The Great Wall of China is huge, the entire wall with all of its branches combined measures 21.196 km. If you could put all of those branches in a single file, it would go more than halfway across the Earth. It is not strange that all around the world Chinese restaurants are named after it.

Dumplings are a common dish in Chinese restaurants

It is pretty hard to get a good number, but searching through the Yellow Pages for several countries comes up with about 1 restaurant named after the Great Wall per 300.000 people. At least in Europe and North America (getting numbers for the rest of the world is limited by my ability, or rather my lack of ability, to speak foreign languages, sorry). That means Europe and North America combined have a total of about 3890 restaurants named after the Great Wall. If an average restaurant is about 15 meters long (looking at local restaurants, this seems like a decent guess), putting all these restaurants in a single file would build a wall of almost 60 km long. Nowhere near the 21.196 km of the actual Great Wall.

Even if the entire world had 1 Chinese restaurant named after the Great Wall per 300.000 people, the restaurant wall would only be 350 km long. If that wall started in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, it would pass through Belgium and end up in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

If the current population growth stays stable and the amount of restaurants named after the Great Wall would grow accordingly, our wall of restaurants would not outgrow the actual Great Wall of China for another 5000 years.

There is a reason why the Great Wall of China is considered to be one of the wonders of the world. It is an absolutely massive work of engineering that the restaurant business will not be able to meet (yet).

Photo of the Great Wall of China by Keith Roper
Photo of dumplings by Stewart Butterfield