Food Market

How do you best develop a motivated kitchen team?

Working in a professional kitchen can be stressful. However, there are ways you can motivate your kitchen team.

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Kitchens are highly pressurised environments, with staff often working long hours, leading to poor staff morale.


When hiring new staff, look for their passion. Is it the type of work that they really want to do or is it just a job to them? Having people on your team who care about what they do and want to do it well makes a big difference to keeping them motivated.


Your staff need the right skills to do their jobs successfully. Without them, they will struggle, which can lead to them feeling demotivated. Look at their skills and what training they need. Where people want to progress, give them the right training.

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Staff need the right tools to do the job. In a kitchen, this means equipment from knives to commercial refrigeration. Audit your kitchen equipment and, where it’s lacking, make changes, working with companies such as to ensure that you have exactly what you need.

Team dynamics

Encourage staff to work together to provide the best food and the best service. Get people to play to their strengths and have them mentor others. This gives them added motivation to do well, showing off their skills, and also shows your staff that you care enough to develop their skills.

Change things up

Routine is one of the biggest demotivators, doing the same thing day in, day out. Offering training and mentoring will help to break up kitchen routines but you should also think about regular menu changes too, asking your team to contribute to what these might be and helping to develop new recipes.

Lead by example

It will be hard for staff to remain motivated if you are not. When you are in the kitchen, try and stay positive and energetic, even if you might not feel this way all the time. Encourage your team, praising them when things go well, and discuss when things didn’t go so well calmly, looking for solutions (that they can have input in) rather than yelling or laying blame with your team. The smooth running of the kitchen is your responsibility, so look after your staff to ensure a happy kitchen.