Panda Inn

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Panda Inn
Genre sit-down Chinese restaurants
Founded Pasadena, California (June 8, 1973; 44 years ago (1973-06-08))
Headquarters Rosemead, California
Number of locations
Area served
Southern California
Key people
  • Andrew Cherng, Founder and Chairman of the Board
  • Peggy Cherng, Ph.D., Co-Chairman of the Board
  • Tom Davin, Chief Executive Officer
Owner Panda Restaurant Group

Panda Inn is a chain of sit-down Chinese restaurants in California owned and operated by the Panda Restaurant Group.[1][2][3]

Its original founding goal was to bring new varieties of Chinese cuisine, such as Mandarin cuisine and Szechuan cuisine dishes, to Southern California, which had traditionally favored Chinese Cantonese cuisine.[4]


The first Panda Inn was founded by Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming-Tsai Cherng,[5] all of whom used to live in the Yangzhou region of China's Jiangsu province. Their first location was opened on June 8, 1973 in Pasadena, California.[6] A short time after Ming-Tsai died, a second location was opened in 1982 in nearby Glendale.[6]

A few months after the opening of the Glendale location of the Panda Inn, the Cherngs were invited by the developer of the Glendale Galleria to open a quick serve version of the Panda Inn inside the mall. This new concept was called the Panda Express and it opened inside the Galleria in October 1983.[6]

The first Panda Inn in San Diego opened at Horton Plaza in 1985[3] while the first Panda Inn in Orange County opened in La Palma in 1993.

Andrew Cherng and his wife Peggy Tsiang Cherng are alumni of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.[7]


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