RCG Group, the local partner of Thai cafe chain Inthanin Coffee, announced its plans to open 100 cafes in the kingdom in upcoming years that will sell Inthanin’s branded coffee, according to an article released yesterday in Thai media outlet The Nation.
It will begin by opening one Inthanin cafe in Phnom Penh next month, which will be followed by a second one in Siem Reap in April.
RCG Group secured the rights to the franchise through an agreement signed last week.
Inthanin will become only the second Thai cafe chain to enter the local market, following in the footsteps of Cafe Amazon, which is owned by PTT Plc.
RCG Retail’s president, Jiranun Wongmongkol, said that, following the opening of the two inaugural cafes in upcoming months, the company will open up to local investors interested in operating their own Inthanin cafe.
The cost of securing a licence and opening a cafe will be around $200,000, she said, explaining that each outlet employs around 20 staff.
“Our investment to open Inthanin Coffee branches in Cambodia is expected to create new jobs for Cambodian people – over 2,000 jobs from the year 2018 until the year 2022 – and will also increase trade volume between Thailand and Cambodia,” Ms Jiranun said.
She said the company has already partnered up with 20 local producers to make their products available at Inthanin cafes in Cambodia.
Khorn Chhundara, director of KOI Cafe and Tube Café in Phnom Penh, told Khmer Times that there is still plenty of room for new players in the local cafe market, with more Cambodians taking up the habit of drinking coffee every day.
However, new players must find their niche or come up with the right strategy to differentiate themselves from the growing competition, he explained.
“We have learnt that the best strategy is to focus on product quality, good service, and innovation, coming up with new products for our customers,” Mr Chhundara said. “We don’t focus so much on the competition. We focus on improving ourselves.”
Phin Kosal, country manager of Joma Bakery Cafe, told Khmer Times that the f&b market is booming, particularly the beverage sector, with new players entering the market at an increasingly faster rate.
However, he said, it is not easy to stay afloat in a market that some consider is already saturated, and many newcomers – especially those that do not do proper market studies – find themselves having to hang the “out of business” sign within months of opening their doors.
“However, there is still room for more competition, especially if they target different segments of the population,” he said.
Joma, one of the capital’s most popular cafe franchises, will open five new outlets in the near future, Mr Kosal revealed, expanding from three to eight cafes.
A number of Thai investors are now expanding into Cambodia, including CP Group, Betagro Group, Siam Cement Group, Bangkok Chain Hospital, TCC Group, Thai Nakorn Patana and Nawarat Patanakarn.