How to Start Panda Express Franchise In USA ?

Panda Express Franchise Overview

Panda Express is the largest Asian restaurant of food chains which offers American Chinese Cuisine. Its unique fusion of Chinese roots with an American taste is generating more than 100 billion dollars in revenue. It’s one of the best food joint Chinese restaurants in the world.

The story of “Panda Express” Started in Pasadena California In 1973. Andrew Cherng opened the first Panda Inn along with his father, Master Chef Ming-Tsai Cherng. In 1983 the first Panda Express was unzipped in the Glendale Galleria after Panda Inn started to flourish. After a few years in 1987 the company opened its next outlet in Honolulu, Hawali and by 1993 after a gap of only 10 years it’s popularity gained heights and  Panda Express opened its 100th location. In 2007 it unzipped its 1000th location and the company achieved a profitable revenue of  billion dollars. Today Panda Express has over 1,900 restaurants, 50 in US states and more than 2,500 outlets in Canada, UAE, Korea and Mexico.

Panda Locations operate in captive venues such as airports, hospitals, casinos, and other similar locations. In Rosemead, California the Headquarters of the Panda Express franchise is located. The brand focuses on Chinese Cuisine. Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine was introduced to Southern California by Panda Inn, the credit of its famous dish, Orange Chicken also goes to Panda Express.

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Panda Express Franchise Benefits

Panda Express Franchise Benefits your business in many ways. They provide you a fine opportunity to be a part of their brand. They help your business to flourish and make it successful because Panda Express does not have any direct franchisee, so success of the brand depends on your success. They help you to build relationships with the consumer community and help you in finding a perfect location that will boost your business. They keep coming with new dishes and flavors to entertain your customer community. 

Panda Express Franchise units do the best financially. Panda Express is a profitable business and makes a significant net profit.  The other benefits that Panda Express offers are benefits of full time employees. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance. They also provide other benefits which includes, life insurance, short-time disability, long-time disability, cancer protection, Bonus pay. Stock options, employee discounts, Mobile phone discounts, Gym membership, continuous learning, scholarship program, paid time off , paid holidays, paid sick time and more.

Panda express franchise Requirements

As far as Panda Express franchise requirements, Panda Express hasn’t revealed any of their franchising requirements. However, if you are still interested in connecting with the company, they only offer working sites to its employees or workers. And if you are thinking of doing business with Panda Express then you must be its employee or worker. Opening a Panda Express outlet, franchise requires below mentioned investment.

Finance Model for Panda Express

ExpensesFinancial Amount
Liquid Capital$60,000 – $110,000
Total Investment$377,100 – $1,884,000
Franchise Fee$25,000

Being a privately owned business, Panda Express allows their employees and workers to run their restaurants. No other details are provided by Panda Express regarding requirements.

Panda express franchise Cost

The working of Panda Express is different because it does not have any direct franchisees own outlets, all outlets are corporately company-owned. The outlets of Panda Express are placed within academic premises under licensing agreements. It is partially similar to franchise business. 

The beginning operation of Panda Express ranges from $377,100- $1,884,00. This does not include the Panda Express Owner Salary. $25,000 is the initial fee for a Panda Express franchise (licensed store). This initial license fee needs to be settled down before opening a Panda Express franchise.

Investment Details

Lease Premises (initial 3 months rent)$ 10,000 – $ 425,000
Leasehold improvements$80,000 – $ 700,000
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment, and Supplies $ 90,000- $ 310, 000
Initial Inventory $ 2,200 – $ 10,000
Computer Hardware and Software $14,000 – $21,000
Non-resettable cash register $6,000 – $8,000
Insurance $30,000 – $75,000
Expenses incurred  ( initial training )$13,000 – $29,000
Architectural and design fees $17,000 – $50,000
Construction Supervision $17,000 – $70,000
Sales Tax Deposits$4,500 – $10,000
Telephone , Fax , and other communication related fees $500 – $1,000
Licensed and permits $1,500 – $30,000
Misc. Funds$0 – $10,000
Additional Funds (3 months)$60,000 – $110,000

The above mentioned is an estimated amount but there are many variable costs. The actual cost varies, because Panda Express has a wide range of costs and fees. 

Franchise Ongoing Cost and Fees 

The royalty amount of Panda Express is 8% on total sales amount or minimum amount of $4,000 per month. Apart from this the franchisee has to pay monthly salary to Panda Express owners.

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Panda express franchise Profit

The Panda Express franchise is a profitable business. In 2020 Panda Express  profit was $9,500,000.

According to their income statement of 2022 they are able to make significant net profit, as their expenses are relatively small compared to their revenue. At an average rate it makes $184,872 profits per year and 30% of sales. 

Profit – lossAmount ($)As % of sales
Sales $616,240100%
COGS$ (154,060)25%*
Labor$ (178,710)29%*
Rent$ (49,299)8%*
Royalty fees$ (49,299)8% as per FDD
Adjusted EBITDA$ 184,87230%

Cash Flow Statement 

Cash Flows (operating Activities)
Net Income$ 7,948,938$ 13,700,101
Adjustments to Reconcile Net Income to Net Cash 
Provided by Operating Activities 
Depreciation $ 880,596$ 917,504
Effects of changes in operating Assets and Liabilities 
Accounts Receivable $ 1,090,849$ (246,377)
Due from Affiliate $ (9,179,635)$ (14,869,105)
Prepaid Taxes $ 337,034$ (337,795)
Deferred revenue $ (267,799)$ 309,824
Net cash provided by Operating Activities $ 809,983$ (525,848)
Cash Flows from Investing Activities 
Purchases of property and Equipment $ (674)   —–
Cash used in investing activities $ (674)    —
Net change in cash and cash equivalents $ 809,309$ (525,848)
Cash and cash equivalents beginning of period $ 1,545,759$ 2,071,607
Cash and cash equivalents end of period $ 2,355,068$ 1,545,759
Supplemental cash flow information 
Foreign income taxes paid $ 162,830$ 228,828
Property and Equipment financed with affiliate $ 507,395

Overall, in liquid assets Panda Express retained a net profit of 25%, in 2020 their net income was almost $ 8,000,0000. Their financial performance is best in airport locations, with highest maximum gross sales at $3,453,579, highest average gross sales at $ 1,191,246 and a highest medium gross sales at $995,281. The military locations outperform airport locations for total sales at $39,026,818 and their Casino location outlets outperform for minimum gross sales at $420,343. 

Panda Express menu

Panda Express has a wide range of authentic Chinese delights. They have been providing authentic taste for years. The success of this largest Asian restaurant chain in the US lies in its Menu. Its menu has always kept Food lovers engaged.

From Mandarin to Sichuan dishes it has always been a reminder hub for food lovers across the globe. Coming to its signature dishes, the flavourful, juicy and the international favorite, Orange Chicken of Panda Express is leading and trending from years.

Create your Plate( Mixed Veggies, Chow Mein, White steamed Rice, Brown Steamed Rice and Fried Rice)
Bowl ( Mixed Veggies, Chow Mein, White steamed Rice, Brown Steamed Rice and Fried Rice)
Any 1 side & Entrees($6.80), Any 1 side & 3 Entrees ($8.30) , Additional charge – premium Entree ($1.25)
Any 1 side & Entree ($5.80), Additional charge – premium Entree ($1.25).
Kid’s Meal Any 1 Jr. Side, 1 Jr. Entree, 12 oz Drink & Cookie ($4.90)
Additional charge – Premium Entree ($0.75)
Family Feast2 large Sides & 3 large Entrees ($30.00)
Additional charge – Premium Entree ($3.75)
A La Carte: Mixed Veggies, Chow Mein, White steamed Rice, Brown Steamed Rice and Fried Rice  (Medium/ Large)
Orange Chicken,String Bean, Chicken Breast, Black Pepper chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef, Beijing Beef, sweet fire chicken breast, Grilled Teriyaki chicken, mushroom chicken ( Small)
Medium ($2.70), Large ($3.70), small ($3.70)
Appetizers: Veggie Spring Rolls, Chicken Egg Roll, Cream Cheese Rangoon
Crispy Shrimps 
Small – Large ($1.90- $9.70)
$1.90 3 Pc
Fountain Drink
Bottled Water
Bottled Drink
Small – Medium ($1.60 – $ 2.00)
$ 1.80

panda express Application

Inorder to apply for Panda Express Franchise, you need to keep in view that it doesn’t offer exact franchise-like business models. It gives licensed outlets which are owned by Panda Express. There are two ways to establish a contract with Panda Express:

  • Visit it’s official website
  • In the bottom side, there is a link available for contact us.
  • Click, a new page will pop-up.
  • Click General inquiry.
  • New page will appear, click – other option.
  • Contact info option, fill details then submit.
  • An authorized employee will respond to your query.


  • Click – Real Estate and Licensing
  • Go – Panda Express Licensing opportunities, click – more.
  • Go into the bottom and click on the reach out tab.
  • Enter details and site details and submit.
  • An authorized employee from Panda Express will contact you.  

Panda express Reviews

Panda Express has a rating of 1.78 stars from 239 reviews indicating dissatisfaction with the purchase. Consumers frequently complain about signature dishes (Orange Chicken) and other services and problems. Despite that, it is one of very few to use technology to manage order at that time. They are still dominating the market and are giving tough competition to their competitors. Panda Express ranks 265th among Restaurants sites. In this era of changing landscape Panda Express is presenting and working over the dishes that flourished them, they seem to know exactly who they are. In this competitive world their leadership is steady and it’s hard to reach their crown.

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Money generating sites and quick expansion of Panda Express speak everything about it. Its licensed outlets are consistently growing and the regional flavor of its cuisine is making it a favorite spot. Its fusion of Chinese roots with American taste is attracting customers and turning it into a leading place. 

As all the franchises are company owned so only investors with net worth can make it accessible by clearing initial investment and costs before setting up. Its net profit is growing continuously and its Franchise model ensures the success of outlets. Therefore starting the Panda Express Franchise in the USA is profitable.

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