kitchen can be important. You want a line that gets food to the customer as quickly as possible without compromising quality. Talk to the people in your kitchen to see what works best for them.

Always aim for consistency. How and what you create in your restaurant or cafe can determine how much money you make or lose. Everything you serve should be of the same high quality every time.

Always keep your kitchen space clean and hygienic; no one likes working in a mess.

It’s always a good idea to have a kitchen workflow plan that everyone is aware of and follows. This way you can maximise your kitchen’s strengths and eliminate weaknesses and streamline your workflow.

It seems simple enough but people forget it: keep lists. Whether it’s inventory, things that need to be done or even new ideas to improve your kitchen, make sure it’s listed somewhere and people know where the lists are.

Remember, employing good staff who want to work for you will produce good results - and don’t burn them out!

Be aware that food costs and yield will determine your productivity and an efficiently run kitchen will have a direct impact on this.