Food

Tasty Things You Didn't Know About Panda Express 

Jen Lennon
Updated October 13, 2018 240 votes 174 voters 6.2k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up the most appetizing facts you didn't already know about the orange chicken juggernaut.

While you may recognize Panda Express from their seemingly ubiquitous presence in mall food courts, there are actually so many interesting things about Panda Express. And no, they don’t all have to do with orange chicken — but come on, a list of Panda Express facts wouldn’t be complete without at least a few mentions of that sweet, sticky dish.

Founded in 1982 by Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is still family-owned and operated, despite now having over 1,500 restaurants. There are no franchises, and it’s still a privately held company. The company also donates millions to charity every year through its Panda Cares initiative. So enjoy these Panda Express statistics and facts, and see how long you can go before dashing out to satisfy your sudden, irresistible craving for America’s first fast-casual Chinese food chain.

1
Panda Express Invented Orange Chicken
Panda Express Invented O... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Tasty Things You Didn't Know About Panda Express
Photo: Steven Depolo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Yep, that’s right. Panda didn’t just perfect orange chicken, they invented it. Executive chef Andy Kao devised the recipe for the now-classic Chinese-American staple.

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2
Panda's Test Kitchen Is Open to the Public
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Can’t get enough Panda Express? Then you should take a trip to Pasadena, CA, where Panda’s Innovation Kitchen offers up experimental menu items including quesadillas, burritos, ramen, and tea.

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3
One Restaurant Sells 434 Servings of Orange Chicken per Day
One Restaurant Sells 434... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Tasty Things You Didn't Know About Panda Express
Photo: Candy Beauchamp/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Eater spent a day inside a Panda Express, documenting everything from the customers who dined there to the amount of food the kitchen used. At the end of the day, they sold 434 servings of orange chicken, 443 servings of chow mein, and used 77 pounds of broccoli.

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4
Their Orange Chicken Was Originally Served on the Bone
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

In 1987, Andy Kao, who is now the executive chef at Panda Express, came up with the recipe for their classic orange chicken. But one thing was a little bit different back then: the chicken was served on the bone.

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