Alan Yau – A Chinese Restaurateur Extraordinaire.

On 27/09/2011, in Blog, Features, Personalities, by Michael Oon

Alan Yau understands the marketing of Chinese Food in the UK. I have lived in the London area for the past 30 years. As I appreciate good Chinese Food, I have followed the restaurants and kept aware of areas for good Chinese Food. As a result, I have got to know the owners of these […]

Alan Yau - Restaurateur Extraordinaire

Alan Yau - Restaurateur Extraordinaire

Alan Yau understands the marketing of Chinese Food in the UK.

I have lived in the London area for the past 30 years. As I appreciate good Chinese Food, I have followed the restaurants and kept aware of areas for good Chinese Food. As a result, I have got to know the owners of these Restaurants, their mindsets and the challenges they face.

They have 2 choices. They could go down the “authentic“ route where the dishes are prepared in a manner in keeping with taste of their Chinese Heritage. The other option is to prepare Chinese dishes geared to the taste buds of the British – preparing dishes like Chicken Chop Suey.

The restaurateurs going the authentic route takes pride in the preparation and pay top dollar for the best chefs. However, the local Chinese population are very critical of the food quality and are not always prepared to pay the extra for this quality. They are in a double bind situation. The cost of maintaining the standard of authentic Chinese food in very price sensitive market is a very delicate balancing act.

How does this involve Alan Yau?

Known as a serial restaurant entrepreneur. He started Wagamama in 1992 and sold the business in 1997 for GBP 60million. He has opened Hakkasan (2001) and Yauchacha (2004) which have won Michelin stars.

When you start any marketing course, you are told about 2 marketing platforms. Market led or product led. Alan is distinctively market led. The other restaurateurs are product led in their quest for authentic Chinese Food,

Alan Yau’s focus
1. The large Local British Market where he can market to the whole population rather than the niche of Chinese Food aficionados.
2. The food served is “fast” food but of an extremely high standard – noodles, dim sum, rice. This minimises the time in the food preparation in the kitchen.
3. At Chachamoon, their noodle restaurant, customers are encouraged to have at least main course, side dish and a drink. This amounts to about GBP 15 per cover. This price is for good wholesome food of high quality.
4. Many of his “fast food restaurants” seat about 150 to 200 persons. With the fast service, I would expect the restaurant to do more than a thousand covers a day.
5. These are large restaurants, it needs to be filled with paying customers.
6. The locations of his restaurants are chosen carefully. I visited a number of his restaurants and analysed it using Feng shui techniques. The energy going into the site are for “fast food” and this would ensure, the restaurants being filled.
7. Does he use Feng Shui? Alan “then enrolled for franchisee training with McDonald’s in Hong Kong”.
8. In Hong Kong, nothing moves without Feng Shui. It could be in his time in Hong Kong that he appreciated the use of the good practise of feng shui to get restaurants filled with customers. Future postings of the feng shui analysis of Alan’s restaurants will be made.

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(c) Copyright – Dr Michael Oon. All Rights Reserved Worldwide 2011.

About Michael Oon

Michael Oon has written 145 post in this blog.

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