Panda Express is one of the most popular fast food chains in the world of Asian cuisine. However, despite the fact that the company has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Panda Express. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: Before Panda Express, There Was Panda Inn
The chain began as Panda Inn, and it was actually a sit-down restaurant. The first Panda Inn opened in 1973, but the first Panda Express wouldn’t open until 1983.
Number Fourteen: It’s Still Family-Owned
Despite the fact that the chain is the largest Chinese fast food chain in the world, it’s still family owned and operated! It’s owned by husband and wife Andrew and Peggy Cherng, and they don’t allow any franchising in the company.
Number Thirteen: Its Founders Fell in Love in College
It’s true! We mentioned in the previous item that the chain’s founders are married, but most people don’t know that they were college sweethearts. Both of them got advanced degrees at Kansas’ Baker University and they were married a full decade before launching Panda Express.
Number Twelve: 70 Million Pounds of Orange Chicken Are Sold Every Year
That’s a lot of oranges and a lot of chicken. The dish is by far the most popular on the restaurant’s menu.
Number Eleven: It Was One of the First Restaurants to Implement Technology
Co-founder Peggy Cherng has a strong background in software design and engineering, so this isn’t much of a surprise but it is really cool. They were one of the first companies to user computers for customer orders.
Number Ten: Its Founders Support Self-Development
In fact, the husband and wife duo believe so much in self-development that they give all Panda Express employees discounts on self-help books. The company also holds “human potential seminars” and the employees are even given the opportunity to learn self-defense!
Number Nine: The Company’s Restaurant Group Also Owns Hibachi-San
Hibachi-San is like Panda’s lesser-known sister – it’s a Japanese fast food chain with locations all over the United States. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Panda Express, coming soon!