Industry News | March 21, 2013
Panda Express Turns 30 in 2013
Panda Express, the world leader in Asian dining experiences, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013.
What started as a love for food has evolved into a passion for life, learning, and people. Panda Restaurant Group, the family-owned and operated parent company of Panda Express, will celebrate this milestone anniversary by offering new menu items throughout the year and furthering its commitment to being the world leader in people development.
Throughout this anniversary year, Panda Restaurant Group will reaffirm its commitment to making life delicious for guests, as well, by offering exciting, inspired dishes.
In celebration of Chinese New Year, the Panda Express culinary team created Tangy Jumbo Shrimp, a tail-on premium shrimp entrée. Later this year, the company will introduce health-conscious twists on many entrees.
Forty years ago, Andrew Cherng and his father, master chef Ming-Tsai Cherng, opened the first Panda Inn in Southern California. Their vision was to serve upscale, authentic Chinese cuisine, offering the opportunity for guests to connect over a traditional meal.
In 1983, Andrew took the opportunity to share his passion and enthusiasm for inspired Chinese cuisine, and along with his wife, Peggy, opened the first Panda Express at the Glendale Galleria in Southern California.
As Panda Express hit significant growth milestones, including opening its 100th store in 1992, 500th in 2002, and 1,500th in 2012, the company reaffirmed its commitment to people development by implementing the “2020 Vision.”
Panda Restaurant Group’s 2020 Vision is for the company to be the world leader in people development, providing growth opportunities for Panda Restaurant Group’s more than 23,000 associates to continuously better their lives, both personally and professionally.
“We are honored to have found success by empowering our associates to learn, grow, and achieve their potential,” says Andrew Cherng, founder and co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group. “As Panda Restaurant Group continues its journey, we reaffirm our commitment to providing each of our associates with the opportunity to thrive, and each of our guests a satisfying meal and enjoyable experience.”
In 1999, the Cherng family created Panda Cares to honor this vision and commitment. Panda Cares was launched as a company-wide community involvement initiative that provides food, funding, and volunteer services to children's organizations, disaster relief, and other worthy causes.
To date, Panda Cares has given millions of dollars of in-kind donations to numerous nonprofit organizations, schools, and hospitals.
Whether providing an adventurous taste for each guests’ palate, or hosting monthly learning sessions at corporate headquarters, each aspect of Panda Restaurant Group pays homage to the original vision of the very first Panda Inn which opened in 1973: to “Make Life Delicious.”
Food & Beverage
QSR® magazine has always found space to report on the charitable works and deeds of members of the foodservice community. But recently it became important to us to step up our efforts, and the decision was made to consolidate these stories in one place so you, the reader, could easily learn about what the industry is doing when it comes to giving back.
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Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's International, told readers in the very first issue of QSR magazine that "Profit is not a dirty word." But Thomas also worked tirelessly for the many charitable causes that touched his life. In so doing, he proved that running a successful business extends beyond the bottom line and that the real rewards in life are measured in a currency far greater than the dollar.
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