Bouji restaurant group Hakkasan sold to hospitality giant Tao
The famously bouji restaurant group Hakkasan has been bought by international hospitality giant Tao Group for an undisclosed sum.
First opened in Fitzrovia in 2001 by Wagamama founder Alan Yao, Hakkasan soon became synonymous with London’s high end, high price dining scene, frequented by celebrities and oligarchs, with an encampment of paparazzi often waiting outside.
Tao Group owns more than 60 restaurants across the world, with a presence in New York, Las Vegas, Sydney, Singapore, Chicago and Los Angeles. These include a string of self-branded restaurants and nightclubs, as well as brands including Marquee, Beauty & Essex, and Italian concept LAVO. Beauty & Essex is often cited as one of the most lucrative restaurants in New York.
Tao Group will add Hakkasan’s 10 restaurants to its portfolio: two in London, four in the Middle East, two in the US and one each in Shanghai and Mumbai. Hakkasan also operates a number of restaurants under the name Ling Ling, and is involved in nightclubs including Omnia in Las Vegas.
In 2003 Hakkasan became the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to earn a Michelin star and it has been a regular presence in the prestigious 50 Best Restaurants list. Yao sold his share of the company to Abu Dhabi-based Tasameem Real Estate in 2008.
Tao Group co-CEO Jason Strausssaid: “Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, we know there’s a real desire by people around the world to gather once again. As indoor dining and other hospitality experiences start to return to regular operations, we believe our newly combined company will be well-positioned to take advantage of this pent-up demand, setting the stage for long-term growth.”
Hakkasan recently launched a Hakkasan at home delivery service featuring some of its most popular dishes.