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About Sanon

Changing Young People's Lives

The Sanon Training Restaurant is operated by the Myanmar Youth Development Institute (MYDI). MYDI conducts Sanon as a not for profit social enterprise organization in Nyaung U, Bagan, Myanmar.

Our core strategic aim is to:

"Train up to 30 students at a time, assist them to gain employment and monitor them for a further two years"

Sanon Students and Staff

Sanon as a Social Enterprise

We see the concept of the Sanon Training Restaurant in the following terms:

  • Construct a Training Restaurant in Myanmar to produce up to 30 student graduates each year and then assist them to find employment within the Hospitality industry and monitor them in their work place for a further two years
  • Teach the students the English language
  • Through the successful operation of the training restaurant as a social enterprise make a decisive impact on the lives of its students, their families and the broader Bagan community
  • To build links with local NGO's and other key organisations where there is the potential fo commercial synergies and the productive exchange of knowledge and experience
  • Become 'the' sort after eating-house for local and international tourists in Bagan
  • Gain recognition of hospitality training via locally recognized training authorities

Students Studying English

What does success look like? 

  • All of our students achieving competency in English
  • Obtain meaningful employment in the hospitality industry and 
  • Possess sufficient skills and knowledge to have the potential to expand and develop their careers in the industry.

A lot of energy and time is spent interviewing students in order to ascertain if they fit our criteria. Most of our students have no family or come from otherwise quite disadvantaged circumstances.

During the first three months of their course, all students are given 'front of house' and kitchen training.  The students then select one of these 'two fields' in which to specialize then receive more advanced training. The complete training course takes approximately 12 months and in doing so all students gain valuable work experience under the supervision of our training staff.

We have a very strong focus on training and English standards and aim to ensure that all the students that complete our training program gain hospitality skills of an ASEAN standard and secure appropriate employment.

During their course students are provided with accommodation, food, comprehensive English lessons and hospitality training 6 days a week.  The students also receive all tips given by customers which are shared equally among all students.

Upon completion of their training course, we help students find appropriate employment in the hospitality and tourism industries. As part of Sanon’s commitment to the development and welfare of its students, Sanon will also continue to monitor and mentor each graduate in their place of employment for two years.

Sanon visit of Students on Work Placement

Sanon while committed to our social and training objectives is a fully functioning professional and high-standards restaurant. We take great pride in providing fantastic food and service to our guests.


Income from the Restaurant helps pay for full-time staff such as our English teacher, a social worker, training chefs, front of house trainers, a restaurant manager and accountant. Our intention is to employ all Burmese staff to help encourage the development of local skills and expertise and support the local community.

MYDI has had to raise considerable funds to get the project up and running. All funds have been raised privately with no financial support from other charities or NGO’s and any Governmental sources either in Myanmar or overseas.

Operationally, we have at least a 20% short fall in our operating costs. As well normal costs of operating a restaurant we also have the additional cost of maintaining a training program, specialist staff such as trainers and teachers and accommodating the students. Any shortfall has to be made up with various fundraising activities and donations made by the public and ‘Friends of Sanon’


On behalf of the students, staff and the MYDI Board, we would like to express our gratitude and thanks to all those who have made a donation to help us in our work of continuing to give our students an opportunity for a new and bright future.

We would also like to acknowledge the advice, support and goodwill we have received from local government officials, the local monastery and the general Bagan community. The establishment, on-going operation and success of Sanon would not have been possible without their help and support. 

We would also like to acknowledge the specific help and support of:

  • Steve Schipani - Social Sector Investment Specialist - Asian Development Bank, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Bob Davis - Former Ambassador for Australia in Myanmar
  • Nikolai Scharwz - Social Enterprise Co-ordinator Friends International, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Mr lan Wales, Principal Partner - Ascent Corporate (Accountants & Advisors - Yangon, Myanmar)
  • Ms Khine Ko Gyi - Proprietor Thante Hotel, Nyaung Oo, Bagan, Myanmar
  • Mr Win Shwe Maung - Builder of Sanon Restaurant and a local director of Myanmar Youth Development Institute MYDI Limited
  • Ms Susan Black - Action Aid in Nyaung U, Bagan, Myanmar

See also

Myanmar Youth Development Institute

Our Location

Pyu Saw Hti Street
next to Nyaung U Thante Hotel
Bagan, Myanmar

Open Hours

We are currently closed to the Public

However we continue to operate our student training program 

Got an Inquiry or Question?

Phone: +95 9 45195 1950

Email:  contacts@sanon-restaurant.org

Sanon is a member of:

Asset H&C