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Panda Express unveils new store model

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Panda Express has revamped its store model in line with evolving customer behaviors.

The quick-serve Asian restaurant chain has opened a new prototype designed to accommodate the increased demand for online ordering and drive-thru channels. The revamped interior includes a 15% reduction in seat count, with a larger back-of-house area.  The new store model will be expanded to new locations in several U.S. markets in 2023 and beyond.

The new Panda Express format, which was designed in partnership with experience agency ChangeUp and made its debut in Dripping Springs, Tex., features design elements inspired by traditional Chinese architecture and traditions that tell the story of Panda Express. The exterior is identified by the brand’s signature color palette of black and white, with strong red accents complemented by warm wood tones and a sweeping roofline.

The interior design is marked by vibrant colors and a mashup of traditional and modern design motifs, welcoming customers into Panda’s ‘home.’ The interior includes elements such as a moon gate-inspired entrance, vibrant neon signs and a mural celebrating cultural traditions.

The drive-thru has been updated to offer a new immersive experience. It is lined with pictograms telling an American Chinese story.

Panda said aims to uplift the local communities it serves. The Panda Sculpture installed at the Dripping Spring location is the first of its kind and features custom artwork by local Asian American artist Steffi Lynn highlighting the rich culture and beautiful landscape of Dripping Springs and the surrounding Austin area.

Panda will continue to collaborate with talented local artists of diverse backgrounds who represent the multicultural communities where Panda opens restaurants for future Panda Sculptures, the company said.  

Panda Express is the largest family-owned and operated Asian dining concept in the U.S. The restaurant brand has more than 2,500 locations and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to12 international countries.

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