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Top 10 Untold Truths of P. F. Chang

P.F. Chang is calling the bluff of many other Chinese-American establishments. The restaurant chain is making strides in the food industry and has built up a healthy following. How much better can they get? They pride themselves on their authenticity and family recipes. Not many establishments can say the same thing. So let’s have a look at the Top 10 untold truths of P. F. Chang.

10. They Basically Created Chicken Lettuce Wraps

P. F. Chang’s is essentially known for these tasty chicken lettuce wraps. In fact, if anyone reading this has even been to the popular restaurant then you know these wraps are their top sellers. The lettuce wraps are a family recipe. The recipe, of course, is secret which is why you’re at home lettuce wraps will never taste as good as theirs. The appetizer has become so popular that they are becoming Instagram famous. Not only are they the perfect appetizer but they are the perfect main and the perfect side dish. Lettuce wraps are so popular now that people are just making their own at home not even realizing that P. F. Chang was the first to bring popularity to it. Not every company can say that they are famous for a healthy dish. But for one of the creators of the franchise, Philip Chiang this was just the normal way of eating. When he and his family would sit down to dinner wrapping meat in lettuce was second-nature to them. He took this one idea and built a franchise that people love. Traditional cooking and secret family recipes have made P. F. Chang the favorite for many people craving clean, healthy, and authentic Chinese food. 

9. First Restaurant to Use Sriracha Sauce

Remember our old friend Sriracha sauce? Well, it looks like the companies have something in common. P. F. Chang made the decision to incorporate Huy Fong’s brand of Sriracha sauce to their menu. According to the New York Times, the restaurant was one of the first companies to add the spicy sauce to their menu. It was used on their Singapore Street Noodles to add that little bit of a kick. The noodles must be popular because the company and all its locations used about 100,000 bottles per year. Don’t worry you are not limited to just noodles. Chances are at your table there is a bottle of Sriracha at your table. You can add it to any meal. The company hasn’t mentioned incorporating the sauce on anything else but it would make a lot of sense but like we said, go crazy, add it to whatever you want. The Sriracha sauce could explain why their level of spiciness in the noodles is just perfection. In fact, some people even credit the establishment with putting the now uber-famous hot sauce on the map. After all, they were one of the first companies to say yes to incorporating the sauce into their meals. They began using the sauce back in 2000 and after they started, other franchises jumped on board as well. This included Applebee’s. Business Insider even noted that in 2016 hot sauce sales were on the rise in franchises. Can we link this is P. F. Chang’s visionary idea? Maybe not but they were still one of the first to do it.

8. They Are Now In Grocery Stores

Don’t believe us? The company paired up with Shanghai Express to get some of their popular meals in grocery stores. Their Shanghai Style Beef is the most readily available at home meal and the reviews have been amazing. One reviewer said, “this frozen option is pretty much on target with the P. F. Chang’s restaurant experience, all except you have to pan-fry it yourself with minimal effort”. The company offers seven other at home meals that also got some pretty rave reviews. We cannot personally attest to the greatness of these frozen meals. But we can say that more and more food companies are making their popular items available in grocery stores. This seems to be the way of the future. Some other places include McDonald’s and their famous sauces; Mac Sauce, McChicken Sauce, and Tartar Sauce. Taco Bell and Del Taco have made their sauces available for purchase online. P. F. Chang is making a genius move by providing whole meals to those who want a night in or who are not close enough to a restaurant. Unfortunately, prices will vary so you could end up spending more than it’s worth. It might just be worth the wait to have the real deal when you get the chance. Road trips are always fun!

7. The Creator Was A Struggling Artist

One of the creators behind the flourishing restaurant is Philip Chiang. The business he co-created is now worth over $1 billion dollars and has just over 200 locations around the world. We can only assume that this means he and his partner are making bank. He is basically retired and refers to himself as an ambassador for the restaurant. This is a huge change from when he was a struggling artist. He went to art school and came out broke and jobless. He took a job in his mom’s restaurant acknowledging that it was strictly for the money. “I didn’t want to work in a restaurant, I just wanted a steady paycheck for a while”. He soon realized that he could not find a decent Chinese food place this lead to the idea of his restaurant. All of a sudden he had a restaurant that people wanted to eat at and eventually it formed into what it is today. P. F. Chang is one of America’s most go-to Chinese American restaurants. Chiang is no longer a struggling artist that just wanted to make money so he could focus on his craft. Really, he isn’t a struggling anything. In fact, he found a way to turn his work into his art. Kind of genius if you ask us. And now, he has all the money and time to focus solely on his art.

6. For A Chinese Restaurant, They Are Pretty American

P.F. Chang’s is Asian American cuisine but the creators of the restaurant chain will tell you that while their cuisine is 100 percent Asian, it has American elements. This question came about after many food critics began to challenge just how authentic the cuisine was. Noting that their food tasted pretty “American” or the lack of their popular seasonings that most Chinese food is made of. This forced the CEO Michael Osanloo to make a statement in regards to the authenticity of the chain. He told Business Insider. “While some dishes are inspired by Asian cuisine, others are made up by P.F. Chang’s chefs. If you want a classic Japanese sushi experience, you’re not going to come to us.” his honesty is refreshing. Osanloo went on to say. “But if you want some amazing rolls — that are pretty traditional, delicious — we rock at that.”. Transparency like this is most likely the reason why the company has thrived after all these years. Being honest about what their situation is can only do wonders for their customers. People know what they are getting when they step into a P. F. Chang establishment. The company has been honest about altering the taste of some of their less traditional meals to appease the masses. That just seems like good business practices to us.

5. Heads Up, Harassment Is On The Menu

So far we’ve been giving the restaurant glowing reviews and commenting on all that great food. But just like every restaurant they too have had their fair share of scandal. One that keeps popping up is the threat of harassment. A couple of people have tried to take action against the franchise due to inappropriate behavior against workers. In 2012, two women laid the law down on the franchise by making claims that they were sexually harassed on the job. This apparently went on for months under the nose of higher management and all reports of incidents were ignored. The San Diego Union-Tribune let these women tell their stories and some of the claims were downright shocking. The women claimed. “they were subjected to offensive comments and conduct from the male kitchen staff at the restaurants, including jokes about sex, remarks about female workers’ bodies, and kissing and whistling noises aimed at female employees as they walked by.”. The company eventually paid out almost $1 million to these women in 2014 after their claims were found to be true. Then a few short months later more claims from different women came about. The company was not quick to react to this new claim but eventually, they released a statement that said. they were “committed to providing a workplace free of any type of unlawful harassment or discrimination.”. let’s be real, any scandal regarding sexual assault can bring down even the biggest of companies. P. F. Chang better watch its back.

4. The International Locations Apparently Do It Better

Why do international locations always have better options? Better candy, creamier chocolate, better tasting cuisine. Why are we so far behind when it comes to new flavors and franchises?  Just like every other international version of a restaurant, P. F. Chang in places like South Korea, Europe, the Middle East, and South America do it better. They have a few tastier options than we do. Duck options, chicken with Middle Eastern spices with a kick of Asian infused. We can only imagine how our taste buds would dance around when something like that hits our palate. However, another question people have for the Asian cuisine restaurant is how come they aren’t all over Asia. People automatically assumed that it wasn’t as authentic as they claim to be. CEO Michael Osanloo told Business Insider. “Their food’s lack of authenticity isn’t a problem”, the company eventually announced their plans to market P.F. Chang’s as an American bistro when expanding to China. This is kind of genius. They can get their cultural cuisine all over but offering Americanized versions of their cuisine ramps up the excitement of it all. Even the introduction of Sriracha on some of their more popular dishes will be an exciting change for the locals. Sriracha isn’t something that is popular in most Asian countries. The local spices are what the locals are looking for so, why not add those local flavors to the menu?

3. 36 Million Green Onions

Chinese food is so flavorful and mixed with some of the tastiest greens in the world. Are we being dramatic? Probably. However, we aren’t wrong. On the P. F. Chang website, the company has decided to share a few tidbits of information about their franchise. You know a little something to make their customers confident in what they are putting into their body. One of those facts is that they use well over 36 million green onions. Yes, that is a lot of green onions. They use so many green onions that they have a company that grows specifically for them. Muranaka Farms grows a special 16-inch green onion for P. F. Chang. You would never be able to find that in a grocery store. The way the farm especially grows these onions allows for no waste. The entire green onion can be used and this allows for so much flavor to be injected into these meals. But, don’t think of getting any ideas, Muranaka won’t sell any of these specialty green onions to you. They have a strict contract with the P. F. Chang company. We have to wonder if green onions are the secret to how tasty their meals are.

2. Cecilia Chiang Originals

Phillip Chiang’s mom’s recipes started this menu. It essentially made it what it is today. She was even credited with bringing traditional Chinese cuisine to America in 1962. Yes from that far back she was setting boss standards. She opened a restaurant called the Mandarin and the rest was basically history. Some of her meals that are still on the menu to this day include; mama Chiang’s Spicy Chicken. It has stayed true to the original recipe and is basically a homage to the woman who made us fall in love with Chinese cuisine. She has made such an impact that she was honored with the James Beard Foundation in Lifetime Achievement back in 2013. Filmmaker Wayne Wang made a documentary about Cecilia recalling her coming to America, her troubled start in the country of dreams and how she ended up owning a very popular and expensive restaurant. She also talks about how she inspired and encouraged her son Phillip to open the P. F. Chang franchise. We should all be so lucky to have a mother like her. Especially one who has so many tasty recipes locked away in that brain of hers. We can think of a better way to honor the person who literally manifested this restaurant idea in your head.

1. Literally, Everyone Can Eat Here

Unfortunately for many people eating at restaurants is something that almost never happens. Due to allergies, diet restrictions, religious beliefs and choice of diet many people find it hard to enjoy a restaurant that caters to them. P. F. Chang’s menu is one that has made a lot of people happy. Their popular menu is so varied that it appeals to those with even the harshest of dietary restrictions. They have a number of vegan options, they offer gluten-free options and everything is prepared in a restricted kitchen. How awesome is it that as big of a chain restaurant they have become they are always updating themselves to cater to as many people as they humanly can. This actually sounds like the perfect place to host a family dinner. Everyone can show up and have nothing to complain about. P. F. Chang is ahead of the curve not many other restaurants dare we say no other restaurant has gone through so much to provide a happy eating experience for just about everyone. We aren’t sure if people are knowledgeable about this fact and just how many of them have taken advantage of it. Regardless, the idea is smart and we can see many more following in the footsteps of the Chinese-American eatery.

So, as you can see P. F. Chang is still in its infancy stage. We can see so much more growth for this company. They are still trying to reach parts of the world that other restaurants are established in. However, we will say that the company will have to stay out of the negative spotlight and keep that same energy when it comes to their future establishments. 

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