Looking to create career opportunities for more than 4,000 individuals, Panda Express, America’s favorite Chinese kitchen, will host its second annual Panda Career Event, from July 18 to 24, at 400 locations nationwide. The week-long initiative is focused on expanding the Panda family of talented and dedicated associates. Since it began in 1983, Panda Express has always been passionate about creating a pathway to success for potential new hires and fostering their personal and professional growth.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Panda Express will continue its mission of inspiring better lives—in particular, for its associates who have committed to delivering exceptional dining experiences to Panda’s valued guests across the globe. Today, the family-owned restaurant is made up of over 35,000 associates and is dedicated to offering personal and professional development opportunities at every level. Because Panda believes that for the company to grow, its associates must grow as well, the company continues to invest in its associates. Expanding by over 100 locations each year, the restaurant consistently produces significant advancement opportunities for its devoted team members. In fact, all senior operations leaders at Panda Express have grown through the ranks, starting as general managers or other in-store positions.
“Our hope is that the Panda Career Event is not only a catalyst to welcome new associates into the Panda Family, but also shines a light on the lucrative career growth the restaurant industry has to offer," says Leonard Yip, chief people officer at Panda Restaurant Group. “We look forward to discovering candidates who have the unwavering qualities of grit, grace, giving and humility – they’re the values we prize and see every day at our Panda Express restaurants.”
What began as a single restaurant, Panda Express has become the largest family-owned Asian restaurant concept in America. Led by Chinese immigrants Andrew and Peggy Cherng, the restaurant continues to be inspired by a “people-first” vision and family values upon which the company was founded, including its promise to uplift and support its Panda family members. With an annual investment of more than $200 million in its people last year alone, Panda Express associates are offered comprehensive benefits and perks to help them succeed in all facets of life:
- Sustained Growth Opportunities – Panda Express continuously promotes from within, with the internal promotion rate from hourly to management positions being 70 percent; multi-unit managers and above are 100 percent internally promoted
- Competitive Base Pay, Bonuses and Paid Time Off – In addition to paid time off and bonuses for all associates, Panda pays above the minimum wage rate nationwide by at least $0.50
- Health and Wellness Benefits – Medical insurance with 80 percent of the premium covered by Panda and 50 percent for qualified dependents
- Stock Options and Savings – Stock options and 401(k) savings accounts for eligible associates, with a 401(k) contribution match of up to four percent by Panda
- Continuous Learning – Panda earmarks nearly $3 million in annual financial assistance to eligible associates in their journey to become high performing and inspirational leaders. Stipends for continuing education opportunities are provided for qualified associates, as well as scholarships with up to 60 percent of tuition coverage – a maximum of $2,000 per year per qualified associate
- Associate Perks – Discounts to theme parks, movie tickets, mobile phones and service plans, gym memberships, Panda Restaurant Group restaurants, and more
A world leader in people development and an employer of choice, Panda Express is pleased to have more than doubled the number of stores that will participate in its nationwide Panda Career Event since its inaugural year. The restaurant will hold interviews for new positions at over 400 Panda Express locations across the U.S. and Canada. With openings at all levels, including general managers and cooks, Panda Express welcomes interested candidates to register for an interview and see how the growth of Panda’s associates is at the heart of the restaurant’s people-first culture.