Yong was born and raised in Liaoning, northeast of China. He received a Bachelor degree from Yuanpei School at Peking University, and then received a MESc and attended the doctoral program in environmental science at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. In 2014, Yong co-founded junzi kitchen and has been leading the team as CEO ever since. Being the mastermind and visionary of junzi kitchen, Yong Zhao is harnessing the tide of quick-service Chinese food with his quickly expanding restaurant concept and leading the omnichannel shift in eating with innovative solutions such as ghost kitchen. In addition to the three campus-adjacent locations in both New York and New Haven, junzi kitchen opened their flagship store in Bryant Park in April 2019 to serve the workforce market and function as a test kitchen for all locations. junzi joined the New York-based ghost kitchen, Zuul Kitchens, in November 2019 to test delivery options that cover downtown Manhattan.