Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Over 2,000 restaurants licensed nationwide



Over 2,000 restaurants licensed nationwide

Kuoch Sokly, an advisor of the Cambodia Restaurant Association.
Kuoch Sokly, an advisor of the Cambodia Restaurant Association. Moeun Nhean

Over 2,000 restaurants licensed nationwide

The government has issued operating licenses over 2,000 restaurants across the country as part of its effort to ensure the quality and hygiene of food outlets that serve not Cambodians but also some 5 million tourists who visit the Kingdom each year.

Kim Sereyroth, head of food and hospitality services department at the Ministry of Tourism, said the ministry routinely inspects restaurants to ensure that they have all necessary operating permits and certificates.

“The licensing procedure requires vendors to demonstrate that they have acquired the proper legal documents from relevant authorities, such as construction permits and business registration documents,” he said.

“They also must have certification from the Ministry of Health and an approved fire protection system.”

According to Sereyroth, the Tourism Ministry has issued licenses to 2,239 restaurants with a total of 130,885 seats. Only licensed restaurants display a certificate from the ministry, which he said provides proof that “these restaurants have been legally authorised and can properly and safely serve customers.”

Kuoch Sokly, an advisor of the Cambodia Restaurant Association, stressed the importance of oversight in the restaurant sector, noting that thousands of restaurants and food stalls operate without the necessary operating licenses.

“People who dine at unlicensed restaurants must be extremely cautious about the food they eat,” he said.

Sokly, who has 20 years in the restaurant industry under his belt, said the majority of licensed restaurants are located in Phnom Penh while other areas of the country lack high-quality establishments. He said there were still many opportunities to develop the sector.

“With regards to good restaurants, there is still a high demand and we need more hard and soft investments,” he said, adding that the younger generation in particular craves “something new, unique and tasty.”

Ho Vandy, president of World Express Tours, said the government has set quality standards aimed at “improving the behaviour, services and hygiene” of restaurants. He added that in addition to compliance with health and operating standards, restaurants are also encouraged to be environmentally friendly, offer more Khmer dishes and use more local ingredients.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio