Panda Express launched its Wok Smart concept to educate guests about the healthy eating options available on their menu. Wok Smart identifies the 18 sides, entrees, and appetizers that are 250 calories or less per serving. Each of Panda Express' 1,263 units nationwide will feature the Wok Smart symbol on menu slats alongside the entrees, nutritional brochures, and on the website.
"Wok Smart items have always been a part of the Panda Express menu choices,” says Glenn Lunde, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Panda Express. “Our entrees feature nutritious and vitamin-packed vegetables such as broccoli, string beans, and button mushrooms. We want to help our calorie-conscious guests take the guess-work out of planning their meals at Panda Express."
Launching Wok Smart is also timely given the recent menu labeling legislations across the country requiring chain restaurants to display nutritional information.
In California, where there are over 460 Panda Express restaurants, Senate Bill 120 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), implemented on July 1, requires all restaurants with more than 20 units in the state to publish its calorie and nutritional content. In compliance with the new law, Panda Express is publishing a brochure with the information in addition to implementing the Wok Smart symbol.
"I applaud Panda Express for going above and beyond the legislation and making it easier for consumers to select more nutritious menu items," Padilla says. "I believe this is just the beginning. As customers come to expect nutritional information, more restaurants will see the benefit of providing healthier food options.”