Symfony is already a very optimized framework and is able to handle high-traffic websites without a problem. But if you really need to optimize your application's performance, tweaking the configuration (whether the server configuration, the PHP configuration, or the application settings) will gain you a small boost. You should also follow good practices to write efficient model methods; and since the database is often a bottleneck in web applications, this point should require all your attention. Templates can also benefit from a few tricks, but the best boost will always come from caching. Finally, don't hesitate to look at existing plug-ins, since some of them provide innovative techniques to further speed up the delivery of web pages (sfSuperCache, sfOptimizer).