James Thomas flew from Phoenix, Arizona, and arrived in Phnom Penh on June 19 to take over the management of Sunrise Tacos.
A management veteran of the car rental business, Thomas was in Cambodia in 2008-9, when he worked with the Royal Group, setting up a limousine services. He claims he has been looking for a reason to come back ever since.
The Sunrise Tacos chain started in Bangkok, where it rapidly expanded, with branches scattered around the Thai capital and elsewhere in Thailand.
“Each operation is different – which is part of the appeal – but the menu is consistent in every branch,” says Thomas. “We’re doing really well, and there’s been a steady incline in business since I got here. I’ve been doing a lot social media and networking.
According to Thomas, the independently franchised Cambodian arm of Sunrise Tacos is looking to repeat the Thailand success story, with plans to expand to two more locations in Phnom Penh, and have branches in Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.
“Another thing we’re looking into is taking our products onto the market – our hand-made corn-chips, tortilla and salsa sauces,” says Thomas.
Sunrise Taco favourites include its “bottomless chips”, which come with a lavish array of dips, chicken wings, tortilla chicken crunch, and its margaritas are a hit with BKK1 after-work drinkers.
Sunrise has no special events planned for July 4, but Thomas himself will be spinning some tunes as guest American DJ at Pontoon.
#171, St 63 corner St 282, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Tel: 077 854 545