HomeFood & Beverages FranchiseHow to Start a Panda Express Franchise - Cost, Fee, & Profit

How to Start a Panda Express Franchise – Cost, Fee, & Profit

Are you Interested and looking for a Food and Beverages franchise? Starting a Panda Express franchise will be the best option and would certainly conclude your research for same.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the Panda Express franchise with capital requirements, fee, profit, and step-by-step guidelines to get this franchise – and answer some common questions about the chain.

  • Franchise Fee: $25000
  • Royalty Fee: 8% Or $4000, or whichever is higher
  • Inventory Cost: $2200 – $10000
  • Furniture and Equipment: $90,000 – $310,000
  • Construction Supervision: $17,000 – $70,000
  • Interior decor: $17,000 – $50,000
  • Training Expenses: $13,000 – $29,000
  • Total Initial Investment: $377,100 – $1,884,000

Overview of Panda Express Franchise

Panda Express Franchise outlet

Founded in 1983 by Andrew and Peggy CherngPanda Express is one of the rapidly growing American Chinese food chains that primarily serves the most delicious Chinese cuisine, such as orange chicken, Kung Pao chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, and Beijing Beef. They have a wide presence of more than 2000 outlets across several states in the US.

The Panda restaurant group, which also owns well-known names like Panda Inn and Hibachi-San, is the parent company of the subsidiary chain Panda Express. Panda express franchise would greatly benefit its unit owner or license holder with a solid expansion plan for its outlets in local and foreign markets.

In addition, Panda Express offers franchise opportunities for interested parties, but only on a licensing basis, and anticipates them to open in high-traffic areas such as airports, supermarkets, hospitals, and other high-traffic areas.

Below is the ranges of products that Panda express caters;

  • Chicken
  • Meals & Combo
  • Appetizers
  • Beverages
  • Snacks
Panda Express logo

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The Journey of Panda Express Franchise

The robust future development, experience, knowledge, and a variety of mouth-watering menu options will contribute to the chain’s continued success. Furthermore, the progression from launching a single location in Pasadena, California, to building a network with over 30000 employees and $3 billion in annual revenue is fascinating.


The first Panda express outlets was opened at Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California.


Chef Andy Kao, innovates a new dish called The Original Orange chicken, which became an instant hit among Americans.


The chain established a philanthropic entity named Panda Cares and dedicated it to providing food, funding, and volunteer services to underserved children and disaster relief efforts.


Innovating another popular dish, Beijing beef on its 25th Anniversary and setting up its 1000th location in California.


Started with expanding its outlet internationally by setting up first outlet in Mexico city. Now, they also operate in the countries like Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, El Salvador, Philippines, South Korea, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.


They launched a new concept called Innovation Kitchen that primarily helped them with new menu innovations, new décor, and options to serve its customers in a better way.


In September 2018, Panda express announced its joint venture with Jollibee food corporation(Jollibee Franchise) to bring up the stores in the Philippines.


Launched its 2000th outlets to serve the best and delicious food to a wider audience.

Panda express franchise opportunities

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Benefits of Owning a Panda Express franchise

Owning a licensed Panda express outlet would be highly beneficial to its interested prospects. Furthermore, we will point out some of the major reasons in favor of franchise ownership.

  1. Vast experience and expertise:
    • The chain has more than three decades of experience and expertise in the Food and beverages industry that would help the license holder to run the business seamlessly.
  2. Global Presence:
    • Their global presence would also immensely benefits its franchisee, who can utilize their loyal fan base and ultimately making a highly profitable outlets.
  3. Razor focus on Innovation:
    • Panda express have been continuously focusing on innovation that helps them generate new menus, decor, and other stuff.
  4. Lucrative business model:
    • The chain offers a proven lucrative business model that would immensely benefits in making an outlets profitable and expandable to other locations.
  5. Best-in-class support:
    • Panda express team provides a best-in-class support to its unit holders at each stage of franchising that aids them to successfully open and operate a Panda express restaurant.

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How much does a Panda Express Franchise Cost?

To be specific, Panda Express does not sell franchises. Instead, an interested individual can open an outlet by obtaining a license. Panda Express anticipates that the license holder will set up shop in specific areas, including casinos, travel centers, colleges and universities, airports, theme parks, and other relevant venues.

Panda Express license opportunities

Below is the cost required to franchise a panda express outlet;

Panda express franchise fee

The chain does charge an initial license fee of $25000 for the Panda Express franchise. Usually, the franchise fees are non-refundable, and one must understand that there are several other costs involved in setting up an outlet other than the franchise fee.

Furthermore, the total initial investment cost to setup a Panda express franchise(licensed) outlet will be approximately $377,100 – $1,884,000.

Other cost breakdown

EssentialsCost and Other details
Initial Inventory$2200 – $10000
Furniture and Equipment$90,000 – $310,000
Construction Supervision$17,000 – $70,000
IT Equipment$14,000 – $21,000
Interior decor and Designing$17,000 – $50,000
Training Expenses$13,000 – $29,000
Additional Funds (3 months)$60,000 – $110,000

The above mentioned cost estimate would provide insight into setting up a panda express outlet. To know more about the expenses and cost involved, please go through the FDD.

On-going expenses:

Panda express does charge a royalty fee of 8% on gross sales or $4000 per month or whichever is higher.

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Panda express franchise profit margin

Their units are located in a high footfall area, which attracts lots of consumers to their outlet, helping to generate more sales and eventually making it a profitable franchise.

According to their FDD, Panda Express outlets generally perform financially better at Airport locations which has been generating a higher sales volume for them. Eventually, One can expect a profit margin of 12-15% from this franchise.

Furthermore, Panda Express has recently opened more franchised locations (which are owned and controlled by the company) than authorized locations, which suggests that they are putting more emphasis on their outlets.

Requirements for Panda Express Franchise

  1. First and most important – One should be financially well-qualified and have good credit to start a Panda Express location, and should be ready to invest a minimum of $377,100 – $1,884,000.
  2. Interested applicants will be advised to dedicate themselves to the Panda Express business and follow the company standards and maintain their legacy.
  3. Interested applicants will have to undergo and complete the necessary training program offered by the Panda Express team.
  4. Prospective applicants must possess a strong work ethic and unwavering dedication, as they will be actively involved during the initial stages of their new venture with Panda Express.
  5. Interested franchisees should have passion to work in the Food and Beverages industry and should possess the leadership and financial skills to operate a Panda Express location.
  6. One should/or their partner should meet the minimum financial requirement of at least a Net Worth of $1 Million and at least $500,000 in liquid assets.

Panda Express Franchise Support

  • Site Selection(we have mentioned the list of applicable sites)
  • Procurement of equipment
  • Construction and designing support
  • IT Support
  • Brand and advertising support
  • Training programs
  • Guidance at each stage

How to Get a Panda Express Franchise(Licensed outlet)

Opening a Panda Express outlet as a franchise owner involves a relatively moderate investment while offering an impressive gross profit margin. Moreover, the Panda express restaurant model brings numerous benefits, and interested candidates can leverage their expertise and comprehensive support systems to establish franchise outlets in their city.

Please follow the below setup to own a licensed Panda Express outlet.

  1. Visit their official website.
  2. The highlighted link will navigate you to the franchise’s license opportunity page.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and Click on Reach out button
  4. Fill in the details like Name, Email Address, Phone number, franchise or brand you own with No. of units, interested venue type, and location of interest(domestic or international).
  5. Submit the form

Once you submit the form, somebody from the Panda Express franchise team would contact you for further processing. Please note that, there could be several round of meetup that may involves agreement signing, understanding FDD and cost, site approval, construction, training program and inauguration.

The complete application process may take about 45-60 days.


Panda Express is one of the renowned fast food chains, having an experience of more than three decades. They have a wide presence of more than 2000 outlets across several cities in the US. The chain primarily caters to Chinese-inspired cuisine, including orange chicken, Kung Pao chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, and Beijing Beef.

Panda Express units are usually profitable as they operate primarily at captive venues like Universities, Colleges, Airports, Military campuses, and other similar places. Furthermore, Panda Express offers licensed outlets for interested applicants(both domestic and International) with a franchise fee of $25000 and a total initial investment of $377,100 – $1,884,000.

All of the chain’s franchised locations are company-owned and -operated, and the franchise only offers outlets on a licensed basis.

Interested in Chinese-Inspired F& B Franchise? Teriyaki Madness franchise.

Good Luck!! Happy Franchising!!

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  1. How much does the Panda Express franchise(Licensed Unit) cost?

    Ans: To setup a licensed Panda Express franchise, one would need to require a investment of $377,100 – $1,884,000 as a total Initial cost.

    Franchise Fee: $25000
    Inventory Cost: $2200 – $10000
    Furniture and Equipment: $90,000 – $310,000
    Construction Supervision: $17,000 – $70,000
    IT Equipment: $14,000 – $21,000
    Interior decor and Designing: $17,000 – $50,000
    Training Expenses: $13,000 – $29,000
    Additional Funds (3 months): $60,000 – $110,000
    Total Initial Investment: $377,100 – $1,884,000

  2. Does Panda Express Franchise?

    Ans: Currently, Panda Express doesn’t have any immediate plan to offer franchises for the company. All of their outlets are company owned and operated. However, Interested applicant may apply for licensed outlet at captive venues such as military bases, universities, colleges, hospital, and other similar area.

  3. Is Panda Express Franchise(Licensed) profitable?

    Ans: Well, we certainly believe so. Its decades of experience, diverse menu offerings, ongoing innovation and expansion, and enormous support staff would undoubtedly help its licensed unit holders to turn a healthy profit.

  4. What are the number of outlet of Panda Express?

    Ans: As per latest data available, the franchise owns more than 2500 outlets across several cities in the US, Canada, Mexico, and many others.

FranchiseGoal Admin
FranchiseGoal Adminhttps://franchisegoal.com
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