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Colonel Sanders to get roasted competition

Malaysian-owned chicken restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR) is one of the new brands coming to Cambodia next year when the Japanese-funded AEON mega-mall opens its doors in Phnom Penh.

Tony Toh, senior finance manager of Kenny Rogers Roasters International, said in an email yesterday that the brand expects to open its first KRR outlet in the second quarter of 2014 in the mall.

“Our target plan is to open six KRR restaurants over five years,” he said.

Kenny Rogers Roasters opened in the US in 1991 and was even used as the crux of a plot in the American television series Seinfeld.

The chain shifted east when Berjaya Roasters, a subsidiary of Berjaya Group Berhad, gained franchising rights and incorporated in the mid-1990s, according to a company website. There are no longer any stores in the US, but the restaurant is popular in Southeast Asia and China.

Berjaya Group now operates some of the leading food and beverage brands in Malaysia, including Starbucks Coffee, Wendy’s and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Asked whether the company plans to bring in other businesses such as Starbucks, Toh said that “at this moment, our focus is on opening KRR restaurants and later if the opportunity arises we will consider other F&B businesses in Phnom Penh”.

Japan-based AEON Group is building a 68,000-square-metre shopping mall in the capital at a cost of $205 million. The mall will be located on Sothearos Boulevard near the Sofitel.



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