Andrew and Peggy Cherng opened the first Panda Express store in Glendale, California, in 1983. Fast forward 38 years, and the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. with over 2,300 stores nationwide has made its way to the east side of Owensboro.
Located off KY 54 in front of Menards, Panda Express offers iconic American-Chinese dishes, including the “world-famous” Original Orange Chicken, Wok Smart dishes like Super Greens and Broccoli Beef, and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, among others.
“Our goal is to offer something delicious for everyone’s taste buds and to create endless possibilities on one plate, all freshly made with quality ingredients,” said Panda Express Area Coach of Operations Shane Liao.
The Panda organization is delighted to join the Owensboro community, partnering with several schools and local organizations through their philanthropic arm, Panda Cares. Liao said any organization registered as a nonprofit/501(c)(3)/tax-exempt organization could sign up for the Neighborhood Fundraisers, and Panda donates 20% of pre-tax event sales from in-person and online orders submitted through the Panda Express website or mobile app at the selected Panda location.
“Every day, we ring the bell in our stores to help fundraise for Panda Cares,” he said. “All the proceeds are dedicated to helping local nonprofit organizations that support the health and education needs of underserved youth. Panda Cares has raised more than $282 million and dedicated countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 13 million youths, as well as supporting communities in need since 1999.”
The establishment celebrates the Lunar New Year annually to promote togetherness and family. Panda recently introduced the Good Fortune Arcade to celebrate the Lunar New Year, a unique online 8-bit game developed for guests to learn more about the holiday’s origin story and lucky food symbolism. Guests can visit PandaLNY.com to play and unlock exclusive online offers.
“The Lunar New Year is one of the most important times of the year at Panda Express,” Liao said. “Panda is often the first taste of Chinese culture and food for many people, and as a company founded by Chinese immigrants, we’re honored to be a gateway of cultural exploration, understanding, and appreciation.”
This Tuesday Panda locations nationwide will pass out lucky red envelopes full of special rewards and promotions. The envelopes also feature $5 off family meal coupons and a free 22-ounce drink, with a collectible fortune card inspired by Panda’s signature lucky dishes.
“Every year, Panda celebrates the first day of Lunar New Year, also known as celebration day,” Liao said. “Each envelope is meant to share good fortune with our guests for the new year. From Orange Chicken (orange for prosperity) to Honey Walnut Shrimp (representing happiness), Chow Mein (symbolizing longevity), and Egg Rolls (resembling wealth), there are countless options sure to make everyone happy.”
Nationally and locally, Panda is constantly looking to expand its family of associates for different positions. Liao said they offer one of the highest starting wages in the restaurant industry to pair with comprehensive benefits.
Liao said the career opportunities coupled with business and leadership development allow associates to grow professionally, personally, and financially. For more information on employment opportunities, visit pandacareers.com.
He added that Panda Express had been ranked number one in health and safety protocols for the food and beverage industry by the global research firm Ipsos. They emphasize COVID-19 signage, compliance with associates wearing protective gear, and enforcing distancing measures.
“We continue to take extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of both guests and associates during these unprecedented times,” he said. “Our local team has implemented multiple safety practices, including PPE for all associates as well as required face coverings for associates, tamper-free stickers for delivery, plexiglass barriers at register areas, social distancing protocols, and enhanced cleaning practices.”
The Chamber Member of the Week program is a membership benefit of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce. Founded in 1913, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce has worked for over a century to provide valuable benefits and services to member businesses and individuals.
Today, with a membership base of nearly 1,000, the Chamber is a guiding force in community and business development initiatives, serving as the center of business advocacy for the Greater Owensboro region. To learn more about becoming the Chamber Member of the Week or inquire about Chamber membership, contact Shelly Nichols, Chamber Vice President, at 270-926-1860 or [email protected]