Panda Express

Panda Express was looking to design a new prototype that responded to changing behaviors and celebrated the Chinese American experience in a modern and thoughtful way.



As a family-owned business, Panda Express was passionate about taking a detailed and purposeful approach to create several unique designs that worked together cohesively. It was important to the team that each restaurant design translated Chinese culture to the modern American guest, and that every touchpoint was meaningful and authentic. In response to a more digital world, they were also ready to optimize their operations and the guest experience.

The Change

Inspired by the Lunar New Year, the first concept unveiled is the “Celebration Story”, which proudly pays homage to Chinese heritage in a bold and fun way. Every detail of the new space was intentional, from the two-door moon gate entry to the traditional fretwork tiling, a signature neon sign, red lanterns, custom hero mural, and even the terrazzo tables symbolizing Chinese New Year confetti.

Updates were also made that considered the various dining experiences and paths to purchase, including a more dedicated area for online pick-up, a double drive-thru, and kitchen enhancements to improve quality and speed of service.


Each unique concept was designed to be easily retrofitted, providing the Panda Express team with a new level of ease and adaptability as they continue to rollout this brand-new framework. With this first Next Generation concept now open, restaurant operations and the overall guest experience have already greatly improved.

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