F&B & Hospitality

Benjamin Yong

One of the biggest influences in Malaysia’s F&B industry, Benjamin Yong of The BIG Group is behind many of the innovative food concepts that have dominated the local culinary scene

Profile


Benjamin Yong, the CEO of The BIG Group, is greatly credited for transforming Malaysia’s F&B scene by introducing a new restaurant concept with his innovative Delicious restaurant back in 2004, inspiring a surge of home-grown cafés and restaurants, and re-energising the industry. An influential figure, Yong continues to shape the F&B scene with his collective of eclectic, ever-evolving dining concepts, from a casual family diner and baking shop, and a chicken shop to a bar and grill.

Yong had a strong familial background in retail—his father was one of the main driving forces behind the Metrojaya department store and his mother is the founder of Ms Read, the plus-size ladies’ fashion brand. His family also had a collective love for food and cooking. Inspired by Melbourne’s multi-cultural restaurant scene and his love for café culture from his student days, Yong’s first foray into the F&B business was a humble café in his mother’s clothing store.

Encouraged by the positive feedback for his moist carrot cake, scones and chocolate cake, he opened his first standalone restaurant: a “food concept” at the time was not familiar in Malaysia, but Delicious was welcomed for its good food, reasonable prices and its lifestyle setting. After expanding then selling the Delicious chain of restaurants, he formed The BIG Group in 2011, and steadily rolled out more innovative food concepts like Plan B, BEAST, Ben’s General Food Store and Ben’s Bake Shop. In 2011, he even went into the grocery business, which he later sold to focus on the F&B business.

The serial entrepreneur is married to Elizabeth Lee, and together they have two children.

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Did you know?


Before he officially went into the F&B business, Yong was baking and selling carrot cakes to cafés around Kuala Lumpur when he was just 13 years old. 

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