“More effective research means better decisions”

Market research makes for tasty results in new restaurant startup

A recent article in the Phnom Penh Post shows how just a little basic market research can increase a small business’s chance of success in a crowded market.

The newly opened “Banana Kitchen” (Street 21 of Tonle Bassac commune) didn’t spend a lot of money, but used basic market research thinking to develop the answers it needed to guide their thinking and actions to differentiate their business and guide their development.


Young Many, the general manager of Banana Kitchen, said “…we serve mainly Khmer and Thai cuisines because research found that our target group of clients, locals and Asian expats, prefer them to Western cuisines, which also, according to the research, have already been adopted by many restaurants in our area.”


Customers can order many well-known dishes from the two lower Mekong countries, with most of the prices under $7, suitable in restaurants preferred by regular people in Cambodia, research found.

The specialties include amok, Cambodia’s signature curry dish, with varieties such as fish amok ($5.75), the unique seafood amok ($6.50) derived from a Koh Kong province recipe, as well as prahok ling ($5.50), stir-fried minced pork with fermented fish paste and vegetables. For those who want Thai cuisine, on offer are the deep-fried fish with curry sauce ($6) and kaieng, a sour and spicy soup with prawns and fried eggs with pennata.


Special touches add to the look and feel of an environment welcoming for Khmer and Thai customers. Furnishings include comfortable wooden chairs and tables, and classic artworks, such as a black-and-white painting of an Apsara dancer, hang on the walls.


Research also brought about special promotions at the restaurant. On Mother’s Day, for instance, mums ate free when accompanied by one of their children. On Buddhist holidays, the restaurant sells special lunchboxes, costing between $10 and $15, for people to take to the pagoda and offer to the monks.


Banana Kitchen is a good example how any business, whatever size and financial status, can leverage basic market research and affordable information gathering techniques to increase their chances of business success.

Banana Kitchen is located on Street 21, in Tonle Bassac commune. It is open every day from 6am to 10pm. Tel: 015 777 677/ /012 666345


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