Andrew Cherng, founder and chairman of Panda Restaurant Group, and his wife, Peggy Cherng, PhD, the company’s co-chair, are recipients of the 2008 City of Angels Award. The honor is given by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the Cherngs’ contributions to the greater Los Angeles area.
Panda Restaurant Group is the parent company of three chains: Panda Inn, Panda Express and Hibachi-San. Founder and Chairman Andrew Cherng opened the first Panda Inn restaurant in Pasadena, California in 1973 with his father–less than 10 miles from where the company’s support center is now housed in Rosemead. Peggy Cherng joined the company before the first Panda Express location opened 25 years ago at another L.A. County location, this time in Glendale, California. She went on to serve as president and CEO before taking on her current co-chair position. The company now has more than 120 locations in L.A. County which, when combined with the support center, employ approximately 2,300 associates.
“This award is so meaningful to us because Los Angeles County has been the site of so many milestones for us,” says Andrew Cherng. “We have more than 1,000 restaurant locations across the country now, and all of them can be traced back to L.A. County because the company’s roots truly are right here.”
Christina Davis, CEO of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, says the Cherngs were selected for the award because of all that they have given to the area. “Andrew and Peggy have done so much to benefit this area, from providing jobs to about 2,300 local residents to donating immeasurable amounts of food, time and financial support to L.A. County schools and non-profits each year,” she says. “They put their all into everything they do, and they have made a difference in many, many lives.”
Panda Restaurant Group was honored last year by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the top 10 Best Places to Work (large companies division) and was named on their list of Fastest Growing Private Companies for the seventh consecutive year.