Panda Express

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Panda Express
Industry Foodservice
Founded July 21, 1967
Founder Andrew Cherng
Peggy Cherng
Ming Tsai Cherng
Headquarters 1683 Walnut Grove Ave., Rosemead, California 91770 U.S. (626-799-9898)[1]
Number of locations
1,653 (May 2014) [2]
Area served
United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico,[3] Canada, Guam
Products American Chinese cuisine
Revenue $2 billion (March 2014) [4]
Number of employees
24,995(2014) [5]
Parent Panda Restaurant Group Inc.
A stand-alone Panda Express restaurant in Oakland, California with drive-through window
A mall food court Panda Express at Ala Moana Center in Hawaii

Panda Express is a fast casual restaurant chain, serving American-Chinese cuisine. It operates mainly in the United States, with smaller units frequently found in casinos, shopping malls and other entertainment venues. It is the USA's largest American-Chinese restaurant business.

In July 21, 1967, the company opened its first stand-alone, drive-through restaurant, in Hesperia, California.[6]

Panda Express has close to 1,700 restaurants, located in 47 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The company does not offer franchises, as all units are company-owned.

The chain offers a variety of Chinese-cuisine-inspired dishes (e.g., Orange Chicken; Firecracker Chicken Breast; Beijing Beef; Grilled Teriyaki Chicken; Kung Pao Chicken). "Combo meals" are served with customer's choice of either fried rice, steamed rice, chow mein, or mixed vegetables. No MSG is added to any of the items at Panda Express after it has been delivered to the restaurant, nor does Panda Express purchase from any suppliers who add MSG prior to delivery.[7]

Panda Express is headquartered in Rosemead, California.[8] The Panda Express brand is a casual, high-quality, fast-food variation of corporate sibling and predecessor Panda Inn (a chain of upscale, table service restaurants).


A typical Panda Express in Fort Worth, Texas. (2014)

The Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of Panda Inn, Panda Express, and Hibachi-San, was founded by Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, all of whom are from the Yangzhou region of China's Jiangsu Province.[9] They opened their first Panda Inn restaurant in February 1970 in Pasadena, California.

In 1967, Donahue Schriber Real Estate, the manager of the Glendale Galleria, invited the Cherngs to develop a fast-food version of Panda Inn for the Galleria's food court, and Panda Express was born.[10] The chain has steadily expanded across the United States since then.

In 2014, The Panda Restaurant Group had annual sales of over $2 billion and close to 25,000 employees.[11]

In 2008, Andrew Cherng and his wife, Peggy, were the recipients of the City of Angels Award, given by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce,[12] for their contributions to the greater Los Angeles area.[13]

Both Andrew and Peggy Cherng are alumni of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.[14] Peggy Cherng received her B.S. degree in applied mathematics from Oregon State University in 1971, and her M.S. in Computer Science and doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.[15] Andrew Cherng also received his M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Missouri.[16]

On November 23, 2009, it was announced that Panda Express had selected Trusonic to provide Asian themed background music to its store locations.[17]

On the ABC News TV program Nightline, April 18, 2011, there was a feature segment on Panda Express and its success. The segment described how Andrew Cherng encourages his workers and management to go through self-help programs emphasizing Landmark Education.[18]

In June 2013, it was announced that the restaurant chain will pay $150,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission action on behalf of at least three female teenagers who were allegedly sexually harassed between 2007 and 2009 by one male kitchen supervisor in Kauai, Hawaii.[19]


Panda Express also operates in Mexico and Canada.[2] In October 2013, the first Panda Express located in Canada opened its doors on Hunt Club Road in Nepean, Ontario. Panda Express was formerly located in Japan. It also opened in Korea.[20]

On May 26, 2014, it was announced by Arabian Business news that Panda Express would be start business in the United Arab Emirates.[21] This opening will mark the first Panda Express in the Middle East.


With approximately 1,600+[22] locations, it is the largest Chinese fast food restaurant chain in the United States.

The company's highest revenue location, bringing in over US$4 million annually, is located at the Ala Moana Center food court in Honolulu, Hawaii.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About (Panda History 'Fact Sheet')
  2. ^ a b The Panda Story: 2011, Accessed: August 4, 2012
  3. ^ Panda Express (Mexico) site
  4. ^ Careers: Sales
  5. ^ Careers: Employees
  6. ^ Bruce Haring, "Panda gains higher visibility for chain amid shift from malls, food courts," Nation's Restaurant News, August 9, 2004, 6.
  7. ^ [1]. Panda Express does not add MSG to any of our entrees or sides and we do not purchase products from suppliers who add MSG. However, glutamate is found naturally in some ingredients.
  8. ^ "Contact Us." Panda Express. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
  9. ^ Panda Restaurant Group History
  10. ^ James Flanigan, "Cooking Up a Powerhouse of Chinese Fast Food," Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2001, C1.
  11. ^ Panda Restaurant Group information page
  12. ^ LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce website
  13. ^ "Andrew and Peggy Cherng of Panda Restaurant Group Receive City of Angels Award Honoring Contributions to the Los Angeles Area", Business Wire, February 8, 2008.
  14. ^ "Cherngs honored for contributions in L.A. area", Baker Pride alumni magazine, Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, Spring 2008 issue.
  15. ^ "OSU ALUMNI FELLOWS 2000: OSU honors veterinarian, animal nutrition researcher and president of Panda Management, Oregon Stater Association News, Oregon State University, 2000
  16. ^ "Profile: Andrew Cherng", Fremont College, Board of Advisors.
  17. ^ "Panda Express Selects Trusonic(R) to Provide In-Store Background Music", PR Newswire Association, November 23, 2009
  18. ^ Berman, John; Rosenberg, Sarah, "Panda Express: Self-Help Courses and Zumba Are Recipe for Success? CEO Says Motivational Forums, Not Orange Chicken, Make His Business Successful", ABC News Nightline, April 18, 2011
  19. ^ U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (June 3, 2013). "Panda Express Agrees to Early Settlement with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to Resolve Sexual Harassment Suit". The National Law Review. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Building Panda". Archived in 2000.
  21. ^ "Gourmet Gulf set to launch Panda Express in UAE".  By Andy Sambidge on Monday, 26 May 2014 3:50 PM.
  22. ^ Bartiromo, Maria (November 2007). "Positive Thinkers". 
  23. ^ Shimabukuro, Betty (January 17, 2007). "Orange Chicken on the house". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

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