With close to 1,900 restaurants domestically and globally, the Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of Panda Express, is seeking to expand globally while maintaining its commitment to charitable giving and empowering its associates. Executive Director of Panda Express International Douglas Stalgren and Senior Finance Manager Rachel Bai ’03 (MBA) talked Panda culture and company expansion at Mihaylo College on April 8.
When Andrew Cherng and his father Ming-Tsai founded the first Panda Inn Restaurant in Pasadena, Calif., in 1973, they would have never imagined the global growth of their restaurant brand. Andrew’s wife, Dr. Peggy Cherng, joined the company in 1983 to help systematize operations and overall business strategy. She and Andrew are currently co-chairs and co-CEOS of the company.
“For the first two and a half years, this company was not profitable,” said Rachel Bai ’03 (MBA), senior finance manager for Panda Restaurant Group, the largest Asian restaurant chain in the U.S. “By the end of this year, we’ll have more than 1,900 stores worldwide.”
Bai and Douglas Stalgren, executive director of Panda Express International, which spearheads the company’s global expansion, provided Mihaylo students with an inside look at their corporate culture and plans during an on-campus presentation on April 8.