Panda Express is a casual fast food chain restaurant serving various American-Chinese entrees, sides, appetizers, desserts and tea. Panda Express is the largest Asian chain restaurant in the US, with over 2000 locations as of 2017.
The first Panda Express was opened by the Cherng Family in 1983 in Glendale, California. Andrew Cherng along with Peggy Cherng and his father founded the Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company of Panda Express.
Ever since its first opening in 1983, Panda Express had continually expanded and is now present in 6 countries outside of the US. Founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng have also been inducted into the California Restaurant Association Hall of Fame.
Employees at Panda Express are offered with a competitive comprehensive benefits program that include paid time off, savings options, health insurance, a continuous learning program and many more.
Working at Panda Express is very fulfilling for most of its employees as the company prioritizes and promotes a culture where a healthy lifestyle, continuous learning and giving back is emphasized. The company believes in the philosophy of the “whole person” where health not only entails physical health but also mental and emotional well-being. Employees thrive because their hard work is often rewarded with opportunities to advance themselves professionally and the company takes into account their growth personally and professionally.
How old do you have to be to work at Panda Express?
The minimum age to work at the company is 16. Those with minimal or no working experience are free to apply to entry-level jobs at the restaurant team. Higher positions at the restaurant team and management often require one to have a high school diploma.
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Panda Express Careers
There are various career tracks available at Panda Express, both in restaurant operations and in higher corporate positions. Both entry-level positions and management positions are available for hiring.
Service team and kitchen staff: The employee is in charge of serving and greeting customers, operating the cashier, secures payment, serves food and drinks and responds to questions of the customer is necessary. He is also in charge of keeping both work spaces and dining areas tidy as well as the organization of inventory.
Assistant Manager: The assistant manager position entails overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Panda Express branch with the guidance of the general manager. The employee trains incoming front and back of the house associates. He also helps with customer service in order to deliver exceptional guest experiences in line with financial targets of the company.
Training Leader: Because the development of the Panda Express team is of utmost priority of the company, the training leader is in charge of the development of future assistant managers and general managers. “Assistant managers in training” and “general managers in training” answer to the training leader while he simultaneously functions as the general manager.
Multi Unit Manager: The multi-unit manager is a transitional role, and is responsible for overseeing the operations of at least 3 to 6 stores. The role of multi-unit manager must be fulfilled before the employee becomes area coach of operations.
Area Coach of Operations: The area coach of operations is in charge of overseeing 30 to 90 stores. The employee will be the driving force of operations toward regional growth through marketing strategies, site selection, real estate, etc.
General Manager: The general manager oversees the operations of 1 Panda Express store. The manager is in charge of hiring, directing and managing of associates and ensuring the delivery of great customer service.
Restaurant Kitchen Help: The employee is responsible for ensuring the adequate supply of kitchen ingredients and making sure that the kitchen is clean and well-organized. His functions include preparing ingredients, follow health regulations, stock ingredients properly, sweep/mop the kitchen as well as to assist the kitchen manager, dishwasher and the cook when needed.
Full Service Restaurant Server: The server’s role involves serving the guests efficiently and having the proper knowledge of the restaurant’s available array of food and beverage. Functions include explaining to the customers the available restaurant offerings, ensuring the timely delivery of the guest’s orders. The server is expected to execute proper service standards and presents the customer with the check at the end of the meal.
Restaurant Delivery Driver: The delivery driver takes customer’s order via phone, helps package the food for delivery and drives to the customer’s site to deliver the orders. He is also responsible for following company policies on payment procedures.
Marketing Manager: The marketing manager is responsible for building the Panda Express brand. The employee is in charge of producing new and innovative concepts in marketing, product development, operations, supply chain, etc. The manager also creates effective messages to communicate the brand. He works closely with research and development to execute projects effectively.
Panda Express Application
Application at Panda Express is mainly done through hiring agencies, open house events or through applications done online or in-store. Entry level jobs such as restaurant team member positions have interview days at specific stores where applicants may be considered for employment.
Successful applicants at Panda Express usually hear back from the company through phone calls or store visit.
Panda Express looks for applicants who are efficient and are skilled in multitasking, especially in managerial positions since they will be most likely handling several store branches. Hopefuls wishing to be hired must be able to float from tasks seamlessly and also manages their time wisely. Determination and being driven will most likely improve application standing at the company aside from a qualifying background for higher management or corporate positions.
Facts About Panda Express
Panda Express has a philanthropic arm called Panda Cares, which is the company’s way of giving back. The foundation’s mission is to give children in need hope for the future by giving them access to health services and education. The foundation empowers underserved communities by donating their time and resources to promote health and education.
Panda Cares also directly works with local organizations in order to raise funds and support events for food donations. The restaurant group also has an in-house donation program at its stores where customers can donate to the foundation’s cause.