Panda Express Employee Benefits Review: Are Their Careers Worth It?

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Panda Express Employee Benefits Review: Are Their Careers Worth It?

Panda Express is a major fast-food chain that serves both Chinese and Japanese cuisines. The company was founded in 1983 and now has a worldwide presence. Panda Express’ employee benefits are quite competitive and the company offers a good employee experience.

Panda Express is headquartered in Rosemead, California. It is home to more than 39,000 employees. The company operates in universities, mall food courts, theme parks, military bases, and airports, etc. It also has many stand-alone restaurants.

Panda Express Employee Benefits Team

Ernie Zavaleta – Director of Field Human Resources

Ernie Zavaleta – Director of Field Human Resources

Ernie Zavaleta has been with Panda Express’ parent company Panda Restaurant Group for more than eight years now. His expertise includes translations, interviewing, labor relations, organizational development, and succession planning.

Before joining Panda Restaurant Group, Zavaleta worked with Titan International Shipping and Schumacher Cargo Logistics.

He received his MA from NYU and his bachelor’s from UCLA.

Find Ernie Zavaleta on:


What are Panda Express’ Employee Benefits?

Panda Express’ major employee benefits include the following:

Employee BenefitsDescription
Health InsuranceThe company offers an affordable health insurance plan. It pays 80% of premiums for employees and 50% for their dependents.
401 (k) Plan401 (k) match is up to 4% of an employee's salary.
Maternity LeaveAccording to Glassdoor reviews, up to 3 months of paid maternity leave.
Employee BonsuesAll employees are eligible for performance-based bonuses.
Cancer ProtectionEmployees can get coverage for cancer diagnosis and preventive measures.
Free MealsEmployees get free meals and snacks.
Dental CoverageIt is available for full-time employees and offers basic coverage.
Vision CoverageIt is available for full-time employees and offers basic coverage.
Life Insurance It is fully covered by the company. Employees get benefits equal to their annual base salary. Its maximum limit is $50,000.
Bereavement LeaveEmployees can take 3 days off.
Disability CoverageShort-term and long-term disability coverage is available.
Learning Benefit ProgramTuition Assistance is provided to eligible employees.
Paid Time OffYou can begin to accrue your vacations from the day you join. You also get sick leaves and holidays.
Employee DiscountsYou can get discounts on movie tickets, theme parks, Panda restaurants, cell phones, and gym membership etc.

What Employee Benefits is Panda Express Known for?

Panda Express’ employee benefits are quite comprehensive and focus on employees’ financial, personal and professional wellbeing. Its benefits package allows the company to retain its employees and keep them motivated to do their best.

Some of the best-known employee benefits at Panda Express are:

  • Healthcare insurance.
  • 401(k) match up to 4%.
  • Employee discounts.
  • Employee bonuses.
  • Free meals and snacks.
  • Maternity leave.
  • Paid time off.
  • Cancer protection.

Panda Express’ healthcare insurance is quite affordable for employees as the company pays 80% of all premiums for employees and 50% for their dependents. Moreover, employees also get dental & vision coverage. Employees also get gym membership discounts so they can look after their physical wellbeing.

Another popular benefit is the PTO policy. Employees can start to accrue their PTO from the very first day they join the company. The policy includes sick leaves and paid holidays. Employees can also get 3 days off as bereavement leave. As for maternity leave, eligible employees can get up to 3 months of paid maternity leave. This is not included in PTO.

Employee discounts are also one of the most favorite benefits at Panda Express. You can get discounts on items such as movie tickets, panda restaurants, cell phones, and theme parks, etc.

All these perks are the reason why the company enjoys a high level of employee engagement.

How does Panda Express Help with Student Loans?

Panda Express does not help its employees with student loan repayment at this time. The company, however, does offer tuition reimbursement to its employees through its Learning Benefit Program. Eligible employees get about $525 for books, courses and audio recordings that have been approved. Through Panda Express’ scholarship program, the company covers 80% of its employees’ tuition fees for a maximum of $2,500 per year.

Even though tuition assistance and other such programs help employees pay for their future studies, but they do not help them to pay for their student loans. That is why to get relief from their massive student loans, many college graduates only apply for jobs to companies that offer student loan benefits. Unfortunately, only 4% of companies in the U.S currently offer this benefit.

However, employers now understand the rewards associated with offering student loan support. So, there are many corporations that are planning to implement student loan repayment programs.

One of the best ways to implement the program is through FutureFuel, which provides support to both the employer and the employees. The platform enables its users to create personalized accounts. Employees can use their accounts to manage student loans, make loan payments, and receive company contributions. Employers, on the other hand, can streamline and supervise the program using their accounts.

How do Panda Express Benefits Change for Different Jobs?

Panda Express offers many benefits that are available to all its employees. However, there are a few perks that depend on your job type, years of service, and job level. Here are some of the benefits that change for different jobs:

  • Health insurance including dental & vision is available to full-time employees.
  • PTO depends on the years of your service. Employees who have been with the company longer, get more time off.
  • Eligibility for tuition assistance also depends on your job type and the kind of courses you want to take.
  • Benefits vary with state policies.

How Has Panda Express Improved its Benefits Package Over Time?

Panda Express was founded in 1983. The company, since its inception, has been focused on upgrading its employee benefits to keep up with the changing times. Panda Express has tried its best to keep its insurance plans, such as health insurance and life insurance, as affordable as possible.

Moreover, benefits such as PTO and savings plans offer you more as you spend more time with the company.

Are Panda Express Careers Worth It?

Panda Express is a well-known restaurant chain in the U.S and internationally. Besides a good reputation, the company also offers many benefits to its employees that ensure financial and professional growth.

Here are a few factors that make Panda Express a good career opportunity:

  • Benefits such as health and life insurance are quite affordable. This means, you not only save a lot on bills, but you also do not have to pay high premiums. This can lead to financial stability.
  • The company offers a decent savings plan including a good 401(k) match and the stock option program. This helps employees save up for their retirement.
  • Panda Express likes to promote from within its ranks, which means you will be given opportunities to make progress.
  • Employees also get tuition assistance, which allows them to continue their education and improve their future prospects.
  • The salaries are quite competitive. Employees also get many discounts and bonuses that make the entire compensation package quite good.

Discover Panda Express Jobs and Careers

Here are some of the websites that will help you find the right job at Panda Express.

Panda Express Careers

The official careers page of Panda Express contains all the jobs in Restaurant and Corporate categories. You can click on the category you like and go to the page with all the related job listings. Each job post contains all the information such as salary, the monetary value of your benefits, and responsibilities. You can use the “Apply Now” button to submit your application online.

Panda Express Glassdoor

Glassdoor has around 13 thousand jobs across all locations. Each job posting has all the related information such as job description, requirements, responsibilities, expected salary, and location. To make things easier, you can search for specific vacancies using the website’s search feature. You can also read hundreds of employee reviews to get a better idea of the company’s work culture.

Panda Express Indeed

Indeed is quite similar to Glassdoor and contains almost all the available vacancies. Since it has thousands of job openings, you can use the search feature to save time and look for the ones in your area. Besides employee reviews, Indeed also has a very useful Q&A section where you can see answers for the most frequently asked questions.

Panda Express LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another good place to look for Panda Express jobs available worldwide. All the posts have detailed information. The website also has a powerful search feature that will help you narrow down your search. You can apply directly on the Panda Express website through LinkedIn.


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