Cambodia’s first global fast-food chain outlet is scheduled to open its doors to the public Wednesday, in what some call a sign of Cambodia’s growth.
The first KFC, a fried chicken restaurant that originated in the US, will have a “soft opening” in the Asia Hotel on Monivong Boulevard, said Debasish Pattnaik, director of business development, project and investment for the Royal Group, which is a co-owner of the franchise rights in Cambodia.
Five other KFC’s are planned for Cambodia, he said.
KFC will join the local chain BB World, the Thai-based Lucky Burger and others in Cambodia’s fast food arena, but brings something new—international name recognition.
“It’s the safest bet,” Pattnaik said of choosing KFC as the country’s first worldwide chain brand.
Z“Cambodians love eating chicken whether it’s fried, barbecued, skewered,” he said.
Chy Sila, owner of BB World, said he believed that the opening of KFC would enlarge the market of people who want to eat fast food and would help his own business.
“I would say it’s good to see international businesses coming into Cambodia. The market is ready,” he said. Chy Sila said he has planned four more BB World restaurants to add to his existing two.
The Royal Group, along with partners QSR Brands Bhd, and the Malaysian Corporation, Ltd, has signed an exclusive franchise contract with Yum! Brands Asia Pte, Ltd, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, Pattnaik said.
Under the agreement, the partnership of companies can’t own competing franchises such as McDonald’s, Pattnaik said. Other companies in Cambodia can’t own Yum! Brands, he said.
He said that for now all of the fast-food restaurants owned by the partnership will be KFC in order to strengthen the brand.
Another KFC is slated to open in in Phnom Penh in April, yet another at the Siem Reap International Airport in June, and later restaurants are planned for Sihanoukville, the Phnom Penh International Airport, and the capital’s thriving riverside area.
Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodian Economic Association, said KFC’s presence in Cambodia is a good sign.
“It raises the image of Cambodia significantly,” he said. “It’s a symbol of stability and growth.”