As of Monday, Burger King is open for business in downtown Siem Reap, on Sivutha Boulevard, near Pub Street and the Night Market.
The fast food chain restaurant opened its first outlet at Phnom Penh International Airport in early 2013, and has opened five more in the capital since then. Its most recent outlet, along the riverside, opened last Sunday.
Burger King in Siem Reap will have to contend with local Lucky Burger, Khmer-American-owned Mike’s Burgers, and KFC. Open since 2009, KFC was the only international fast food chain in Siem Reap until this week.
On the first day of business, Siem Reap Burger King manager Lay Doung Chandara estimates that the fast food restaurant served 800 customers.
“The first day was very good and very busy,” he said Tuesday morning. People came in waves, mostly at lunchtime and dinner – between six and eight in the evening. Mr. Lay also noted that most customers were foreigners.
Reasonable prices could soon lure more Cambodian customers, as pricing in the Siem Reap branch is slightly cheaper than in Phnom Penh. While a cheeseburger at Burger King in Phnom Penh costs $2.60, in Siem Reap it goes for $2.30. A Whopper meal, the company’s best-selling burger, costs $5.85 and is the most expensive item on the menu.
Mr. Chandara also said that the restaurant is having a soft opening and will celebrate its grand opening around the middle of this month to drum up business.
Cambodian Burger King franchises are run by the Vietnamese Imex Pan-Pacific Group and the Cambodian company HSC, which is owned by Sok Hong, the son of Sokimex’s Sok Kong.
Both KFC and Burger King are looking to expand their reach in Cambodia to Battambang, Poipet and Sihanoukville in the future, according to local reports.
Starbucks Coffee Company announced plans in August to open its first location in Cambodia by the end of 2015 at the newly expanded Phnom Penh International Airport. According to their website, Starbucks expects to open its second store in downtown Phnom Penh in early 2016.