Design Manager

Panda Restaurant Group

At Panda, we all share a common mission: "Deliver exceptional Asian dining experiences by building an organization where people are inspired to better their lives." We invest in our people because great people run great operations that will exceed our guests' expectations. Talk to any of our associates and you will experience a culture dedicated to its mission and our five fundamental values- Proactive, Respect/Win-Win, Growth, Great Operations, and Giving.

Panda Restaurant Group includes the original Panda Inn fine dining restaurants, Panda Express, our Gourmet Chinese food concept served in a fast casual environment, and Hibachi San, our Japanese grill concept. The family owned and operated company is still run by founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng.

Panda offers competitive benefits and rewarding opportunities, from entry-level positions to management. We have restaurant positions available nationwide and support center positions in Rosemead, CA. Come join the nation's largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant company.

Summary of Job Scope and Expectations:

The Design Manager is responsible for creating store designs for a regional market consistent with the company's brand standards while adhering to cost, schedule, and operational requirements. This position manages 60 – 80 projects annually. The Design Manager manages consultants and coordinates with in-house Real Estate, Project Managers, and Operations on the planning and production process of creating high quality site plan layouts and civil drawings that conform to Panda standards. This position may handle all remodels rather than new store design.

Essential Functions:

The essential functions in this job description are not all-inclusive of this job's duties and responsibilities. Reliable and dependable attendance is required.


  • Creates store designs that meet company standards within a regional market; manages 40 – 60 projects annually. Coordinates with in-house Real Estate, Construction, and Operations, consultants and government agencies in the design of new stores.
  • Reviews due diligence information from Real Estate Managers as the basis for developing preliminary designs, such as floor plans and site plan evaluations. Provides preliminary site layout from prototypes to site specific projects for landlord and Operation team's approval. Coordinates with consultants and Real Estate Managers to develop preliminary planning submittal packages for city review and approval.
  • Hires and supervises outside consultant's work in terms of cost and quality and approves all invoices. Manages and communicates status and schedules with consultants until permit ready for construction and approvals from LL. Directs and monitors the accuracy and schedules on consultant's production of construction drawings. Reviews and approves Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing drawings.
  • Obtains approvals of preliminary designs from Project Managers, Real Estate Managers, Operations, regulatory agencies, and landlords. Develops conceptual design packages for city review and approval in coordination with consultants and Real Estate Managers.


  • Bachelor's degree in Design, Architecture, or Civil Engineering or related field required
  • Minimum seven years of architectural and construction experience, which includes five years of design management experience in a retail/hospitality environment
  • Successful completion of annual store training


  • Ability to demonstrate and teach Panda's Mission, Values, and Culture
  • Strong knowledge of restaurant design and engineering
  • Strong knowledge of construction documents, with architectural, structural, civil, MEP
  • Strong knowledge of project development and building and ADA codes
  • Strong knowledge of permit and development procedures
  • People management and team building skills
  • Strong communication (oral and written), presentation, facilitation, and training skills
  • Financial management and analysis skills
  • Computer/technology skills and highly proficient in Microsoft Office Suite AutoCAD, Sketchup, and Photoshop skills
  • Strong design project management skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Ability to develop/coach associates
  • Ability to meet deadlines and multi-task in a fast-paced, high volume environment
  • Ability to solve complex problems independently
  • Ability to confront difficult situations
  • Ability to resolve conflicts
  • Ability to manage and review a complete set of construction documents
  • Ability to manage projects
  • Ability to build consensus
  • Ability to work positively with other departments and Operations ("win/win")
  • Demonstrate proactive behavior
  • Ability to embrace change and continuous learning


Office conditions; travel to store sites: 30%

Panda Restaurant Group's culture is strongly guided by our Mission and Values, highlighted on the Panda websites. We recommend all interested candidates become familiar with our Mission and Values, as well as the principals of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.

Panda Restaurant Group, Inc is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Meet Some of Panda Restaurant Group's Employees

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