Pei Wei Asian Diner
|Founded||2000Scottsdale, Arizona as Pei Wei Asian Dinerin|
Number of locations
|United States, Kuwait, UAE, South Korea|
|Lorne Goldberg, Owner|
|Products||Asian American cuisine|
|Parent||PWD Acquisition LLC|
Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC, doing business as Pei Wei Asian Kitchen, (/ /)) is an American restaurant chain serving Pan Asian fare, operating in more than 200 locations in the U.S. and six international locations. Pei Wei's dishes are made to order in an open concept kitchen using cooking methods like wok firing. The restaurant offers guest customization that includes vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Pei Wei's concept is defined by the restaurant industry as fast casual, offering the convenience of counter service and cashier orders, paired with table service once an order has been placed. Pei Wei also has a designated door in the restaurant for cashiers to service takeout food orders.
The restaurant chain was created as Pei Wei Asian Diner in 2000 by P. F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB) to compete in the fast casual restaurant segment with a Pan Asian menu and quick, made-to-order service model, while P. F. Chang's remained in the full-service restaurant segment. The first Pei Wei location opened in Scottsdale in 2000. The first location outside of Arizona, the fourth in the chain, was opened in Dallas, Texas, in December 2001. The company opened its first California location, the sixth in the chain, in Irvine in June 2002. Pei Wei was able to open its 100th location in Little Rock, Arkansas in October 2006. By 2010, the company had 168 locations primarily in California, Texas, Arizona and Florida, with a growing presence in the Northeast and Midwest.
Over the years, Pei Wei's dining experience has evolved to feature modern conveniences. In July 2015, the company started a customer loyalty program in which customers accumulate points during each visit that can be used to redeem rewards, including free food. Pei Wei was among the first restaurant chains to accept Apple Pay, rolling out the technology to all locations in August 2015. Customers can place takeout orders online or through the Pei Wei mobile app, launched in the App Store and Google Play in September 2016 to allow customers to find locations, view the menu, order and pay.
Pei Wei opened their first college campus location in August 2015 on the campus of Arizona State University. Later that year, Pei Wei opened their 200th location in Richardson, Texas in October 2015.
Pei Wei undertook an extensive rebranding campaign during the same period. The new brand position, designed to tap into the national dining trend toward more healthful eating, included the rollout of quinoa on its menu, as well as the addition of a salad category and several lighter small plate options. In 2016, the company opened its Pei Wei Test Kitchen restaurant in Scottsdale to develop and test new menu items and gather public feedback in real time.
Pei Wei hired restaurant industry veteran John “J.” Hedrick as CEO in 2017. Hedrick had previously served as COO of NPC International, the nation's seventh-largest restaurant operator with 1,300 fast food outlets with revenues exceeding $1.2 billion.
At the end of 2017, Pei Wei announced its separation from parent company, P.F. Chang's China Bistro. This separation would lead the company to undergo a slight name change, as well as the relocation of its headquarters from Scottsdale to Irving, Texas.
As a part of their separation from P.F. Chang's, Pei Wei undertook a major rebranding campaign by hiring a new creative agency to revitalize the brand by replacing the company's longtime logo with the new tiger logo and to officially change the trading name of the business to Pei Wei Asian Kitchen in February 2018.
On June 5, 2019 Pei Wei was sold to PWD Acquisition LLC.
In 2011, Pei Wei announced an agreement with Alsea to open franchise locations in Mexico. The first location in Mexico opened in 2012. Due to lower than expected performance, all Mexico City locations were closed by the end of 2014. All three locations were in Mexico City.
In August 2012, Pei Wei opened its first location in Kuwait, operated by M.H. Alshaya Co. The same franchisee opened the first location in Dubai, U.A.E. in April 2013. By the end of 2014, Pei Wei had five international locations: two locations in Kuwait, and three in the United Arab Emirates.
In September 2016, Pei opened its first East Asian location in South Korea through a partnership with ELX Food & Beverage. The Korean location in Seoul's Starfield Hanam, the country's largest shopping mall, is one of 11 locations that the chain plans to open by the end of 2017.
- "Pei Wei Engages Siltanen & Partners As Creative Agency: Leading Pan-Asian, fast-casual brand teams with agency to introduce new 'Tiger' logo, branding and advertising campaign" (PDF) (Press release). Pei Wei. February 26, 2018.
- Tamaki, Julie (2004-09-06). "Far East Restaurant Battle Heating Up on West Coast: Asian chains are competing to dominate the Southland market and growing in spite of obstacles". Los Angeles Times.
- Yara, Georgann (2016-09-30). "Made in Arizona: 10 famous restaurant brands with local roots". The Arizona Republic.
- Lee, Mike (December 7, 2001). "Southlake center gaining restaurants". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. 1.
Two popular restaurants - a spinoff of P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and Blue Mesa Grill - are coming to Southlake Town Square, the developer of the outdoor shopping mall said Thursday... P.F. Chang's will enter Tarrant County with a new concept, Pei Wei Asian Diner, a limited service, casual restaurant with take-out service. It is slated to open in late 2002 or early 2003... Four of those are the new Pei Wei Asian Diner concepts. Pei Wei has a less expensive menu than the P.F. Chang China Bistro and a more relaxed dining atmosphere. Three are located in Arizona and another opened Monday in Dallas at The Arbor on Preston Road.
- Montgomery, Tiffany (June 19, 2002). "A new Asian recipe // Restaurants - The owners of the more-upscale P.F. Chang's chain jump into the fast-casual niche with Pei Wei diners". Orange County Register.
Pei Wei Asian diner, P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.'s entry into the fast-casual restaurant wars, arrived in California this week at Oak Creek Village shopping center at Jeffrey Road and Alton Parkway in Irvine. With only five other restaurants, mostly in P.F. Chang's home base of Arizona, the company is still testing the Pei Wei concept but believes it could potentially have more locations than P.F. Chang's.
- Gordon, James (October 27, 2006). "Pei Wei Opens 100th Restaurant in Little Rock". Arkansas Business.
- Gasparro, Annie (2012-05-01). "P.F. Chang's China Bistro Taken Private for $1.1 Billion". Wall Street Journal.
- "Centerbridge completes tender offer for P.F. Chang's". Food Business news. 2012-07-02.
- Rusli, Evelyn M. (2012-05-01). "Centerbridge Buys P.F. Chang's for $1.1 Billion". New York Times.
- "Pei Wei Rewards Diners with New My Wei Rewards Program: Diners earn free entrées simply for enjoying the bold, fresh flavors they love". Business Wire (Press release). 2015-05-06.
- "Apple Pay Now Available to Diners at Pei Wei: Technology offers an easy, secure and private way to pay". Business Wire (Press release). 2015-08-05.
- "Pei Wei Launches New App: Features include menu customization, pre-pay and skip the line" (Press release). Pei Wei. 2016-09-26 – via PR Newswire.
- "Pei Wei Opens New Restaurant Bringing Bold, Fresh, Asian-Inspired Cuisine to Arizona State University: Partners with Aramark to offer fast and affordable fare for students at first college campus location". Business Wire (Press release). 2015-08-13.
- "Pei Wei to Open 200th Location in Richardson, Texas on Oct. 26: Asian-inspired restaurant to offer prizes, great food, and the chance to win free Pei Wei gift cards and concert tickets". Business Wire (Press release). 2015-10-19.
- Adler, Angie. "Official notification to the state of Ohio of closures and lay offs". Pei Wei – via Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Cite journal requires
- "Pei Wei quietly shutters all Louisiana restaurants". WOIO. 2016-06-28.
- Nobles III, Wilborn P. (2016-06-28). "Pei Wei closing all its Louisiana restaurants, magazine says". Times-Picayune.
- "Pei Wei Opens Second Restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida: Newest location will open in the popular 4th St. North corridor". Business Wire (Press release). 2016-03-11.
- "Pei Wei Expands in Richardson With Second Location: New City Line Market location to hire 50". Business Wire (Press release). 2016-03-24.
- "Pei Wei Opens Two New Restaurants, Expanding Fresh Asian-Inspired Flavors in Florida and Texas: Coral Springs, Florida and Houston, Texas host the new locations". Business Wire (Press release). 2016-04-12.
- "Pei Wei Puts Quinoa On The Menu: 'Super grain' offers a nutritious new option in Asian-inspired fast casual dining" (Press release). Pei Wei. 2016-04-12 – via PR Newswire.
- "Pei Wei Announces New Summer Menu Focused on Salads with Bright Flavors and Nutritional Purpose: Salads with purpose available beginning July 5". Business Wire (Press release). 2016-07-05.
- Ahles, Nathan (2016-11-10). "Pei Wei Test Kitchen Is Open Now In Scottsdale". Phoenix New Times.
- Walters, Gwen Ashley (2016-11-17). "Pei Wei Test Kitchen debuts in Scottsdale, adds 30 items". Arizona Republic.
- "Pei Wei Takes Futuristic Approach To Menu With New Test Kitchen: Open concept cooking taps into real-time guest feedback on menu innovation" (Press release). Pei Wei. 2016-10-25 – via PR Newswire.
- "Pei Wei Names John 'J.' Hedrick New CEO: Veteran operations executive to lead business growth, drive enhanced guest experience" (Press release). Pei Wei. 2017-02-21 – via PR Newswire.
- Ruggless, Ron (August 23, 2017). "Pei Wei to move headquarters to Texas". Dallas News.
- Fantozzi, Joanna (June 5, 2019). "Pei Wei Asian Diner acquired by PWD Acquisition". Nations Restaurant News. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- "P.F. Chang's Announces International Expansion of Pei Wei Asian Diner: Enters into Agreement with Alsea to Develop Pei Wei Restaurants Throughout Mexico". Business Wire (Press release). 2011-10-17.
- Santa Rita, Ilse (2015-02-12). "Mexicanos 'le hacen fuchi' a Pei Wei y cierra restaurantes: La cadena de comida asiática cerró sus dos últimas unidades en el último trimestre de 2014; Alsea, su propietario en México, dice que la cadena no cumplió con las expectativas". CNN (in Spanish).
- Pallares Gómez, Miguel Ángel (2015-02-16). "Alsea cierra tres establecimientos Pei Wei por rentabilidad". El Universal (Mexico City) (in Spanish).
- "Pei Wei opens in Kuwait: Kuwait opening marks the second international location for the brand outside of the U.S. and the first in the Gulf region". M.H. Alshaya Co. (Press release). 2012-08-27.
- "Dubai Marina Walk gets a taste of Asia at P.F. Chang's Pei Wei Asian Diner". Gulf News. 2013-04-05.
- "The Fresher 'Wei': Bazaar Goes Dining: Pei Wei with a new location in Arabella, amazing view meets incredibly fresh cuisine". Bazaar Magazine. January 2015.
With its second location having recently opened in Arabella, Pei Wei is slowly but surely becoming a culinary focal point in Kuwait.
- Armani, Geordie (2014-12-23). "Pei Wei by PF Chang's". The Real Geordie Armani.
Pei Wei are open at three different locations; City Walk, Al Thanya Street and Marina Walk.
- "Pei Wei Opens First Restaurant in South Korea: Pei Wei to open in Seoul at South Korea's biggest shopping mall with plans to open 10 more locations by end of 2017". Business Wire (Press release). 2016-09-15.
- Official website
- Ruggless, Ron (2000-02-07). "P.F. Chang's readying Pei Wei's fast-casual offshoot". Nation's Restaurant News.