Singapore-born Yenn Wong has been running the restaurant game for the last 20 years. After launching Hong Kong based hospitality group JIA Group in 2010 with buzzy Italian eatery 208 Duecento Otto, Wong has since made her mark on the city’s dining scene with an array of popular Chinese, Thai, Italian, French and Spanish concepts, including Michelin-starred haunts Duddell’s and Louise, as well as Chachawan, Potato Head, Ando and the coffee shop Between.
JIA’s portfolio is rooted in style and authenticity and has earned both Wong and the company many accolades over the years, including the Rising Star Award for women in Asia by the Financial Times in 2009, Tatler Hong Kong’s Restaurateur of the Year in 2016 and Entrepreneur of the Year by Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability in 2017.
Instead of resting on her current success, Wong looks to the future with ambition and excitement for greater things to come for JIA. Here, she reveals what she attributes her success to, who her mentors are and which traits she looks for when she is building a team.
Describe what you do in one sentence.
I run an array of culinary concepts in Hong Kong under the umbrella of restaurant group, JIA Group.
How does your business make a difference?
JIA Group makes a difference because we place a huge focus on quality and have a keen eye for detail when it comes to execution. We pride ourselves on providing a range of gourmet experiences, from casual to fine dining—we like to provide something for everyone.
What do you put your success down to?
I put my success down to passion, commitment, and not being afraid to fail. I believe it is essential to take risks in both business and in life—playing it safe is not something I like to do. Our concepts have aimed to satiate our customer's appetites throughout the years and deliver a visual feast, which I believe we have successfully achieved. Good food is what we know and what we do well.
What are the top three ingredients for a successful business?
Similar to what I mentioned previously: passion, commitment and taking risks.