Investigating spatial concentration of sustainable restaurants: It is all about good food!

Margo P. M. Enthoven*, Aleid E. Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

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This research addresses the role of sustainable demand and psychological and cultural factors in the spatial concentration of sustainable SMEs. We analyze the spatial concentration of sustainable SMEs in the restaurant sector in the Netherlands. We argue that traditional agglomeration theories can partially explain spatial concentration of sustainable SMEs, but are not sufficient in explaining the sub-sector concentration of sustainable entrepreneurs. Demand, psychological and cultural factors could explain sub-sector concentration of sustainable restaurants. We use sustainable entrepreneurship theory to explain this difference. We analyze spatial concentration of sustainable SMEs in three ways. First, we investigate spatial concentration based on all individual locations of sustainable restaurants with an average nearest neighbor analysis. Second, we analyze spatial autocorrelation with use of the Moran's I statistic. Finally, we map the clustering of sustainable restaurants with a Getis-Ord Gi* analysis. We use sustainable restaurants as a percentage of conventional restaurants in a region in the Netherlands. While controlling for conventional clustering, we find a single large cluster of sustainable restaurants. Arguably, this clustering is caused by a spatial variation of demand and individual psychological traits of sustainable entrepreneurs, which together represent a regional culture of sustainable entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-594
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Regional Science
Issue number3
Early online date9-Nov-2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • E71
  • L26
  • R12
  • Q01

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