Panda Express

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A panda chef preparing one of the many special seasonings it uses.

“The best Chinese food I've ever tasted”
~ Typical customer of American-made Panda Express

Panda Express is a fast casual restaurant chain serving American Chinese cuisine. It operates mainly inside the United States, in casinos, shopping malls, toll plazas, supermarkets, airports, railroad stations, strip malls, theme parks, stadiums, college campuses and The Pentagon. It is the largest chain of Asian fast food restaurants in the United States. In 2004, the company began opening stand-alone restaurants with drive-through windows.[6] Panda Express has 1,500 restaurants covering 42 States and Puerto Rico.[2] There used to be Panda Express locations in Japan.[7] The chain offers a variety of food such as the popular orange chicken, Beijing beef, Mandarin chicken, and Kung Pao chicken. Combo meals are served with fried rice, steamed rice, chow mein, or mixed vegetables. No MSG is added to any of the items at Panda Express after it has been delivered to the restaurant, nor does Panda Express purchase from any suppliers who add MSG prior to delivery.[8] Panda Express has its headquarters in Rosemead, California.[9] It is a faster, casual representation of the more upscale Panda Inn, from which the chain concept was derived. Contents [hide] 1 History 2 Overview 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links History[edit source]

The Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of Panda Inn, Panda Express & Hibachi-San, was founded by Stephen Penney, Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, all of whom used to live in the Yangzhou region of China's Jiangsu province.[10] They started their first Panda Inn restaurant in 1973 in Pasadena, California. In 1983, Donahue Schriber Real Estate, the manager of the Glendale Galleria, invited the Cherngs to develop a fast-food version of Panda Inn for the Galleria's food court, and Panda Express was born.[11] The chain has steadily expanded across the United States since then. In 2007, The Panda Restaurant Group had annual sales of over $1 billion and over 13,000 employees.[12] In 2008, Andrew Cherng and his wife, Peggy, were the recipients of the 2008 City of Angels Award, given by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce,[13] for their contributions to the greater Los Angeles area.[14] Andrew Cherng '70 and his wife Peggy Tsiang Cherng '68 are alumni of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas.[15] Peggy Cherng also received her B.S. degree in applied mathematics from Oregon State University in 1971, and her M.S. in Computer Science and doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.[16] Andrew Cherng also received his M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Missouri.[17] On November 23, 2009, it was announced that Panda Express had selected Trusonic to provide Asian themed background music to its store locations.[18] On the ABC News TV program Nightline, April 18, 2011, there was a feature segment on Panda Express and its success. The segment described how Andrew Cherng encourages his workers and management to go through self-help programs emphasizing Landmark Education.[19] In June 2013, it was announced that the restaurant chain will pay $150,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission action on behalf of at least three female teenagers who were allegedly sexually harassed between 2007 and 2009 by one male kitchen supervisor in Kauai, Hawaii. In a statement from the EEOC commended Panda Express for working with the EEOC to correct the lapses in dealing with sexual harassment. [20] Overview[edit source]

With approximately 1,500[21] locations, it is the largest Chinese fast food restaurant chain in the United States. Andrew Cherng feels that Panda Express food needs more care and concern than other fast food restaurants. Panda Express tries to pay employees $1-2 more per hour than other nearby fast-food restaurants to get employees to put the extra care and concern into the food.[22] The company's highest revenue location, bringing in over US$4 million annually, is located at the Ala Moana Center food court in Honolulu, Hawaii.[23]

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