Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Over 2,000 restaurants licensed nationwide

Over 2,000 restaurants licensed nationwide

Kuoch Sokly, an advisor of the Cambodia Restaurant Association.
Kuoch Sokly, an advisor of the Cambodia Restaurant Association. Moeun Nhean

Over 2,000 restaurants licensed nationwide

The government has issued operating licenses over 2,000 restaurants across the country as part of its effort to ensure the quality and hygiene of food outlets that serve not Cambodians but also some 5 million tourists who visit the Kingdom each year.

Kim Sereyroth, head of food and hospitality services department at the Ministry of Tourism, said the ministry routinely inspects restaurants to ensure that they have all necessary operating permits and certificates.

“The licensing procedure requires vendors to demonstrate that they have acquired the proper legal documents from relevant authorities, such as construction permits and business registration documents,” he said.

“They also must have certification from the Ministry of Health and an approved fire protection system.”

According to Sereyroth, the Tourism Ministry has issued licenses to 2,239 restaurants with a total of 130,885 seats. Only licensed restaurants display a certificate from the ministry, which he said provides proof that “these restaurants have been legally authorised and can properly and safely serve customers.”

Kuoch Sokly, an advisor of the Cambodia Restaurant Association, stressed the importance of oversight in the restaurant sector, noting that thousands of restaurants and food stalls operate without the necessary operating licenses.

“People who dine at unlicensed restaurants must be extremely cautious about the food they eat,” he said.

Sokly, who has 20 years in the restaurant industry under his belt, said the majority of licensed restaurants are located in Phnom Penh while other areas of the country lack high-quality establishments. He said there were still many opportunities to develop the sector.

“With regards to good restaurants, there is still a high demand and we need more hard and soft investments,” he said, adding that the younger generation in particular craves “something new, unique and tasty.”

Ho Vandy, president of World Express Tours, said the government has set quality standards aimed at “improving the behaviour, services and hygiene” of restaurants. He added that in addition to compliance with health and operating standards, restaurants are also encouraged to be environmentally friendly, offer more Khmer dishes and use more local ingredients.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • Gov’t answers garment buyers’ complaint

    Some of the biggest buyers in the Kingdom’s garment sector have urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to address issues faced by unions and workers – a request a senior official said was out of touch with the situation on the ground. The letter addressed to

  • App to connect farmers to millions

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has soft-launched a mobile app that connects farmers with potential buyers and gives them access to critical market information. The ministry’s Agriculture Marketing Office chief Meach Yady said the ‘CamAgriMarket’ app gives farmers a platform to showcase