Alan Yau

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Alan Yau
Alan Yau 01.jpg
Born (1962-11-11) November 11, 1962 (age 55)
Hong Kong
OccupationEntrepreneur, restaurateur
Years active1992–present
Known forWagamama, Hakkasan, Busaba Eathai, Yauatcha, Princi, Park Chinois, Babaji, Softchow
TitleCEO of Softchow
AwardsOBE (2006), Michelin Star 2002 (Hakkasan), Michelin Star 2005 (Yauatcha)

Alan Yau (Chinese: 丘德威; pinyin: Qiu Dé Wei; Cantonese Yale: Yau Tak Wai), OBE (born 11 November 1962) is a restaurateur who is best known for founding the Wagamama food chain in the United Kingdom. Of Hakka ethnicity, he was born in Sha Tau Kok, Ex-British Colony, Hong Kong and moved to King's Lynn, Norfolk in 1975 with his family.

Alan Yau started his career in 1992 founding Wagamama and was awarded an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honour's List for services to the restaurant industry. Following that, Alan founded numerous ventures in gastronomy such as Hakkasan (awarded Michelin Star in 2003), Yauatcha (awarded Michelin star in 2005) and Park Chinois. In 2016 Alan pivoted into the software world and founded Softchow[1]: A taste aggregation platform. Alan stated that his goal for Softchow is to democratise taste and propagate it throughout the world via the softpower of food.[2]

Career highlights[edit]


Founded in 1992 by Yau,[3] Wagamama is a ramen bar with over 135 stores globally.[4] Yau exited Wagamama in 1997.[5]

Busaba Eathai[edit]

Founded in 1999, Busaba Eathai is a casual dining Thai restaurant chain.[6] Yau exited Busaba Eathai in 2008.[7]


Founded in 1999, Hakkasan was initially a fine dining Chinese restaurant which later expanded to include nightlife entertainment. Hakkasan was awarded a Michelin Star in 2003[8] and Yau exited Hakkasan in 2008.[9] Hakkasan is valued at $1 bn as of 2018.[10]


Founded in 2004 by Yau, Yauatcha is dim sum restaurant and patisserie tea house chain. Yauatcha was awarded Michelin Star in 2005. Yau exited Yauatcha in 2008.[9]

Princi UK[edit]

In collaboration with Rocco Princi, Yau founded Princi in 2008;[11] an Italian Bakery in Soho. He sold his shares to Starbucks in 2016.[12]


Founded in 2014 by Yau,[13] Babaji was a Turkish Pide concept.

Duck and Rice[edit]

Founded in 2015 by Yau, Duck and Rice is Chinese pub with comfort food in Soho, London.[14]

Park Chinois[edit]

Founded in 2015, Park Chinois is a Chinese old school entertainment restaurant.[15]


Softchow was founded in 2017 by Yau as a "taste aggregation platform".[16][1]


  1. ^ a b "Alan Yau to open restaurant Yamabahce in Marylebone".
  2. ^ "Alan Yau's new ventures".
  3. ^ "My life in food by Alan Yau interview on the Independent".
  4. ^ "Global Map of Wagamama stores by country".
  5. ^ "The Alan Yau factor: Wagamama to Park Chinois".
  6. ^ "Busaba Origin".
  7. ^ "The Tao of Yau".
  8. ^ "Hakkasan Accolades".
  9. ^ a b "Alan Yau to turn Busaba Eathai into restaurant chain".
  10. ^ "SBE to merge with Hakkasan Group".
  11. ^ "Princi Genius Alan Yau".
  12. ^ "Alan Yau Official LinkedIn".
  13. ^ "Babaji Restaurant London".
  14. ^ "Wagamama Founder Alan Yau launches the Duck and Rice".
  15. ^ "Drinking and Dining at Park Chinois Restaurant".
  16. ^ "About Softchow".