Panda Express Franchise Cost, Fee and Profit Opportunities

PANDA EXPRESS Franchise Startup Cost, Profit Margin, Revenue and Locations

Are you interested in becoming a franchisee with Panda Express Franchise? Does Panda Express franchise? Some say, “In France, cooking is a serious form of art and a national sport”, but in the United States, one might be inspired to say it is a serious form of business.


Such an inspiration could impressively be induced on any individual who knows of Panda Group of Restaurant, a tri-legged cooperation that consist the Panda Inn, Hibachi-san, and the Panda express.

How to Start a Panda Express Franchise
This is no much surprise as everyone knows that food is a universal experience, it is a point of intersection connecting all lines of existence.


The mathematician Andrew Cherng, alongside his father who happens to be a Master Chef, Ming Tsai Cherng established in 1973 the Panda Inn, in Pasadena California, the Inn was found initially with the motive of introducing new “species” of Chinese dishes to the south of California, which had already shown favorable reception towards some other dishes like the Cantonese dish.

READ: White Castle Franchise: What You Need To Know About Cost And Planning

A second location opened about 9 years later, this time in Glendale. Sooner than a year after this event, an invitation hits the Cherngs to set up sort of pseudo “Panda-Inn” within the developing Glendale Galleria. And that was it! That was the birth of Panda Express which opened in October 1983 with the collaboration of his former schoolmate at Baker University in Baldwin city, Kansas, called Peggy Cherng, Andrew established Panda Express.


Is Panda Express a franchise?
Panda Express gained reputation for American Chinese cuisines, and become a casual restaurant chain. Having over 1900 locations currently, it stands as the largest Chinese restaurant chain in the United States, majorly found in the food court of malls, and also as independent establishments.

It is found in Casinos, Universities, Airports, Military houses etc. Its headquarter is at 1683 Walnut Grove Ave, Rosemead, California, United States; Panda Restaurant Group, in 2014, had roughly 2500 employees, and an annual sales of $2 billion. Panda express is the most popular of its three subgroups.

As at 2007, only eight locations in Japan opened under Franchise agreement that has even elapsed. Now all units are company-owned and operated. However these are requirement for anyone who intends to partner or enter into a Franchise agreement with them.


How much is a Panda Express franchise Canada?

  • How much does it cost to open a panda express?
  • Is panda express a franchise that is expensive? 
  • What is the average panda express franchise price and fee?

Below are estimates of Panda Express Franchise Disclosure Document containing a sketch of cost that goes in tandem with the initial setup of a Panda Express fast food restaurant. It should be however noted that these estimates are grossly controlled by the factor of existence of a restaurant already or a new construction; and even as much controlled by size.


Panda Express franchise business has a policy of non-refunding of cash once paid; this is particularly emphasized in the License fee payment of $25,000 which is first paid.

As we by now know, Panda started as a fast food server in a food court, so one gets the idea that he would have to rent a place in wherever (Universities, airports, shopping malls, etc.) he chooses. Panda Express franchise price of this would range from $10,000 to $425,000 depending on the exact venue.

A crucial point to note is that Panda Express Franchise International in any tentative venue should at least be 500 square feet, preferably about 1000 square feet. In fact some units sit over 3000 square feet. Note that other Panda Express restaurant franchise startup costs are also incurred in the process of opening the franchise and these include insurance, utility, etc.


Also, the standards of Panda Express are by no means dented with compromise. One adopts the standard designs, and construction style, and will only open at the approval of the Panda Group. These and the internal fixtures like chairs, tables and counters will cost up to about $80,000 to $500,000 to set up.

How much does a panda express franchise cost on the average? Cost of equipment such as grills, refrigerator and other necessary machines for the smooth running of the establishment are also required; these would be covered by the range of $90,000 to $220,000. The approved models and brand are what have been estimated.

To franchise Panda Express, startup inventory includes food products, seasoning, sauces and marinades, beverages and miscellaneous requirements that are important would be covered by about $3,000.

It is important to obtain a non-resettable cash register, for financial records, and this cost about $7,000. Annual premium insurance plan ranges from $20,000 to $16,000. This is required of a Franchisee when buying the franchise.

About $16,000 to $21,000 would cover computer software and hardware. However, it depends on computer equipment’s you already own or not own. The computerized equipment is used to run the system.

You also get to benefit from trainings by Panda Express for you; though royalty fee can be charged for training of extra individuals affiliated to you.

Panda Express franchise in India and other locations will set a team of qualified personnel to supervise the contraction, and offer guidance and support. However, a Panda Express franchise fee of $17,000 to $50,000 is charged. The range of value is also paid for designs and architectural charges.

As on entrepreneur, you also need to budget a separate capital for financial roles when planning to buy the franchise. This covers updating of inventory, payroll, administrative expenses, costs of training and recruitments, uniform for staffs, marketing and surveys, security, and maintenance, etc., at least for the first 90 days. An amount around $60,000 to $110,000 would suffice.

Finally, a total estimate of about $370,000 to $1,550,200 would be required fee to initiate a Panda Express Franchise. It is worth noting that Panda Restaurant Group also taken part in humanitarian activities.



Do you know how much franchising a Panda Express cost? When you think about the one of the best American-Asian cuisine across the United States, Panda Express will surely come to mind. They offer delicious meals that are as well fresh. They can also be considered as the most dominant chain of Chinese food restaurants. The Panda Express brand is so big, no wonder there have been a lot of searches on how much is a Panda Express franchise? They were one of the 1st major restaurants to use the computer-based POS system as far back as in the year 1983.


The company was established in the year 1973 and as at then, they were only known as the Panda Inn. In a very short time, information spread about their quality service delivery and delicious meals they provided. The company grew so fast and in the year 1983, they changed their name into Panda Express. They currently have close to 2000 outlets in more than 45 locations across the Unites States of America. Are you interested in how to join panda express franchise? Read on.


For your information, it will not be a smooth ride getting a Franchise with Panda Express. The information around is that they only offer their outlets to their previous employees. What this means that if you would want to own a Panda Express Franchise, then you will have to work with them first to have a first-hand knowledge about their mode of operation at the company. So what will be the cost of owning a Panda Express Franchise should you be successful in getting one with them?

  1. The Initial License Fee; As part of the Panda Express Franchise Startup cost, you will be expected to make an initial license fee of about $25,000
  2. Lease on Premises: roughly, this will set you back a whopping $10,000 to $400,000 depending on the type of lease you choose, the location of your outlet, the size, age and condition of the building, lease arrangement and so many other factors that could differ from location to location. For instance, if you are to get a rent around a major airport, you will be expected to pay more than in just an ordinary residential area.
  3. Furniture and office supplies: You will also need to put into consideration the equipment that you will require to run your outlet. These include steam counters, refrigerators, grills and a whole lot more. Be informed that Panda Express will recommend the brands of equipment you will be getting.
  4. Initial Inventory: These will as well be purchased from recommended suppliers as stated by Panda Express. Your initial inventory purchases will comprise of the following: food products, seasonings, flavouring, sauces, paper products, beverages, cleaning materials and other items that will be needed in the operation of a restaurant
  5. Computer Hardware and Software: Part of the cost of owning a Panda Express franchise will be the purchase of Computer Hardwares and softwares. You will be expending an estimate of about $4000 to $17,000 on computer hardwares and softwares.
  6. Training Expenses: When you make an initial License fee to Panda Express, this covers the initial training program that will be offered to you and your staff at a unit location. Every other cost associated with training for you and your staff attending the training program, which may include travels, feeding and every other additional expense will be borne by you.
  7. Architectural Fees: You should be looking into somewhat close to $17000 to $35,000 for the architectural and design fee of your selected location
  8. Total cost: In all, you should be looking at close to $380,000 to $1,600,000 as the startup cost of a Panda Express Franchise


There have been a lot of enquiries about how to own a Panda Express Franchise. But the most important question to ask is does Panda Express own a Franchise? The answer to that is capital No. They do not, at the moment, offer any form of franchise since every single store that they have across the country is corporately operated by the Panda Express Company itself.
When you compare Panda Express with their rivals in the Chinese Cuisine chain of business, they don’t make as much profit as others. This is simply explained by the owners that Panda concentrates more on creating the best foods and then giving its employees the best opportunity to grow through capacity building. Panda Express profit margin is just 10% as compared to the average 25% of their competitors.


If you have finally decided to own a Panda Express Franchise. The only one qualification that Panda Express requires of you as a franchisee is that you become one of their employees.



Panda Express is considered to be the most successful chain of Chinese food restaurants across the United States. Their brand is so massive; they had once been in discussions to purchase P.F Changs. The success of the company was so big that they were among the first set of chains to utilise the newly introduced POS then. The chain is quite popular now that franchise pundits want to know how much is a Panda Express franchise


The history of the restaurant started when a young man, Andrew Cherng migrated to the United States from China in pursuit of the American dream. With just a little amount of money with him, but a huge heart, he started the first Panda Inn, alongside his father.


The restaurant introduced the sweet flavours of Szechuin and Mandarin meals to the people of Southern California and that became the standard for most of the panda Restaurants that you see at different parts of the world today.

Panda Express is known to be one of the few restaurant chains that adopted technologies fast before other restaurants. The founder’s background in software design and engineering gave the company a technology advantage. In the 80’s the company adopted a store ordering system using computers and this makes it easier for them to collate data about items that sell the most in their stores.

At this modern day, Andrew’s passion and vision has continued to grow and guide Panda Express. The company still remains family owned until today

With the success that the company has achieved since it was established, it will be expected that the company should have franchise locations across the world. This is not so, Panda Express does not have any franchise, in fact all their locations across the world are company owned. except for a few situations whereby the stores are located inside university environments, these stores are usually licensed to the university.

Since the company does not sell franchise opportunities of any format to the public, it will not be feasible to attach any cost to their franchise. The Panda Express franchise cost is nonexistent.

Since the franchise fee is the payment made to a company to get the license to operate under their brand name, by a prospective franchisee. And it has been established that Panda Express does not sell franchise, so there will not be any franchise fee payment being accepted by the company from any prospective franchisee.

There are no Panda Express franchise owners, so we might not be able to attach any value to the earnings that a franchisee with the company will make. However, the company is been run by the itself and according to the founders of Panda Express, the average income of a unit is a little bit lower than it is obtainable in the industry, which is just around 10% compared to most others that lie around 25%.

Panda Express explains that this is so because the company invests so much in creating nothing other than great foods and also the great amount of money invested in their employees for growth. The company seems to be contented with the profit margin and they are not planning on doing something to move it up anytime sooner.

However this is the summation of the earnings of staff at the company

Assistant manager – $15hr

Lead Counter – $11hr

General Manager (Operations) – $50

Cashier – $9.55hr

Since the company does not sell franchise opportunities, the only qualification that they expect of a prospective franchisee is to become an employee with Panda Express.

There are no training offered to anyone outside of the company’s system. The company only invests so much capital in the development of their employees to keep up the good work and policy of the company.

Since the company is not offering franchise opportunities, they are only committed to giving time and resources to uplift the communities that host them and the staff of their company. Since its establishment in 1999, Panda Express has promoted Panda Cares and this serves to promote the spirit of giving through the serving of health and educational resources to the less privileged.

There is no information available on how to open a Panda Express franchise. the only thing close to that is when you work as an employee of the company, you can work your way to the top and if the company finds you worthy, there is the chance of you been appointed to serve as a manager at a new location of Panda Express.

It is a great working experience at the company and the knowledge and information gathered at Panda Express could be utilized in establishing your own business, which might get successful if you are able to incorporate all the ingredients needed to achieve success.

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  1. we are specifically interested in a Panda Express

  2. I am very interested in a Panda Express Franchise opportunity. Please email me how to sign up or contact number to call. Thank you very much.

    April Ha

  3. Hi, I am exploring yo set up Panda Express’s in India as a Madtet Franchise and Developer. Where can I get information on franchising.

    1. Hi Chanana, this guide provides the basic information you need to franchise Panda Express. Additional information can only be obtained from the franchisor after you file in your application. Good to see you here. Please visit again.

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