Cambodia’s food and beverage sector still has plenty of room to grow, though in the face of tougher competition operators need to upgrade their services and focus on offering unique products, industry experts said yesterday during a press conference for the upcoming edition of the CAMFOOD expo.
Kouch Sokly, President of the Cambodian Restaurant Association, said the restaurant industry will keep growing thanks to a stable economy and a very young population.
“In the past, people’s incomes were lower so eating out at restaurants was a rarity, but now incomes have improved and spending money to eat out has become a weekly event,” he said. “The number of people who spend money to eat at a restaurant once a week will increase, and those who do eat out regularly will increase as well.”
Experts also warned industry players and future restaurant owners of harsher competition, evident in the high number of openings and closures seen in the sector.
“There is still an opportunity for growth, but operators need to provide something unique with more skill and quality,” he said. “Previously, venues could succeed by offering basic services. But now, customers value decoration, service and novelty so unless we adapt, the business will probably fail,” said Heng Sengly, General Manager of Park Cafe.
There are about 2,500 restaurants nationwide registered with the Ministry of Commerce; 1,000 of those are based in Phnom Penh.
For more on this story, please click here.