Peggy and Andrew Cherng: From A Family Business to a Global EmpireJanet Rangi
Peggy and Andrew Cherng are Asian –born immigrants who met in college and fell in love. The founders of Panda Express got married in 1975. The billionaire couple worth 2.7 billion USD has three daughters.
Andrew was born in Yangzhou, and his father was a chef. His family moved to Taiwan following the Chinese Civil War. In 1963, they moved to Japan where his father continued working as a chef. When Andrew when turned 18, he went to the US to study, and he met his Burma-born wife at Baker University.
Andrew learned the ropes from his father, and they opened a restaurant together in 1973.
The couple opened their first Panda Express restaurant in Glendale, California in 1983. They have opened 1,600 restaurants all over the world known for their bold flavors of the Chinese-inspired cuisine. The Orange Chicken, developed by Chef Andy Kao was their signature meal. In 2014, 67.9 million pounds of the meal were served.
In 1993, Peggy and Andrew Cherng celebrated the 10th anniversary by opening the 100th branch in UCLA campus. In 1995, two airport outlets came to life at Denver International Airport. In 2005, the couple made it to the California Restaurant Association Hall of Fame. In 2015, they organized the first Family Day with the aim of providing meals to the 10 million Americans in need as they celebrate the family-owned heritage.
Peggy and Andrew Cherng vow to open over 250 restaurants in Mexico by 2020. Additionally, they have partnered with Taiwanese company ¸Wowprime, to introduce the Yakiyan barbecue to the US market.The couple is investing and partnering with smaller companies that sell cheesecakes, pizzas, and salads.
Panda Restaurant Hierarchy Chain
Ming-Tsai Cherng( Andrew father)- Founder of Panda Inn in 1973
Second generation- Peggy and Andrew Cherng holding co-CEO and co-chair positions
Third generation- Andrea Cherng (Peggy and Andrew Cherng, daughter) – Chief marketing officer