How do Chinese choose names for restaurants?  Although they change over time most of them seem to consist of a limited combination of a few terms.  Thus, Golden, Silver, Jade, Imperial, Panda, China, Hong Kong might be combined with terms like Palace, Dragon, House, City, Wok.

One empirical study by Frank Shyong and David Chan based on close to 7,000 restaurant names gathered from several decades confirmed this impression as they found a high repetitiveness of Chinese restaurant names.

Why?  The authors speculate:  "But perhaps the repetition in naming says more about us than it does about Chinese restaurateurs. Chinese restaurants have to use English words that the average American can associate with Chinese food or culture. .. Perhaps the monotony in Chinese restaurant naming just reflects how impoverished the knowledge of Chinese culture is here.

 This redundancy among names has led to amusing Automated "name generators"   such as the one by Wai Yee Hong.


        In addition to selecting a name, a decision about what to put on restaurant signage.  Should they use only Chinese characters, transliterated names into English spelling of how the Chinese name sounds, or only English words,