Panda Restaurant Group

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Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.
GenreChinese and Japanese restaurants
FounderAndrew Cherng
Headquarters1683 Walnut Grove Avenue, Rosemead, California 91770 U.S. (626-799-9898),
Number of locations
Area served
43 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico
Key people
Andrew Cherng,
Chairman & Co-CEO
Peggy Cherng,
Co-Chairman & Co-CEO
John F Theuer
Revenue$3.5 billion (2018)[2]
OwnerCherng family
Number of employees
Panda Express Logo
Panda Inn Logo

Panda Restaurant Group, Inc., parent company of Panda Inn, Panda Express and Hibachi-San, was founded by Andrew and Peggy Tsiang Cherng [4] and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming-Tsai Cherng, the family originating in the Yangzhou region of China's Jiangsu province. They started their first Panda Inn restaurant in 1973 in Pasadena, California. Ten years later a developer of the Glandale Galleria, who was a patron of Panda Inn, asked Andrew to start a fast-service version of his restaurant in the new mall. In 1985 the store went from five locations to nine in just one year.[5]

The group has its headquarters in Rosemead, California.[6] Panda Express in the largest Asian-American restaurant chain in the United States,[5] with 2,200 branches. In 2019 Panda Express opened its first branch in Manila, Philippines, as a joint venture between the Panda Restaurant Group and Jollibee Foods Corp., JBPX Foods.[7][8]

Andrew Cherng, age 70, and his wife Peggy Tsiang Cherng met at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.[9] Peggy Cherng went on to receive her B.S. degree in Mathematics from Oregon State University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri.[6]The company debuted on Forbes' 2016 edition of America's Largest Private Companies[10]

The Cherngs invest their personal wealth out of their family office, the Cherng Family Trust.[11][12]


The Panda Restaurant Group includes Panda Express, Panda Inn, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers (AK/HI only)[13] and Hibachi-San.[6]

Panda Express, the most popular, has over 2,000 locations as of 2018,[6] making it the largest Chinese fast food chain in the United States.

Panda Inn, a sit-down restaurant chain, has 6 locations, all of which are in California, plus Wasabi, a Japanese concept.[14]

Panda Group has been aggressively supporting popular Asian chains by introducing them in the American market. Uncle Tetsu,[15] Yaki Yan,[16] Pieology[17] and Ippudo[18] [19]are all concepts supported by Panda Group.

In 2018 it was ranked 143 on the Forbes list of America's Largest Private Companies.[20]


The majority of the Cherngs donations are done through Panda Cares, the giving arm of the Panda Group, and the Panda Charitable Foundation, to education, youth leadership development and health.[6] Since 1999 Panda Cares has raised over $107 million.[21]

In July 2017, the company pledged $10 million to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where the sixth floor will be renamed the Panda Express Floor.[22]


  1. ^ Maurer, Jessica. "Panda Express Expected To Open This Week". WilmingtonBiz. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Panda Restaurant Group". Forbes. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  3. ^ "#143 Panda Restaurant Group". Forbes. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  4. ^ Jennings, Lisa, "Having words with Peggy Tsiang Cherng: chief executive and co-chair, Panda Restaurant Group", Nation's Restaurant News, August 1, 2005
  5. ^ a b Klein, Danny (2018-12-19). "Panda Express Blazes a Legacy 35 Years in the Making". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  6. ^ a b c d e Hannon, Kerry (2018-03-22). "For Panda Express Owners, It's About Family". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  7. ^ "Panda Express opens its first branch in Manila". 12 December 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  8. ^ Guioguio, Kara Vibal. "New eats: Panda Express now in Manila with exclusive PH-only dishes". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  9. ^ "Cherngs honored for contributions in L.A. area", Baker Pride alumni magazine, Baker University, Kansas, Spring 2008 issue.
  10. ^ "2016 Private Company Newcomers". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  11. ^ "Cherng Family Trust Office (Cherng Family Trust Office) - Family Office, United States - SWFI". Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  12. ^ Strum, Beckie. "Panda Express Founders Drop $14 Million on Hawaii Penthouse". Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  13. ^ Service, KATIE GAGLIANO | LSU Manship School News. "What's next for Raising Cane's? A deal with Panda Express, franchise locations in Hawaii, Alaska". The Advocate. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  14. ^ "Locations". Panda Inn. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  15. ^ "Panda Restaurant Group founders to grow Uncle Tetsu". Nation's Restaurant News. 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  16. ^ "Panda Restaurant Group goes high-end with YakiYan". Restaurant Hospitality. 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  17. ^ "Panda Express makes investment in Pieology Pizzeria". 20 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  18. ^ "Panda Restaurant Group Brings Famed Ramen Shop to L.A. | Los Angeles Business Journal". Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  19. ^ Wang, Xiang. "Shares Of Newly Public Restaurant Chain IPPUDO Soar As Ramen King Plans U.S. Expansion". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  20. ^ "Panda Restaurant Group on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  21. ^ Laliberte, Marissa. "13 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Panda Express". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  22. ^ "Panda Express Makes $10M Pledge To Children's Hospital Los Angeles" (PDF). The Beverly Hills Courier. July 21, 2017. pp. 1, 5. Retrieved July 22, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bernstein, Charles, 'Manchu Leads the Working Race,' Restaurants & Institutions, August 1, 1994, p. 30.
  • Cebrzynski, Gregg, 'Panda Express Breaks TV Ad Campaign as Test to Raise Brand Awareness,' Nation's Restaurant News, August 9, 1999, p. 11.
  • Farkas, David, 'Fast and Friendly,' Chain Leader, March 2000, p. 72.
  • Glover, Kara, 'Success on Oriental (Food) Express,' Los Angeles Business Journal, September 25, 1995, p. 21.
  • Leibowitz, Ed, "The Tao of Panda Express: The Chinese food chain’s success story—how a single outlet in the Glendale Galleria grew to 1,800 locations worldwide—begins with one secret ingredient: owners who care", LA Magazine, April 20, 2015
  • Marchetti, Michele, and Alisson, Lucas, 'Creating Panda-monium,' Sales & Marketing Management, January 1996, p. 14.
  • Martin, Richard, 'Panda Express: Bullish about the Bear,' Nation's Restaurant News, May 16, 1994, p. 86.
  • ------, 'Top Chi-Chi's, El Torito Execs Tackle Panda Push,' Nation's Restaurant News, August 7, 1995, p. 18
  • Walkup, Carolyn, 'Panda Express Promo Targets Takeout Business,' Nation's Restaurant News, February 28, 1994, p. 7.

External links[edit]