Just Salad, a New York City-based fast casual salad brand with 29 locations in New York, Chicago, Kansas, Hong Kong, and Dubai, announced Monday a second investment from Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. The deal will strengthen the relationship and open doors to new markets for Just Salad.

"We're excited to expand our partnership with Just Salad as they continue to grow," says Andrew Cherng of Panda Express. "With their commitment to healthy affordable food and expansion into new markets, it's an exciting time to be partnered with such a strong brand."

This announcement comes on the heels of a year of expansion for Just Salad, with new openings in markets throughout the Midwest—including openings at Kansas State University and doubling the Just Salad footprint in Chicago. The salad chain recently unveiled their new store design at two locations in NYC and will be renovating their flagship store—600 Third Avenue in Manhattan this December.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with an investor that understands our industry better than anyone and is committed to partnering with us strategically to continue to grow the Just Salad brand nationally and internationally,” says Nick Kenner, co-founder and CEO of Just Salad.

Panda Restaurant Group Inc., is a privately held company run by Peggy and Andrew Cherng out of Rosemead, California. Founded in 1933, with close to 2,000 restaurants globally, Panda Express is America’s largest family-owned Chinese restaurant with 30,000 associates and  $2.8 billion in sales by end of 2016.

Fast Casual, Growth, News, Just Salad, Panda Express