Jason Wang is the CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods, the ultra-hip New York City-based chain of restaurants with authentic dishes from Xi’an, China.
Wang’s father started the first Xi’an Famous Foods in 2015 as a bubble tea shop with a few foods in Flushing, Queens. Eventually, people started showing up for the food, not the bubble tea. Now, there are 14 X’ian Famous Foods restaurants across the city.
“My father worked in various Chinese take-out restaurants after we immigrated to the U.S. when I was a child. In his mind though, he always wanted to do something that meant something to him: serving the food of our hometown and of our family to people in the U.S. — especially homesick immigrants like himself,” Wang told In The Know.
He always wanted to join his father’s business. But it wasn’t until after he was laid off from his first post-grad job that he began his journey at Xi’an Famous Foods.
“Step by step, I helped expand the operations to multiple locations in New York City,” Wang said.
Now you can visit over a dozen Xi’an Famous Foods and try the plates that are good enough to satisfy homesick immigrants.
“We have a pretty small menu and they’re dedicated to things like our Liang Pi Cold-Skin Noodles, our flatbread burgers as well as our hand-ripped Biang Biang noodles and boiled dumplings,” Wang said of the menu based on his family’s recipes.
While Wang’s company has experienced massive growth, he did have some advice for other young entrepreneurs.
“Young age is usually an asset but sometimes in this industry, it’s a liability because you just don’t have the years of experience to be taken as seriously as someone who does,” Wang said. “Young entrepreneurs should have humility and be ready to get down and dirty with work and add some real value to the world.”
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