Industry News | January 16, 2014
Panda Express Rings In Chinese New Year
Panda Express is inviting guests to the nation’s largest Chinese New Year celebration on January 31. Guests will be treated to a free single serving of Firecracker Chicken Breast, a favorite that is back just in time for Chinese New Year. Guests will also be offered a Chinese traditional red envelope containing a surprise offer. Guests may download a coupon for a free serving of Firecracker Chicken Breast from the brand’s website.
Firecracker Chicken Breast is a Wok-Smart dish that combines marinated, all-white meat chicken breast, red and yellow bell peppers, and onions tossed in a hot wok with spicy black bean sauce to create a taste that has fewer than 250 calories.
Firecracker Chicken Breast will be available in restaurants until February 18 and can be included in Panda Express’ Family Feast menu option. The Family Feast contains three large entrées and two large side dishes, ideal to bring home for the whole family to enjoy. Family togetherness is highly valued in Chinese culture and is particularly significant during the Chinese New Year holiday.
“During the Chinese New Year, families come together to celebrate with delicious dishes meant to bring good fortune in the upcoming year,” says Andy Kao, Panda Express executive chef. “Symbolically, Panda’s bold Firecracker Chicken Breast is a fitting entree to ring in the Year of the Horse because chicken symbolizes prosperity and joy, two unique attributes associated with the horse zodiac sign.”
According to Chinese culture, the new moon signals the beginning of the Lunar Year and is the start of a 15-day celebration, which begins with a grand feast on January 31. The meal is so important that if family members cannot attend, a place is left at the table for them so they can benefit from the symbolic dishes. As part of the festivities, red envelopes filled with money are exchanged between friends and family, and the red color of the envelopes symbolizes good luck. Those born in the year of the horse are said to be great communicators, cheerful, perceptive, and often stubborn.
Panda Express is also proud to continue offering its Chinese New Year Learn with Me Program free of charge to elementary schools across the nation. This child-friendly, interactive curriculum is designed to help educators teach the cultural significance of Chinese New Year.
Now in its eighth year, the Learn with Me Program is designed for second to fourth graders and provides educators with an instructional resource to teach their students about China’s most time-honored celebration. The free kit includes the Panda Express Chinese New Year Video, a Year of the Horse Fact Sheet, the Jade Emperor’s Game & Activity Sheet, a Chinese New Year Decoration Art Activity, and the Lai See (Red Envelope) Activity Sheet. Educators can sign up on the Panda Express website.
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