Changing fortunes: Cookies have new author

Donald Lau has had the good fortune to write for 30 years, but now he is hanging up his pen.

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He has run out of ideas, Lau told Time magazine.

Lau is the guy who has delivered inspiring notes that customers find in fortune cookies. He has served as the "Chief Fortune Writer" at Wonton Food, which calls itself the "premier manufacturer and distributor" of Asian foods to the food service market. The website for the New York City-based company lists a "fortune of the day" — "Broke is only temporary; poor is a state of mind," is today's advice.

"I used to write 100 a year, but I've only written two or three a month over the past year," Lau told Time.

When Lau took over the role in the 1980s, fortunes were simpler. But he told Time that today's consumers prefer "new, inspirational sayings."

"When they eat their fortune cookie, I want the customers to open the fortune, read it, maybe laugh, and leave the restaurant happy," Lau told the magazine, "so that they come back again next week."

Lau’s replacement will be 43-year-old James Wong, a nephew of the company's founder. Lau will continue to serve as Wonton Food's chief financial officer.

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