Panda Express is set to open its first branch at SM Megamall in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, providing Filipinos a taste of authentic American Chinese cuisine.
Panda Express, an American Chinese original, is the largest Asian dining concept in the US. Founded and operated since 1983, the family-owned chain is best known for a wide variety of thoughtfully crafted dish with quality ingredients inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles.
After years of trying to bring Panda Express to the Philippines, Panda Express co-founder and co-CEO Andrew Cherng felt he found the right partner in Jollibee Foods Corp. founder and chairman Tony Tan Caktiong.
JFC announced last year that it signed a 50/50 joint venture with Panda Restaurant Group to form JBPX Foods Inc. and bring the iconic US restaurant brand to the Philippines.
Cherng said both companies share the same values in dedication to quality and people-first culture.
“We’re excited to open the first Panda Express in the Philippines. Based on the consumer enthusiasm for the upcoming opening, we’re encouraged that the local market will also love this food concept—a boost to JFC’s roster of restaurant chain,” Tan Caktiong saidn in a statement.
Consumer interest in Panda Express started in 2016 when food sites consistently listed it as one of US-based brands that Filipinos could not wait to open in Manila.
Speculations on the location of the first branch stirred a new wave of online interest on the brand.
The opening of Panda Express SM Megamall is expected to drive the continuous growth of JFC—one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing Asian restaurant companies.
Filipinos can now get a taste of Panda Express’ Original Orange Chicken, the bestseller on the menu, as well as other American Chinese classics like Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef and Shanghai Steak.
Cherng cofounded Panda Express with wife Peggy, and they are now co-CEOs who make sure the company remains committed to its values-based culture, focusing on growing their people, serving quality ingredients to guests and giving back to the community. They opened the first branch in Glendale, California.
Today, Panda Express has successfully popularized American Chinese cuisine through authentic Chinese recipes adapted to the global palate.
Meanwhile, JFC is one of the largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies in the world. It is one of the best, if not the most loved Filipino food brand.
It operates in 21 countries, with over 4,500 stores globally with branches in the Philippines, the United States, Canada, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), the United Kingdom, Italy, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Panama and Malaysia.
It has eight wholly-owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan and Smashburger), two franchised brands (Burger King in the Philippines and Dunkin’ Donuts in certain territories in China), a 60-percent ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highland Coffee and PHO24 brands.
JFC also has investments in Titan Dining LP, the ultimate holding entity of Tim Ho Wan Pte. Ltd. (the master franchisee of Tim Ho Wan in the Asia Pacific region excluding Hong Kong) and a business venture with award-winning chef Rick Bayless to build a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States.
JFC recently signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf specialty coffee and tea brand, with over 1,100 outlets in 27 countries.
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