P.F. Chang’s To Go opens in town

Business By Linda Trischitta, Editor Monday, July 18, 2022

    Miami Lakers who have a craving for P.F. Chang’s Asian fusion cuisine will no longer need to drive to the chain’s restaurants at the Dolphin Mall; in North Miami Beach or Brickell or even to the Sawgrass Mills Mall.

     On July 20, the company plans to open a P.F. Chang’s To Go at the Crescent Pointe building, 15121 NW 67th Ave.  The To Go stores serve much of the same menu offered at P.F. Chang’s full-service restaurants and are take-out only.

     “Everything is fresh, from farm to wok,” said Culinary Operating Partner Jorge Collado, 42, of West Kendall.  He has 20 years’ experience with the company and will oversee the cooking and staff in Miami Lakes.

     Collado worked six of his 20 years with the business at the P.F. Chang’s restaurant in The Falls shopping center in Kendall alongside his new To Go Manager in Miami Lakes, William Thomas.

     Thomas, 29, is from Cutler Bay,

     “The culture is a scratch kitchen,” Thomas said.  “The most popular dish is Mongolian Beef, savory and sweet.” 

      Customers -- called guests by P.F. Chang’s staff -- will be able to order that dish as well as popular items such as chicken lettuce wraps and handmade wontons.

     “Because we’ve got this concept of To Go, we haven’t changed the food,” said Candice Barnett.  Barnett is P.F. Chang’s vice president of off-premises dining and new restaurant opening operations.

     At the restaurant as it was being built last month, she said, “So we will serve PF Chang’s food here, which allows us to have chefs like Jorge come from a Bistro with 20 years’ experience cooking our food ... and still bang out the food in an amazing way, with high quality.”

     An added benefit of keeping the menus the same: “He doesn’t have to learn new recipes,” she said.

     Lemuel Bland, senior director of P.F. Chang’s operations in the southeast, said it’s also about giving customers what they like and what they come back for.

     Such loyalty has helped the chain grow to 300 restaurants world-wide.

     “The food you get here is the same quality you expect to get in our Bistro restaurants,” he said.

     The chain is owned by New York private equity investing firm TriArtisan Capital Advisors and investment management firm Paulson & Co., Barnett said.

     The Miami Lakes restaurant has a 10-year lease and will be the first To Go location in South Florida. More are planned for the area, Bland said.

     There are currently P.F. Chang’s To Go locations in Lake Nona, Lake Mary; Hamlin and Jacksonville. 

     Barnett said the company, which owns all the U.S. Bistros and To Go locations except for those in airports, said it chose Miami Lakes for several reasons.

     “We look at our initial customer base we already have in this area and where are they and where are we not,” she said. “That’s the first thing. So, we get a general area of where to look and then we’re looking at things like this is a nicer area, is our clientele here and we look for a great site.”

     Also, locations that are “well-populated, have an established business base around us or new developments,” Barnett said. “This was a perfect spot for us.”

     They also were glad to have found a corner location that brings added visibility.

     “And we’re looking for a good partnership with the landlord, that always helps,” she said. 

     Miller Construction built the retail, restaurant and office complex in 2019 for The Graham Companies, which own the building. Other restaurant tenants are Jersey Mike’s Subs; Bolay Kitchen and Sergio’s Cuban Café & Grill.

     Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is a block north on Ludlam Road; it split from P.F. Chang’s in 2017.

     Miami Lakers who wish to try the new restaurant can get a taste for free during its sneak preview days, July 18 and 19. 

     Customers must preorder and will have to be invited, or they can stop in to get an invitation, Barnett said.

     For more information call 786-605-0836.

     P.F. Chang’s To Go hours for the first month will be 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and eventually will open for lunch, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

     It will have its own delivery team and orders may also be placed with delivery apps.

     Job seekers may go to https://jobs.pfchangs.com.