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Business trends

Costs, COVID and labor crunch hit Taiwan's restaurant industry

'Good old days have passed' for dining sector as customer behavior changes

Guests enjoy a meal at the Studio, a private fine dining space in Taipei that serves French and Indian cuisine with special seasonal menus. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Lin)

TAIPEI -- James Wei's restaurant in downtown Taipei was not lacking for customers. Known for its varied menu of curry rice and pasta and Taiwanese fried chicken, SuperFoodCourt was named one of the best choices on UberEats last year.

But in April, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases on the island, Wei decided to shut down the restaurant he had founded nine years ago, citing rising costs and a severe labor shortage.

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