Peggy Cherng’s profile picture

Peggy Cherng

Peggy Cherng’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $1.8 Billion
Industry: Other
Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada
Country: United States
Children: 3
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Oregon State University; Master of Science, University of Missouri; Ph.D, University of Missouri
BIOGRAPHY

Peggy Cherng was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Cherng is co-CEO of the $2.8 billion Chinese fast food chain Panda Express, which has nearly 2,000 locations. In 1983, she left her engineering career to help husband Andrew open Panda's first location in the second largest mall in Los Angeles. That same year, she built the company's systems to streamline operations and track customer feedback. In March 2017 the Cherngs donated $30 million to Caltech's medical engineering department.

NET WORTH STATISTIC
2015

$1.5 Billion

2016

$1.5 Billion

2017

$1.8 Billion

2018

$1.8 Billion

TIMELINE
Panda Express is a fast casual restaurant chain which serves American Chinese cuisine. It is the largest Asian segment restaurant chain in the United States, where it was founded and is mainly located (in addition to other countries and territories in North America and Asia). Panda Express restaurants were traditionally located in shopping mall food courts, but the chain now operates units in many other environments and formats, including stand-alone restaurants, as well as universities, casinos, airports, military bases, amusement parks and other venues.Panda Express has over 2,000 restaurants, located in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.The chain offers a variety of Chinese-cuisine-inspired dishes (e.g., Orange Chicken; Firecracker Chicken Breast; Beijing Beef; Grilled Teriyaki Chicken; Kung Pao Chicken). "Combo meals" are served with customer's choice of either fried rice, steamed rice, chow mein, or mixed vegetables. No MSG is added to any of the items at Panda Express after it has been delivered to the restaurant, nor does Panda Express purchase from any suppliers who add MSG.Panda Express is headquartered in Rosemead, California. The Panda Express brand is a casual, fast-food variation of corporate sibling Panda Inn (a chain of upscale, table service restaurants).The Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of Panda Inn, Panda Express, and Hibachi-San, was founded by Andrew Cherng and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng. Andrew Cherng and his father are from the Yangzhou region of China's Jiangsu province, while Peggy was born in Burma and raised in Hong Kong. Both Andrew and Peggy Cherng are alumni of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas (where they first met). Peggy Cherng received her B.S. degree in applied mathematics from Oregon State University in 1971, and her M.S. in Computer Science and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Andrew Cherng also received his M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Missouri.In 1973, when Andrew's parents moved to the United States, Andrew went into business with his father and opened their first Panda Inn restaurant in Pasadena, California. At the beginning, business was lacking to the degree that Andrew had to offer special deals and freebies so that customers would dine at Panda Inn. In 1982, Peggy joined Andrew in the restaurant business. While operating Panda Inn, Andrew became acquainted with then-UCLA head football coach Terry Donahue, as well as Terry's brother Dan, who happened to be in the real estate business. It was because of this connection that in 1983, Donahue Schriber Real Estate, the manager of the Glendale Galleria, invited the Cherngs to develop a fast-food version of Panda Inn for the Galleria's food court, and Panda Express was launched that October. A second location was opened two years later at the Westside Pavilion in 1985. The chain has steadily expanded across the United States since then. Chef Andy Kao claims to have developed the original Chinese-American orange chicken recipe at a Panda Express in Hawaii in 1987.At first, Panda Express restaurants were found solely in food courts in major shopping malls. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Cherngs began experimenting with supermarket-based branches, through a deal with Vons, and then stand-alone restaurant locations. In 1997, the company opened its first stand-alone, drive-through restaurant, in Hesperia, California. Today less than 2% of its restaurants are in malls.Because Peggy had worked for several years as a software designer & engineer for defense contractors like McDonnell Douglas, Panda Express computerized its operations early on. Peggy also brought a systems analysis perspective to the business and worked through the logistics and standardization issues necessary to scale up the concept.In 2000, they launched Panda Cares to give back to the community. They provide funding, food and volunteer services to children in need and disaster relief efforts.In 2005, Panda Express began to open units in food courts on college campus, some of which participate in the residential student meal plans.In 2008, the Cherngs were the recipients of the City of Angels Award, given by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, for their contributions to the greater Los Angeles area.On November 23, 2009, it was announced that Panda Express had selected Trusonic to provide Asian themed background music to its store locations.On the ABC News TV program Nightline, April 18, 2011, there was a feature segment on Panda Express and its success. The segment described how Andrew Cherng encourages his workers and management to go through self-help programs emphasizing Landmark Education.In June 2013, it was announced that the restaurant chain will pay $150,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission action on behalf of at least three female teenagers who were allegedly sexually harassed between 2007 and 2009 by one male kitchen supervisor in Kauai, Hawaii.In November 2013, Panda Express opened its first location in the western Pacific by opening a location in the American territory of Guam. The first location in the state of Alaska was opened in December 2015.As of 2014, the Panda Restaurant Group had annual sales of over $2 billion and close to 25,000 employees. They also opened Panda Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena with their daughter, Peggy Cherng, overlooking a majority of the restaurant's business. The idea for Panda Innovation Kitchen is to experiment with new flavours and ingredients to come up with new menu items. In addition, they also opened a tea bar to introduce Taiwanese drinks such as boba milk tea and new drinks like the Fortune Cookie Shake.In December 2017, Panda Express had opened the chain's 2,000th location, which is located in New York City near Columbia University.Panda Express also operates in Mexico, Canada, South Korea, and United Arab Emirates. The first location in Mexico opened in that nation's capital of the same name in September 2011.In October 2013, the first Panda Express located in Canada opened its doors on Hunt Club Road in Nepean, Ontario. The first location in Calgary was opened in October 2016.The first location in South Korea was opened in Seoul in September 2014.On May 26, 2014, it was reported by Arabian Business news that Panda Express would be opening a restaurant in the United Arab Emirates. The first Panda Express restaurant in the Middle East was open in Dubai in November 2014.In July 2016, open its first location in Guatemala by opening a location in that nation's capital of Guatemala City.In 2001, Panda Express previously had 8 locations in Japan that were operated under a franchise agreement that later elapsed. In November 2016, the company return to Japan by opening a new location in Kawasaki. This new location is operated as part of a joint partnership with Ippudo. With approximately 2,000+ locations, it is the largest Chinese fast food restaurant chain in the United States.The company's highest revenue location, bringing in over US$4 million annually, is located at the Ala Moana Center food court in Honolulu, Hawaii.
(3.9/112 votes)
Related Person
Jayshree Ullal’s profile picture
Jayshree Ullal
Net Worth is $1.41 Billion
Jaiprakash Gaur’s profile picture
Jaiprakash Gaur
Net Worth is $1.4 Billion
Eduard Shifrin’s profile picture
Eduard Shifrin
Net Worth is $1.3 Billion
Alexander Shnaider’s profile picture
Alexander Shnaider
Net Worth is $1.3 Billion
Lloyd Dorfman’s profile picture
Lloyd Dorfman
Net Worth is $1.2 Billion
Du Shuanghua’s profile picture
Du Shuanghua
Net Worth is $1.2 Billion