It can be said that there are two sorts of Chinese cuisine in the world, “Asian” Chinese and “American Chinese”. The latter is a historical development brought about by Chinese immigration to the US in centuries past, where they began adapting their traditional cooking practices and recipes to the available ingredients and their customers’ tastes. From chop suey to fortune cookies, American Chinese cooking evolved its own unique character, and in recent decades led to a rise of inexpensive restaurant chains. One of these, Panda Express, has just entered a joint venture in order to open here in the Philippines.
CNN Philippines tells us that the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, September 25, received a disclosure from Panda Express, the fast-food subsidiary of Panda Restaurant Group Inc. from Rosemead, California that they plan to open business in the country soon. To that end they have teamed up with Filipino pride Jollibee Foods Corporation in a 50-50 joint venture, with the intention to start their local operations with five fast-food restaurants in Metro Manila, a prelude perhaps towards expanding into the rest of the country eventually. Pretty soon Filipino patrons will get to taste Panda Express’ famous specialty dish, Orange Chicken.
Panda Group co-founder and co-CEO Andrew Cherng has expressed his excitement at opening a new market for their popular fast-food chain with the help of a local corporate partner that knows the lay of the land so to speak. “We feel fortunate to be partnering with a company that has a history of growing and adding significant value to its new businesses,” he said. “We look forward to tapping into JFC’s market expertise to grow the Panda Express brand into a household name in the Philippines and, more importantly, actioning our shared value of inspiring people to better their lives.”
If Cherng was impressed at their joint venture, Jollibee chairman Tony Tan Caktiong shares the sentiment wholeheartedly saying, “Starting from a single restaurant in a California mall to becoming a restaurant chain of over 2,100 stores, Panda Express is a strong brand with a growing global footprint.” Caktiong adds that Panda’s rise to fast-food prominence mirrors Jollibee’s own, and is confident that Chickenjoy lovers will take to Panda Orange Chicken just as much in future.
Panda Express is the largest Asian-cuisine fast-food chain in the US today, with over 2,000 locations around the world. It is owned and operated by the Panda Group which includes table-service restaurant Panda Inn and value-price Japanese cuisine chain Hibachi-San.
Image courtesy of Panda Express