Panda Express Franchise Cost, Profit & Opportunities

PANDA EXPRESS Franchise Startup Cost, Profit & Opportunities

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.

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 utilize 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 flavors of Szechuan 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 ’80s 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 have continued to grow and guide Panda Express. The company 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 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.

In a hypothetical situation, 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 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, flavoring, 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 Hardware and software. You will be expending an estimate of about $4000 to $17,000 on computer hardware and software.
  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


Since the franchise fee is the payment made to a company to get the license to operate under its brand name, by a prospective franchisee. And it has been established that Panda Express does not sell the franchise to the general public, 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 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 is 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 can incorporate all the ingredients needed to achieve success.