Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Burger King to grow quickly, grow large

Burger King to grow quickly, grow large

Burger King to grow quickly, grow large

burger king hong menea
An employee serves a combo meal to a customer at the new Burger King fast-food restaurant, located at Phnom Penh International Airport. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Having conquered Vietnam, Burger King Worldwide Inc marched into Phnom Penh International Airport on February 24. The Imex Pan-Pacific Group Inc (IPP), one of the largest conglomerates in Vietnam, will be in charge of the Cambodian branches. The Post’s Sarah Thust talked to Tony Cricenti, vice-president of business development at IPP Group, after the signing ceremony last Friday.

Your company established Burger King in Vietnam. How did business develop there?  

There are [nearly] 90 million people living in Vietnam, so it’s a very different market, being a large country. Our expansion strategy was to grow quickly and to grow large throughout Vietnam. We were trying to catch up with companies like KFC. It’s going well. We’ve opened 17 stores in less than two years. We hope to double that and it’s been perceived as a great product – the Vietnamese like it. It’s promising.   

What are your plans here?   

We want to expand from the store at the airport, growing the market to a reasonable size. We plan to have at least 10 stores in the next five years. Hopefully more, if the market wants it. This will also include surrounding areas like Siem Reap.

We know we can only expand into a few cities. Our business model is leveraged from Vietnam, where we’re building a lot more stores. Coming to Cambodia with additional stores is okay for us - we have the whole supply chain from Vietnam, the whole support services and we can assist in a partnership in Cambodia [with the local company HSC].

Why did you not enter the Cambodian market sooner? KFC now has a very established position.

I guess we weren’t ready earlier. The market needs to be ready to support such a large international quick-service restaurant brand, and that is important from a supply point of view – having resources and skilled labour. The time was right now.

I just know that we can gain support now on ensuring that standards and quality are met and consistent to what you see in the rest of the world. That was crucial. It was also important to have the supply chain and training and support that comes through the regional office in Singapore.

Was it difficult to find employees?

Our staff are Cambodian; this is crucial. Most of the staff and management need to go through quite an intensive team week training course. Our product is something very new: they use different kinds of equipment, and we have global standards in hygiene and quality. The aim now is to maintain and to grow.

I think that it will go well. It’s a young population, and it will be easy to recruit and choose people that fit into the culture of Burger King.

Don’t you think Burger King is too expensive for most Cambodians?

Our strategy is not made for foreigners - our strategy is strictly to ensure we meet the needs of the local market. We are at the airport here and our prices are very, very competitive. We have done significant market surveys and we have been priced as competitive; in some instances even lower than some of the competitors in the market.

Where will you open the next Burger King branch in Cambodia?

We will first expand into the city centre in Phnom Penh and then look at other cities. Obviously, we would like to have something in Siem Reap, but we’re not rushing with that.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • Dealer charged with artefact smuggling

    Antiquities dealer Douglas Latchford has been charged by the Southern District of New York with several counts of smuggling looted Cambodian artefacts. US attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffey Berman and special agent in charge of the New York field office of