Panda Express evolves its offerings to bring good fortune to guests and the bottom line

Panda Express adds Panda Rewards loyalty program, photo provided by Panda Express
Panda Express adds Panda Rewards loyalty program, photo provided by Panda Express /

As the largest family-owned and operated Asian dining concept in the U.S., Panda Express is leveraging its name recognition and market position to the benefit of both its guests and the company. While loyalty is imperative for any successful business, the methodology that brings the return visit needs to fit within the brand. From the new Panda Rewards to creative menu launches, Panda Express has found a way to bring good fortune to all parties.

The new Panda Reward program is a personalized points-based system. Different from other surprise-based customer loyalty programs, the program allows users to redeem points for their preferred Pana menu items.

Users earn ten Panda Points for every dollar spent; it includes qualifying purchases only. The minimum redemption level is 200 points. In addition, guests can unluck a surprise Good Fortunate Gift and unique digital fortune cookie messages. Lastly, participants will receive a free birthday gift for being a member.

As Andrea Cherng, Chief Brand Officer at Panda Express said, “Sharing good fortune is an important value at Panda, and we are delighted to launch our first rewards program nationwide as a heartfelt expression of gratitude towards our loyal guests for their continued support throughout the years. We look forward to engaging our guests in a playful and meaningful journey of good fortune as they collect unique prizes offering exceptional value every time they dine at Panda.”

Panda Express adds Panda Rewards loyalty program
Panda Express adds Panda Rewards loyalty program, photo provided by Panda Express /

While the new Panda Rewards program rolls out across its channels, it is another example how the brand is evolving its restaurant brand concept. Recently, the company unveiled a new model store in Dripping Springs, Texas. Although the aesthetic brought together the East meets West through design, customer efficiency and overall experience was always front of mind.

Even though speed of service is paramount, the overall customer experience was heightened. From immersive elements that tell the American Chinese story to overall dining experience, the customer first approach is just as important as well-made food.

Blending the authenticity into that food story is important to the brand. The recent celebration of the Disney+ show “American Born Chinese” is another example how the company puts the Chinese American story front and center. Although the free promotion might have ended, the Panda CommUnity Fund is a continual effort to foster and promote inclusivity within diverse communities.

Giving guests a taste of those Asian flavors is not limited to the restaurant table. When the brand offered a small wok giveaway to celebrate a  new menu item, it was an invitation to explore flavor within guests’ home kitchen. Even if the taste might be slightly different than the food in the takeout container, it celebrates the willingness to find connections through food. The beef dish might be more or less spicy depending on the cook, but it can showcase how food flavors conversation around the table. Sometimes the similarities are waiting to be discovered one dish at a time.

For now, Panda Express is bringing more good fortune to its guests with the new Panda Rewards program. It might not be a red envelope, but there are plenty of gifts waiting to be opened.