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Local KFC business is finger-licking good

Local KFC business is finger-licking good

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KFC General manager Benjamin Jerome. Bennett Murray

Operator aims to open at least three additional fast-food outlets in Phnom Penh in the next year .

MORE than one year after its arrival as the first major international fast-food chain in Cambodia, KFC General Manager Benjamin Jerome says he's confident the restaurant is doing well in the local market.

The chain now has three restaurants in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap. "Through our market activities on the ground, slowly the locals are accepting the taste of the original recipe for chicken," Jerome said.

KFC is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world with 20,000 locations in 109 countries.  Its Cambodia outlets are operated by Kampuchea Food Corporation Co, a joint venture of the Royal Group of Companies, Malaysia's QSR Brands and Hong Kong's Rightlink Corp.

In order to acquire the franchise rights, the company had to demonstrate the country had both the infrastructure and demand for American-style fried chicken.

Jerome said the presence of local fast-food joints like Lucky Burger and BB World convinced KFC there would be interest from consumers. With 90 percent of the chicken coming from within Cambodia, reducing the need for imports, the rights holder was also satisfied the infrastructure was in place.

Though KFC's fried chicken recipe is universal, Cambodian outlets also offer steamed rice instead of mashed potatoes.

Jermone said that KFC's experiment in Cambodia has been successful so far, and Kampuchea Food plans to open at least three more outlets in Phnom Penh in the next year, with one on Kampuchea Krom Boulevard, one near the Olympic Stadium and one on Sisowath Quay. 

"When we first opened, we could see that KFC is generally patronized by expats and tourists, who know the KFC brand," he said. However,  he said, local interest increased over time.  "We're in here. We're confident of the market."

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