Director of Design

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 Director, Design is responsible for the Design function within RD, including the development of policies and procedures related to the design of new stores and remodeling of existing stores. This position manages the relationship with all design consultants and negotiates contract terms. This Director, Design leads a team of managers and professionals, coaching and developing associates to elevate their performance. This position integrates Design services with other departments and implements process improvement within the function, including new systems or system enhancements.

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.

  • Responsible for the Design function within RD, including the department’s relationship with all design consultants. Negotiates contract terms with external consultants.
  • Leads Design associates, managing, coaching, and developing managers and professionals. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff and developing and elevating associate performance to support the company’s growth strategies
  • Develops future Design strategies and processes in collaboration with the Vice President, RD. Participates in RD’s long-range planning effort, generating Design insights as the basis for enhancing the business. Responsible for establishing and overseeing Design policies and procedures.
  • Stays abreast of design trends in the retail/hospitality industry and monitors global trends to anticipate future store designs and associated costs.
  • Identifies new consultants to support future growth. Attends industry shows to identify potential consultants. Evaluates potential consultants in coordination with Design Managers.
  • Oversees the effective use of design-related software to enhance the design process to provide the company with the highest quality and most cost effective store designs. Integrates Design services with other departments and implements process improvement within the function, including new systems or system enhancements.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Design, Architecture, or Civil Engineering or related field required; advanced degree in related field preferred
  • Minimum twelve to fifteen years of design experience in a retail/hospitality environment with increasing management responsibility; minimum ten 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
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the retail/hospitality industry and practices
  • Strong knowledge of restaurant design and engineering
  • Knowledge of the brand standard
  • Strong knowledge of construction documents and ability to manage/review them
  • Strong knowledge of project development and building and ADA codes
  • Strong knowledge of permit and development procedures
  • Knowledge of negotiation process with external consultants and ability to conduct complex negotiations
  • Maintains currency in proposed/potential changes in design principles
  • Strong leadership, team building, and relationship building skills applied internally and externally
  • Strong communication (oral and written), presentation, facilitation, and training skills
  • Strong financial management and analysis skills
  • Strong computer/technology skills and highly proficient in Microsoft Office Suite AutoCAD, Sketchup, and Photoshop skills
  • Strong design project management skills and ability to manage projects
  • Ability to develop/coach management and non-management associates
  • Ability to foster and encourage diverse viewpoints and build consensus
  • Ability to represent the Design function within the Company
  • Ability to establish function’s policies, procedures, and brand standards
  • Ability to embrace change and continuous learning

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