The Wagamama and Hakkasan founder says he believes that technological advances in home delivery will help the out of home food market grow much bigger, something that he welcomes.
“With the rise of home delivery I think that technology has truly disrupted the food sector in the way it has the entertainment sector,” he says.
“It has shifted to much more aspirational dining meaning you make a choice to stay at home - and with this I believe the market segmentation for the whole dining market will increase in a way that will be as comprehensive as the eating out market.”
“It’s not a bad thing, it’s another platform and a different type of experience and I think it’s going to grow and grow.”
Yau’s comments were made in a podcast published yesterday (26 September) entitled Frontiers, in which he shares his business philosophy.
In the podcast he also discusses his first food venture, a Chinese takeaway he opened in Peterborough in 1998, and his time spent working in the fast food industry, firstly for KFC and then for McDonald’s in Hong Kong as part of its trainee franchise programme.
He says his time at the burger giant helped him create Wagamama in 1992. “I was totally brainwashed by my McDonald’s training in terms of thinking about systems and deskilling and processes. When I heard about ramen it wasn’t the product that drew me into it but the training mentality - I see it as a single product with, three components - the soup base, noodles and toppings.
Yau also says he still gets excited about eating out. “I would travel 10 hours just to visit one venue where the reputation of that place is amazing,” he says.