Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

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CMBcurious
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Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by CMBcurious » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi Expats!

My sincere apologies if there is already a thread on this but I couldn't find one.

I am moving to PP this May with the idea of opening a modest bar/resto and I was wondering how complicated this process is in Cambodia in terms licensing, regulations and how long the process would take, assuming you've found a potential location and so on? I have already visited PP and other areas and really liked it.

Thank you in advance for your advice.
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by pczz » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:29 am

Some of it depends on size and whether you have a khmer partner or not. You will need various license for tourist buaines, bar, restaurant(depending on number of seats and what alcohol yousell), sign tax, copyright search. if you have more than 8 staff you also get into labour laws. then you have the ridiculaous tax system.
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RickyBobby
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by RickyBobby » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:32 am

I may be wrong but it seems to me there is always places you can buy that are less than 1/2 the cost of what was spent. If a person really wants to be invested, has some talent, and is not a drunk and not afraid to work, they could possibly make a go of it. (maybe) Bars and restaurants all over the world have the highest rates of failure, and probably expat bars in restaurants in Cambodia fail even more. That said, a lot of them probably fail for lack of talent, ability, and work ethic. Its definitely not the idyllic romantic life many have imagined. Its more than likely buying a low paying job, but at least it might give you a home base and keep you out of trouble.
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by explorer » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:25 am

There are many different places, but it is common to charge high rents. Newcomers dont know how much money they may make, so they pay it, only to find out they make little money, or run at a loss.

You really need something to attract customers. If you are a friendly person who likes chatting to customers a lot, that may be a plus. I would also look for nice outgoing girls who speak English, who will also chat to customers.
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by logos » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:27 am

As I think Gavinmac once wrote in reply to a similar question, Give it a go, anyway you will end up as a tefler.
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by Ghostwriter » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:33 am

Don't.

Because you want to open a MODEST one. It means to me that you have a tight budget, and limited skills in F&B, which would mean competition for average grade food and average westerners customers with more experienced businesses, yet starving already. The average westerner customer here is lower quality than other neighbor countries, and cheap charlies are legion. You also have to get that you will spend more than anticipated, just because it's a kind of country like that. You will get the details in time, while browsing this forum and khmer440's archives.

I might be wrong, never had such a business, i wish you luck, but that's my safety call at the end.
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by explorer » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:45 am

I know someone who opened one. He had very few customers. He had to go back to his home country to earn more money. He wanted his Cambodian wife to run it while he was away. She didnt want to, so it is closed.
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frank lee bent
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by frank lee bent » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:31 am

Perhaps 1 in 20 break even.
maybe 20 years ago it was easier.
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by phuketrichard » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:21 am

unless you can hit a very niche market, ( and you would need spend 6 months figuring out what that is) and /or have deep pockets,
pick somewhere else
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Re: Opening a bar & restaurant in Phnom Penh?

Post by CMBcurious » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:50 am

Thank you all so much for the advice and genuine feedback of what the F&B market is like in PP. Much appreciated.
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