Panda Express, the largest family-owned and operated Asian dining concept in the U.S., has sparked a celebration in honor of Lunar New Year, one of the world's biggest festivals centered around food, family and togetherness. For years, Panda has celebrated with guests in-store by gifting customary lucky red envelopes, or "hóng bāo" on the first day of Lunar New Year. With festivities looking a bit different than years before, the American Chinese restaurant brand takes this time-honored tradition digital — to spread good fortune to even more people nationwide no matter how close or far they may be. Through Feb. 28, guests can visit www.PandaLNY.com on their mobile phones to send their own virtual celebrations and personalized well-wishes to loved ones through this digital red envelope experience. Panda will also share special offers with every guest who sends and receives a digital red envelope during the festivities.
To bring to life the spirit of Lunar New Year and invite those who may be unfamiliar, Panda unveiled a new 3-minute short film that tells a story through the lens of a young man discovering the meaning of the holiday in his own way. The short explores the idea that a person's desire to come together with loved ones and wish them good fortune is in fact a shared value that connects us all.
"While Lunar New Year may be celebrated differently throughout the world and may hold a different meaning for every individual, the holiday unites us under one universal ideal," says Andrea Cherng, Chief Brand Officer at Panda Express. "The holiday invokes feelings of hope for the future and inspires us all to savor meaningful moments together. As a family-owned business founded by Chinese immigrants, we are honored to share the significance behind Lunar New Year with our guests in new ways every year and present them with opportunities to spread renewed hope and good fortune to those around them."
The holiday is not complete without a family meal filled with symbolic dishes that bring forth new beginnings. As vibrant as the fireworks that light up the night sky on Lunar New Year's Eve, Panda Express' Firecracker Chicken Breast returns with the same bold and loud flavors. The Wok Smart menu features raised without antibiotics chicken breast, fresh bell peppers, onions, green beans and whole dried chilis, all wok-tossed in a savory black bean sauce. Guests can enjoy this dish and other Lunar New Year favorites like Chow Mein noodles for long life, Orange Chicken with orange for prosperity, Honey Walnut Shrimp representing happiness, and Spring Rolls resembling gold bars for wealth — with Panda's new $29 Family Meal for a limited time. The digital red envelope offer can be redeemed this year for $2 off a purchase of a two-entrée plate with Firecracker Chicken Breast as an entrée selection, or a free 22-ounce beverage, or a free order of Vegetable Spring Rolls.
Extending the excitement of Lunar New Year to guests at every touchpoint, Panda is making it easier than ever for families and communities to participate in this joyous time of the year. With distance learning continuing for many schools, Panda took its in-classroom cultural education program virtual— Let's Explore!: Lunar New Year, a free online program, gives teachers and parents nationwide the tools they need to spark cultural curiosity in students. Additionally, Panda has teamed up with Joy Cho, the Founder and Creative Director of Oh Joy!, to create limited-edition celebration kits for the whole family. The Lunar New Year Celebration Kit includes exclusive Oh Joy! child and adult aprons, a recipe book, eight red envelope cards with good fortunes, Panda Cub Club activity sheets, and more. Guests can purchase one at shop.pandaexpress.com while supplies last.