The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management is located in Tsim Sha Tsui East. In connection with Hotel ICON (the teaching and research hotel), the school hosted their first ‘Trend(z)’ panel for the Entrepreneurship Innovation in Hospitality class.

At this panel, Yardbird’s Head of Operations, Kenneth Chan, along with the Head Chef of Fofo by el Willy, Alex Fargas and the founder of HOME – Eat to Live, Christian Mongendre, spoke on ‘Unearthing Trend(z) that disrupt the mainstream’.

Yardbird is a restaurant that focuses on more than just the food and drinks that are served – it’s about the experience, the lifestyle and ultimately, the community. The restaurant occupies the site of a former printing press on Bridges Street, Sheung Wan. With neighboring businesses and residents, Yardbird has helped to bring the community together with local customers and visitors from all parts of the world.

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Why did you choose to be in the restaurant industry?

I previously had experience working in hotels [The Peninsula in Chicago and Hong Kong] and decided to move from a large corporate structure to an independent business like Yardbird so that I could affect more change and witness growth and evolution first hand. For many of us in the F&B industry, we are here because we’re passionate about our work, it’s not something driven by money. We’re willing to work hard in order to make something happen and see it come to life.

What’s your biggest concern when you first open your business?

The people you’re doing business with – investors and partners. You have to work with someone who shares the same vision as you. To bring everything to fruition you both need to see things the same way or at least have a similar set of values and goals.

How do you establish your business so it stays on trend and on the pulse? How does it live amongst the trends?

We put an emphasis on our community. Everyone from the people in our restaurants like our staff, and guests, to the people outside, like  our suppliers, delivery people, and neighbors – we are about building a community.


We’re always looking for people to join the Yardbird Team – both front and back of house. If you’re interested, send us an email to [email protected].

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