Alan Yau

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Alan Yau

Alan Yau 01.jpg
Born (1962-11-11) November 11, 1962 (age 56)
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, a taste aggregation platform.[1]

Career highlights[edit]


Founded in 1992 by Yau,[2] Wagamama is a ramen bar with nearly 200 locations globally as of early 2019.[3] Yau exited Wagamama in 1997.[4]

Busaba Eathai[edit]

Founded in 1999, Busaba Eathai is a casual dining Thai restaurant chain.[5] Yau exited Busaba Eathai in 2008.[6]


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[7] and Yau exited Hakkasan in 2008.[8] [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;[4] an Italian Bakery in Soho. He sold his shares to Starbucks in 2016.[11]


Founded in 2014 by Yau, Babaji was a Turkish Pide concept.[12]

Duck and Rice[edit]

Founded in 2015 by Yau, Duck and Rice is Chinese pub with comfort food in Soho, London.[13]

Park Chinois[edit]

Founded in 2015, Park Chinois is a Chinese old school entertainment restaurant.[14]


Softchow was founded in 2017 by Yau as a "taste aggregation platform".[1][15]


  1. ^ a b "Yau comes out restaurant 'retirement' for third time to launch Yamabahce". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  2. ^ "My life in food: Alan Yau, Restaurateur". The Independent. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. ^ Keil, Jennifer Gould (6 January 2019). "Wagamama opening third NYC location in Murray Hill". New York Post. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The Alan Yau factor: Wagamama to Park Chinois". Financial Times. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  5. ^ Burn-Callander, Rebecca (8 January 2014). "Authentic taste of Thailand appeals to cash-conscious Brits". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  6. ^ "The Tao of Yau". Evening Standard. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Michelin Star Restaurant | Award Winning". Hakkasan Restaurant. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Wagamama founder Alan Yau uses his noodle". MoneyWeek. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b Kühn, Kerstin (1 July 2008). "Alan Yau to turn Busaba Eathai into restaurant chain". Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Sam Nazarian: SBE to merge with Hakkasan Group; Hakkasan to be folded into SBE". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Starbucks Opens Princi Bakery In Seattle". 1 August 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  12. ^ Nast, Condé. "The man behind Hakkasan opens a Turkish-style pizzeria in London". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  13. ^ Kitson, Rod (2 April 2015). "Wagamama founder Alan Yau launches the Duck and Rice, a pub with a Chinese twist". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  14. ^ Armstrong, Hilary (5 May 2016). "New Openings: Park Chinois". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Alan Yau Wants To Create The 'Spotify' Of Food; The Man Behind Hakkasan Opens New Restaurant In Singapore". MICHELIN Guide. Retrieved 8 April 2019.