Customers wrapped around the building for Panda Express’ grand opening at its first Temple location.
The Asian fast-food restaurant held a soft opening Wednesday and its grand opening Thursday. Manager Ben Lempo said that so far, business is booming.
“(Wednesday), it was phenomenal,” Lempo said. “I want to thank Temple for welcoming us.”
Lempo said that while many of the approximately 800 first-day customers have been to other Panda Express locations in the past, there were a number of new customers excited to try something different.
The restaurant’s staff has been hard at work all week preparing to welcome customers. While running errands at other Temple businesses, Lempo found the Panda Express logo attracted attention.
“I kept having people walk up and ask ‘When are you guys opening?’” he said.
Lempo said that Panda Express plans to invest in the Temple community through outreach, events, and support to local schools. He also emphasized that the business tries to make sure that its focus on serving quality food does not distract from investing in its employees as well.
“Our business is to grow people,” Lempo said. “We create leaders out of them.”
According to a news release, Panda Express is committed to offering professional and personal development opportunities to its employees.
“We look forward to discovering candidates who have the unwavering qualities of grit, grace, giving and humility — they’re the values we prize and see every day at our Panda Express restaurants,” Chief People Officer Leonard Yip said in the release.
Lempo said that typically, the most popular item on the Panda Express menu is the orange chicken, followed by the teriyaki chicken and broccoli beef. Those who enjoy very spicy food might prefer the Kung Pao chicken, although that item includes peanuts, which might be a problem for those with food allergies.
Panda Express is located at 6840 W. Adams Ave. in West Temple, across the street from Walmart and near Holy Trinity Catholic High School.