Surviving the pandemic: COVID-19 and restaurant closures in Suzhou

Lin Lin, Qiantao Zhang*, Zihao Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupts the economy and presents challenges to small and medium enterprises in various sectors. Focused on the restaurant industry in Suzhou, China, this study draws upon secondary data from Meituan Dianping and Baidu Map API and considers how variables related to restaurants
themselves and variables pertaining to restaurants’ built environment conditions contribute to their survival during the pandemic with the use of regression analysis. For restaurants, it is important to have certain core competencies, such as price or quality advantage, if they were to survive external shocks. In addition, high population density of a restaurant’s surrounding area, one of the most crucial factors in determining business success under normal circumstances, significantly reduces its survival likelihood during the pandemic. We conclude by outlining opportunities for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2023


  • COVID-19
  • built environment
  • core competencies
  • restaurants
  • survival


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