Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

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The Habit Burger Grill will open its first location in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. THE HABIT

California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh.

The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame, signature sandwiches, fresh-cut salads and more”, it said in a press release as it gears up for its Wednesday debut​.

The new eatery will be located behind the Tela petrol station on the northeast corner of the intersection of Russian Federation (Street 110) and Mao Tse Toung (Street 245) boulevards in Tuol Kork district.

“The Habit Burger Grill is California’s best-kept secret, as it’s been awarded various food-focused awards in the US.

“At the centre of The Habit’s menu is the signature Charburger, made with a fresh 100 per cent ground beef patty, chargrilled over an open flame for unique smoky flavour, and topped with cheese, caramelised onions, pickles, fresh tomato slices, crisp lettuce and mayo served on a toasted bun.

“The Habit has been serving the best tasting burger in America exactly this way since 1969,” it said.

Chief brand officer Iwona Alter says she is thrilled to work with leading oil and petrol company – and The Habit’s new franchise partner – Kampuchea Tela Co Ltd as part of the chain’s ambitions to expand abroad and foray into new markets.

“We look forward to creating new Habit fans by inviting them to enjoy our handcrafted chargrilled food delivered with best-in-class hospitality and in a welcoming Southern California environment,” she says.

Cambodia will be The Habit’s third country in its expansion campaign after the US and its eight locations in China.

The two-storey location will offer dine-in and take out, the chain noted.

It said: “This is just the beginning, The Habit is partnering with Kampuchea Tela Co Ltd to develop and operate restaurants throughout Cambodia.”

In anticipation of the grand opening, local guests were invited for an exclusive sneak peek of the menu, it noted. The first 200 guests at each of four events held on October 16-17 at 11:30am-1:30pm and at 5pm-7pm received a complimentary Charburger, French fries and drink.

Chy Sila, the entrepreneur who runs a home-grown restaurant empire in Phnom Penh, noted that fast food remains popular among Cambodians, especially the younger generation.

“As I see it, the fast food market is still strong in Cambodia, where people still really love to eat,” he said.